Philippines, 18 Jun 2024
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Roman Gonzales Storms Viloria


PhilBoxing.com




While the Philippines braced itself from impending disaster as typhoon Lando made a landfall, thousands of miles away in the United States, at the Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, the contrary could not be said entirely of the fate of former world champion boxer Brian Viloria, who was up against the newly crowned best fighter in the world Pound For Pound, fighting for the first time as such, and out to prove his worth rightfully deserved.

Nicaraguan Roman Gonzales is undefeated now at 44-0 (38 by KOs). He has a comprehensive fighting style and can attack an opponent efficiently in a variety of ways, but unlike storms that wantonly unleash their force randomly at a given time and space, with Gonzales you can be sure each punch has a purpose, an overture to tactical spins, deliberately calculated towards a painful end.

During the first two rounds of the match Brian Viloria, a seasoned fighter with outstanding amateur background, momentarily found a way to weather the storm. He initially attacked the head for the purpose of applying his power to the opponent's body, hoping to slow him down a mile. For a while it seemed the sun was shining over a mass of dark clouds, until a lighting right hand struck him down in the middle of an exchange, where a consciously defensive Roman Gonzales threw the same punch as Viloria, both punches almost looking as if ready to be interlaced, only shorter, sharper, with more twitch speed. It plunged Viloria involuntarily to a knee, as if one sheltering himself from an angry gale uprooting treetops and roofs of houses abandoned by the thousands of evacuees.

The Better version of Brian Viloria that we know fought back, in fact, fought hardest after the momentous setback. He did not show any signs of abandoning his game plan of going hard to the body, which is a great sign of a prizefighter's discipline, focus, and overall maturity. I had no doubt for one moment, that was the championship version of Viloria I had once cheered so loudly for at the Araneta Coliseum some years past in Manila.

However the height of his determination, so came the harder, well-timed punches of Roman Gonzales. He would throw two to three punches at a time, sometimes even more, and turn Viloria, so he had a bad angle to return fire, and hit him as hard as he could from a clear vantage point- a testament to his impeccable footwork and balance. It would go on that way until we had to ask ourselves, how long could Viloria absorb more of it. But he did take more of it alright, he was valiant and game as we have ever saw him, albeit now with a plum on the right flank of his face. As the stormy bout progressed his combination of punches became reduced to single fires. In the same manner, Gonzales' shots became more solid and threaded, the last of each sentence almost always ending in an exclamation. Viloria tried to move around but was easily caught with effective ring generalship. At times he found himself retreated to the banks; the waves came stronger under thundering skies, marching like high walls of seawater crashing one after the other.

In the ninth round a mesh combinations by the Nicaraguan washed away Viloria to a corner, unable to respond until the referee decided to stop the fight; a point where both fighters have given their all so that it was an honorable ending for both of them.

Roman Gonzales has proven himself the best in the world by beating a very good boxer- a former world title holder at that. Many had doubted Viloria's capability to win before the fight, fearing he would gas out again as he had in crucial fights in the past, but those doubts are now answered on a positive note even in a loss. In the same token, Gonzales never waited for the later rounds to dominate the competition, so it was all about skill and not merely a question of durability or conditioning. Viloria later mentioned that he believes no fighter within Roman Gonzales' weight class will be able to beat him at this point in time, I suppose that includes Filipino Donnie Nietes who has been calling him out since his victory. For now Roman Gonzales has established himself as firmly as nature demands man for respect.


Mark F. Villanueva
Boxing-insight.com
Twitter: @Markfvillanueva


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Mark F. Villanueva.


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