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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson



Viloria not taking chances

By Joaquin Henson
PhilBoxing.com
19 Jan 2018



Brian Viloria is going all out to get himself ready for unbeaten Artem Dalakian of Ukraine in their 12-round battle for the vacant WBA flyweight throne at the Forum in Inglewood, California, on Feb. 24. For the 37-year-old Hawaiian punch, it could be his last shot at winning another world crown.

Viloria’s trainer Marvin Somodio, Freddie Roach’s chief assistant at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, said the other day that training camp has been smooth. “We started training last Jan. 1 but Brian has been running and he’s already in shape,” said Somodio. “We’re sparring with Christian Robles, a young and aggressive fighter. We’re bringing more sparring partners in next week.” Robles, 21, is a superflyweight from Houston who turned pro last April after a rich amateur career. He has fought only once as a pro, outpointing Jose Merin in a four-rounder in Burbank.

Dalakian, 30, is the WBA Continental and International flyweight champion with a record of 15-0, including 11 KOs. He’s never performed outside of Ukraine so the fight at the Forum will be his baptism of fire on foreign soil. “This is not an easy fight for us,” said Somodio. “Dalakian is young and undefeated. But we’ll give everything we have to win the fight and hopefully, by knockout. Dalakian’s a good boxer with power, too.”
****

Viloria’s manager Gary Gittelsohn, who’s based in Los Angeles, said there’s no turning back in the 2000 Sydney Olympian’s pursuit of a fifth world crown. Viloria previously held the IBF/WBC lightflyweight and WBA/WBO flyweight titles.

“Brian’s opponent appears to be a solid fighter,” said Gittelsohn. “He’s undefeated with a high knockout ratio. We’ve examined available film of his fights and we’re preparing accordingly. Brian has far greater international and world-class experience and he’s determined to regain his rightful perch as world champion. So far, Brian’s looking sensational in training. I’m very optimistic. He knows what’s at stake.”

Gittelsohn said Viloria, ranked No. 2 by the WBA, earned the right to fight for the world title with impressive back-to-back wins over Mexicans Ruben Montoya and Miguel Cartagena last year. “Brian has distinguished himself by facing the best talent in the lighter weight divisions,” he said. “In the past seven years, he has won 12 of his last 14 fights, losing only to fellow world champions Juan Francisco Estrada, by split decision, and to Chocolatito Gonzalez. Akihiko Honda and his staff at Teiken Promotions have been tremendously supportive and our gratitude knows no bounds.”
****

Japan’s Kazuto Ioka relinquished the WBA 112-pound title last November, paving the way for Viloria and Dalakian to dispute the vacant throne. The WBA picked both fighters because Dalakian is ranked No. 1 and Viloria, No. 2.

Dalakian has won his last four outings by knockout. His perfect record shows two first round KOs and six wins inside three rounds. One of his victims is 28-year-old Filipino Juan Purisima who lost on points over 12 rounds in Donetsk, Ukraine, in 2013. Since the setback, Purisima has dropped seven in a row, including knockout defeats to IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas and Chocolatito Gonzalez.

Dalakian hasn’t seen action since disposing of Mexico’s Luis Macias in six rounds in Kiev last April. Macias went on to lose three of his next four outings. It appears Dalakian has a habit of sending opponents on a downward spiral in their boxing careers.


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