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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson



Viloria undecided on future

By Joaquin Henson
PhilBoxing.com
01 Mar 2018



Whether or not former WBC/IBF lightflyweight and WBA/WBO flyweight champion Brian Viloria will retire after losing to Ukraine’s Artem Dalakian in Inglewood, California, last Saturday is still up in the air.

Viloria, 37, had difficulty finding the range against the roughhousing Dalakian throughout the 12-round bout. His timing was off and his reflexes were slower than usual, diminished with age. He tried to pin Dalakian against the ropes and cut the ring off but couldn’t find a standing target. Judges Raul Caiz, Sr., Robert Hoyle and Pat Russell gave Viloria only one round as they scored it 118-109, including the one-point deduction slapped by referee Lou Moret on Dalakian in the ninth for repeatedly holding down the Hawaiian Punch’s head. However, it looked like the fight was much closer than what the scorecards indicated.

“Like many, I was surprised that the judges’ scorecards so one-sidedly favored Dalakian,” said Viloria’s Los Angeles manager Gary Gittelsohn. “But it was unanimous and I confess a natural bias in favor of Brian. Dalakian is an ugly fighter but he was effective that night. His hold-and-grab style, pushing down on Brian’s neck, flying elbows, angered me but the result is in the books and I’m powerless to do anything about it.”

No decision has been reached on when Viloria will hang up his gloves. He turned pro in 2001 and has compiled a record of 38-6, with 23 KOs. His career is something to be proud of and Viloria will likely end up in the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Gittelsohn said he will seriously think about what to advise Viloria on his future. “I need some time to process it all,” he said. “I want to watch the fight again as painful an experience as it was. Naturally, I’m crestfallen. We never talk about long-term plans in the haze of an emotional disappointment. There’ll be plenty of time for that in the weeks ahead. But one thing I know, I’m privileged and honored to represent Brian. He’s a credit to the sport and an inspiration to all who know him or have followed his career. Winston Churchill said it best, ‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Viloria suffered a nasty gash on his forehead from a Dalakian elbow in the 11th round and blood spurted out of the cut until the final bell. His face was a crimson mask when the fight ended. “The elbow that caused the cut was not seen by the referee,” said Gittelsohn. “I don’t blame him for that----oftentimes, the angles obscure a referee’s view. He knew it wasn’t caused by a punch and assumed it was a headbutt. The replay on the arena Jumbotron showed very clearly it was a flying elbow. The cut was deep and the bleeding affected Brian’s vision during the last two rounds.” Brian took stitches to close the cut in the lockerroom after the fight.

Freddie Roach’s chief assistant Marvin Somodio worked Viloria’s corner with cutman Ruben Gomez and Rudy Hernandez. Somodio said Dalakian’s style, reminiscent of Vic Darchinyan, bothered Viloria. “Hirap si Brian,” he said. “Magaling ang footwork ni Dalakian at hindi bumigay hanggang the 12th round. Dalakian’s a smart fighter. Whenever Brian closed the distance between them, Dalakian grabbed. Brian couldn’t throw too many punches because Dalakian never let him come close. Magaling gumamit ng distance si Dalakian. Brian had a great training camp but had difficulty coping with Dalakian’s style. But there were a lot of close rounds that could’ve gone either way.”


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