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Viloria in line for title shot


PhilBoxing.com




LOS ANGELES. Former WBC/IBF lightflyweight and WBO/WBA flyweight champion Brian Viloria said the other day he's in line for a world title crack in the undercard of “SuperFly 2” at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, on Feb. 24 as his manager Gary Gittelsohn is now negotiating with Tokyo promoter Akihiko Honda for a shot at any of the three reigning Japanese 112-pound titleholders.

The Japanese champions are the WBC’s Daigo Higa, WBA’s Kazuto Ioka and WBO’s Sho Kimura. The IBF crown is held by Filipino Donnie Nietes whom Viloria said he would rather not face to avoid a confrontation with a countryman.

Viloria, who turns 37 on Nov. 24, said he’ll take on any of the three Japanese champions with no preference. “I’ll fight anyone whom Gary and Mr. Honda put in front of me,” he said. “Right now, I’m walking around at 120 pounds. Going down to 112 is no problem. I never stopped staying in shape. I run every morning and watch what I eat. After (Miguel) Cotto’s fight on Dec. 2, I’ll go back to Wild Card. Marvin (Somodio) will be free to supervise my training by then.”

Viloria said there’s also the possibility of moving up to the superflyweight division where HBO is heavily investing in stars like Thailand’s Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Mexico’s Juan Francisco Estrada and Nicaragua’s Chocolatito Gonzalez. “I’m hoping my next fight will be for the title but if that can’t be worked out, I could go up to 118 and fight Chocolatito or (Carlos) Cuadras,” he said. “When I fought Chocolatito in 2015, I got too excited and couldn’t focus. He was ready for me. He worked hard and saw me as a threat. Against Srisaket, Chocolatito was not himself. He was the world’s No. 1 pound-for-pound best fighter and I think all that talk of invincibility got to his head.”

Viloria said if there’s a rematch with Gonzalez, he’ll make sure the outcome is different. Even Srisaket won’t be a problem, he said, as the Thai may be strong and tough but lacks technique and style. HBO televised “SuperFly 1” at the StubHub Center last September and the network is set to do a sequel with Srisaket defending the WBC superflyweight crown against Estrada in the mainer. Gonzalez, Cuadras and Viloria are being considered for the undercard.

Viloria said he was recently invited to participate in a Los Angeles Filipino tourism initiative called “Bring Home A Friend” with other Fil-Ams like the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson, apl.de.ap of the Black Eyed Peas and movie actor Lou Diamond Phillips. “We’re targeting the Filipino millennials all over the world to bring a friend to experience the Philippines’ wonderful tourist destinations,” he said. “We’ve got beautiful beaches, hiking and trekking trails, adventure tours, surfing havens and many more attractions. After my fight in February, I’ll go full blast in pushing the campaign forward.”


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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