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List of Articles by Manny Piñol


 

Brian's Last Dance

By Manny Piñol
PhilBoxing.com
11 Jul 2011



On Saturday, Hawaii-born Ilocano fighter Brian Viloria will make another attempt to win a world boxing title when he goes up against Mexico's Julio Cesar "Pingo" Miranda in a 12-round championship bout for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) flyweight title at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii.

It will the second world championship event featuring a Filipino fighter, never mind if Brian holds an American citizenship.

Two weeks ago, North Cotabato's Edrin Dapudong failed in his bid to wrest the World Boxing Association (WBA) version of the same title when he lost to another Mexican, Hernan "Tyson" Marquez in Hermosillo, Mexico July 2.

The championship bout, to be held in his own backyard, could be Brian's last run for boxing glory. At age 30, he may never have the chance again to fight for a world championship.

Brian has been in boxing for quite a long time now having been a member of the US Olympic boxing team, earning that berth at the expense of now world bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire, Jr., who lost to the Hawaii-based fighter in the elminations.

He barged into big time boxing when in his first attempt at a world title, he knocked out Mexican Eric Ortiz in the first round of the World Boxing Council (WBC) junior flyweight champion on Sept. 10, 2005. He, however, lost the title to another Mexican, Omar Nino Romero, by decision in 12 rounds in what was seen as a display of the weak point in Brian's fighting style - tentativeness.

In a return bout, three months later, Romero again prevailed on the still tentative Brian Viloria but the title was declared vacant when the Mexican champion failed in a post fight drug test.

Five month later, on March 15, 2007, Brian again got the chance of fighting for the world title left vacant by Romero. He met Edgar Sosa, another Mexican, in Texas but lost the fight by majority decision.

It was at this point when Brian earned for himself the ignominious tag of being fainthearted, a boxer who could not take pressure during very important fights.

I saw Brian's first fight since losing to Sosa and this was in a small card in the Alameda Swap Meet in California where he outpointed journeyman Jose Garcia Bernal in eight rounds.

The win somehow gave Brian a new lease in his boxing career. He scored several wins after that until he was given another chance to fight for the world junior flyweight title, this time the International Boxing Federation (IBF) version. Backed and supported by a partisan crowd in the Araneta Coliseum, Viloria scored a stunning 11th round knockout over veteran Ulisses Solis of Mexico on March 19, 2009.

In another big letdown in his career, however, Brian lost that title again when he was stopped by unheralded Carlos Tamara on Jan. 23, 2010 while he was leading in the scorecards of two of the judges and was on his way to retain his title.

I feel Brian has a good chance of winning Saturday. The last time I spoke to him in the Maywood Gym in California in September last year, I saw in his eyes the desire to win one more big fight before he hangs up his gloves and settle down with his own family for good.

Brian has a good chance of winning Saturday's fight because somehow the setbacks he recently suffered in his boxing career contributed to his maturity as a fighter.

Besides, Miranda is not really an exceptional champion. He has a record of 35 wins with 28 KOs and 5 losses, one of which was by knockout, and one draw.

At 31, he is already showing the effects of the long years in the ring. In fact in his last defense of the title, he was floored by unknown Arden Diale of the Philippines before he came back and scored a 4th round stoppage.

Brian, on the other, at 30 and 28 wins, 16 KOs, 3 losses, has the advantage of fighting before a hometown crowd.

I expect Brian to win this one.

Well, actually I am praying that Brian wins this one. I believe that it is part of karmic justice that a boy so good and so humble is rewarded with another world boxing title before he finally says goodbye to the sport.


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