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List of Articles by Myron Sta. Ana


By Myron Sta. Ana
13 May 2012

Reigning WBO Flyweight champion, Brian “Hawaiian Punch” Viloria breaks his unpopular “one-defense wonder” jinx and successfully defends his 112-lb belt for the second time against a familiar opponent, Omar Niño “The Giant Killer” Romero of Mexico in their grudge match earlier today at the Ynares Sports Center of Pasig City.

A right straight-right hook hybrid to the head in the 9th round wobbled the Mexican twisting his right foot in the process. With him on shaky legs and twisting his foot forced one of his corner men to rush into the ring with the referee-in-charge Michael Ortega of Connecticut, USA stopping the fight simultaneously at 2:07.

This is absolutely a different milestone for the Waipahu, Hawaii-born Filipino titlist who was not able to enjoy a long tenure in his previous reigns as a world champion in the Light Flyweight division.

It can be remembered that he first became a world champion back on September 11, 2005 when he scored a 1st-round KO over then 1st-time defending WBC Light Flyweight champion, Eric Ortiz of Mexico on the undercard of the double-header between Manny Pacquiao and Mexican Hector Velasquez and Erik Morales and American Zahir Raheem at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. That jaw-dropping performance earned him an immediate inclusion in the top 5 Light Flyweights of the world at that time and the admiration of his fellow Filipinos who suddenly jumped on his bandwagon.

A little over five months later, he then successfully repelled the challenge of another Mexican, former 7-defense WBC Minimumweight ruler Jose Antonio “El Jaguar” Aguirre on his very first defense that was held at the then-The Aladdin Resort & Casino (now Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino) in the States. In that fight, he boxed beautifully and closed the show outpointing the former champion by scores of 116-112 twice and 117-111 after twelve rounds of intense action.

Then came the start of what would be known as his “one-defense wonder jinx”. In August of the same year, he would meet Omar Niño Romero for the first time in yet his most disappointing fight that saw him being out-boxed in eight to nine rounds owing to his hesitations throwing a punch and his inconsistent activity in the ring. He got a negative reception among his Filipino compatriots who was upset about a fight they would expect would be a walk in the park for him given his immense talent and athleticism only to witness a lackadaisical showing on his part.

After 3 months, their respective handlers would pit them against each other again on the undercard of the third fight between Manny Pacquiao and Erik Morales at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. This time around, the result was different altogether. The bout was declared a majority draw despite most people seeing it go Viloria’s way. It was even compounded by the fact that Romero tested positive for amphetamine which is known to be a strong psychosimulant drug during the post-fight drug test. The majority decision was then changed to a No Contest by the Nevada Athletic Commission because of this.

On April 14th, 2007; after less than five months of his frustrating Majority-Draw fight against Romero, he came back against another skillful Mexican boxer in Edgar Sosa at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas underneath the Manny Pacquiao-Jorge Solis WBC International Super Featherweight bout. It was actually a very close and competitive fight. However, he would experience his third consecutive setback and second professional loss when the scorecards read 115-113 twice and 114-114 on the third one awarding the Mexican with a Majority Draw victory.
It was this loss that would relegate him to a situation in which people started jumping off his bandwagon one by one and considered him done even at a still young age of 27. His back-to-back losses would take out all the glitters in him and even his status as one of the best 108-pounders. Since then, he had been inactive for almost seven months before finally being able to showcase he still had what it takes on January 4, 2008 at a swap meet in Los Angeles, California underneath the main event between Top Rank fighter, Vanes Martirosyan against American Clarence Taylor; both of whom he no doubt has a bigger name than but had to settle for a supporting bout role. He only had himself to blame though because in those fights between Omar Niño Romero and Edgar Sosa prior to this event that he was expected to win handily, he let his inner enemy, his hesitant; inconsistent; and tentative self, get the better of him. He was unfocused and lazy and ended up looking bad.

After five bouts fighting out of oblivion, he finally got another opportunity to have a shot at a world title. April 19, 2009 became his first career-defining fight. Brian Viloria challenged then long-time IBF Light Flyweight champion, Ulises “Archie” Solis of Mexico who was defending his championship strap for the 9th time. A right hand punch by the Hawaiian Punch put the champion down on the canvas unable to beat the count of referee Bruce McTavish. With the win, he became the new IBF Light Flyweight champion, proved his critics wrong, and positioned himself back up at the top.

Moving forward over five months after, he beat Mexican Jesus “Azul” Iribe in his comeback fight at the Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Although he didn’t come out with another scintillating knockout performance, he at least successfully defended his belt for the 1st time.

Then came underdog Carlos “El Olimpico” Tamara of Colombia on January 23, 2010. After leading on all scorecards coming into the twelfth and final round, he obviously ran out of gas in the dying seconds and lost his title only on his first title defense once again to the Colombian via TKO. Anew, he fell victim to his own “one defense wonder” jinx with the people around blaming the late round-exhaustion to lack of motivation and thorough training.

With the stinging loss, he had to go back to the drawing board once again and had to rebuild his career from scratch with wins against Mexico’s Omar Soto and Thailand’s Liempetch Sor Veerapol with the second of these two fights in the Flyweight Division. He decided to permanently bow out of the 108 weight category to campaign in the 112-pound weight class.

His climb up the weight proved to be his saving grace though. When he faced then WBO Flyweight champion, Julio Cesar “Pingo” Miranda who was defending his belt for the fourth time at the Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, Hawaii; he lifted the belt from the slugfest-loving Mexican brawler with a unanimous decision win that was punctuated with a knockdown in the 1st round.

But that was not it yet. His most impressive win to date came at the expense of then pound-for-pound entrant, Giovani Segura at the Ynares Sports Center on December 11, 2011. As everybody knows, the Mexican was riding on an impressive streak of wins in the 108-lb category that included a couple of TKO wins over future Hall-of-Fame inductee, Ivan “Iron Boy” Calderon of Puerto Rico and a consistent reign as the unified WBA and WBC Light Flyweight champion of the world. But in his fight with Brian Viloria that also saw him carrying a big nasty lump on the right side of his head, he had no match for the faster and stronger repackaged boxer and was stopped in the 8th round after being staggered by a left hook.

Five months thereafter, this morning at the Ynares Sports Center, he would then be given an opportunity to avenge his two previous defeats at the hands of Omar Niño Romero who is otherwise known as the “The Giant Killer”. Some people thought that he wouldn’t be able to defend his belt past the 1st time against Segura and that this “one defense wonder” jinx would go on. But they were wrong as the outcome was completely different. He defeated his inner enemy and stopped Omar Niño Romero in the 9th round. This was their third fight with the previous two not going well in his favor but for the third time and hopefully the last time, his sweet was sweet, indeed. Not only that he was able to get even with his tormentor, he was also able to defend his belt for the 2nd time.

Brian Viloria and his corner should enjoy the rest of the day with their performance. He certainly deserves all of the accolades coming his way with his yet another career-defining victory today. But more importantly, he should be commended not just for the win but for breaking the curse of the “One Defense Wonder” that has haunted him all throughout his career. Hopefully, this time around, he would be the WBO Flyweight champion for a much longer time. Who knows? He might also give getting another world title crown in the Super Flyweight division a go.

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