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List of Articles by Ronnie Nathanielsz


 

VILORIA LOSES TITLE IN STUNNING UPSET

By Ronnie Nathanielsz
PhilBoxing.com
11 Aug 2006

The heavily hyped Brian Viloria lost his WBC light flyweight title against comparatively unknown Mexican Omar Nino who despite fighting for the first time outside his native country showed remarkable confidence and sustained aggression to score a lopsided unanimous decision at the Orleans Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, yesterday.

Solar Sports carried the fight "live" on Dream TV pay-per-view and the disappointment on the faces of celebrated trainer Freddie Roach, Ilocos Sur governor Chavit Singson and Viloria's father Ben who was in his son's corner clearly showed when the bell sounded ending the twelfth round while an exuberant Nino was carried around the ring on the shoulders of one of his handlers Also at ringside were WBC president Jose Sulaiman and Filipino promoter and boxing manager Rex "Wakee" Salud, a close friend and confidant of Filipino ring idol Manny Pacquiao. Both men sat motionless throughout the fight.

The only consolation for the Filipinos was the cracking first round TKO victory by flyweight Diosdado Gabi who smashed former WBA flyweight champion Mauricio Pastrana into submission at 1:36 of the first round, scoring an impressive TKO victory. Gabi who lost a gallant attempt to wrest the IBF title from hard-hitting Vic Darchinyan some months ago dropped the 33 year old Pastrana who was also former IBO and IBA super flyweight champion, IBF light flyweight champion and IBA bantamweight champion three times in the opening round to force the stoppage. Pastrana who took the fight on one week's notice was out of shape and two pounds over the agreed 117 pound limit and had to pay a fine.

Nino who was handpicked for Viloria's voluntary defense and had only sneaked into the No. 10 spot in the WBC ratings won on the scorecards of all three judges by a wide margin. Chuck Giampa had Nino ahead 117-111, Mark Green scored it 117-112 while Adalaide Byrd gave it to the Mexican by an even wider margin 118-110. It was Viloria's first pro defeat and he dropped to 19-1 with 12 knockouts while Nino whose pre-fight record of 23-2-1 with 10 KO's was terribly misleading because of the poor quality of some of his opponents scored the biggest win of his career.

Nino started aggressively and tagged Viloria a number of times with quick combinations and some solid body shots. Viloria who entered the ring accompanied by a bevy of Hula dancers to show his Hawaiian background although his parents were born in Ilocos Sur wasn't dancing at all in the ring and looked listless and even on occasions appeared to be afraid of going after Nino although the Mexican was not regarded as a powerful puncher.

Roach tried desperately to light a fire in Viloria's belly by appealing to him in-between rounds and even slapping him on his cheeks to try and get Viloria to snap out of a seeming stupor but nothing seemed to work. The 30 year old Nino, five years older that Viloria beat Viloria to the punch and this was clearly reflected in the punch stats after each round. The final tally showed Nino throwing 778 punches to the mere 398 by Viloria although the percentage of punches connected was much closer, 31 to 28 percent.

At one point with the fight and title slipping away Roach told Viloria "the world title is at stake here. Let's go to work son. Put this guy on his ass." Early in the eighth round both fighters engaged in a furious exchange and most Filipinos and a huge contingent of Hawaiians who were at the venue thought this was the turning point but after a clash of heads spotted by referee Kenny Bayless, Viloria appeared to back off before the challenger picked up the tempo to take round nine handily. Viloria was tagged by a nifty combination in round ten and then again got nailed in the eleventh as the Mexican fans began chanting "Nino! Nino!." Nino responded by smartly staying out of trouble in the final round to pull off one of the biggest upsets of the year.

In a post fight interview Nino said "I didn't care what I had to do. I know I was going to win especially for my newborn son." Viloria for his part said "I just had a bad night" His bad night shattered hopes of a big payday in a unification bout against Japan's flamboyant 19 year old WBA champion Koki Kameda who recently retained his title in a horrendous hometown decision over Venezuela's Juan Landaeta.


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