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BRIAN VILORIA UNIFIES WORLD FLYWEIGHT TITLE AFTER 47 YEARS


PhilBoxing.com




Brian Viloria unified the WBO and WBA flyweight titles by stopping Hernan “Tyson” Marquez at the Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California. The last time the flyweight division has a unified champion was in April 1965 when WBC titlist Salvatore Burruni of Italy defeated WBA champion Pone Kingpetch of Thailand.

Nonito Donaire, Jr. held both IBF and IBO flyweight titles when he won over Vic Darchinyan in July 7, 2007, but the IBO belt was not considered a major title. This could fuel another debate on the already controversy-laden competition between the two Filipino-American world champions.

WBO champion Viloria improved his professional record to 32-3 with 19 KO wins. His KO rate is now 51.35% according to boxrec.com. Dethroned WBA champion Marquez who was floored in the first, fifth and tenth round dropped to 34-3 with 25 KO wins. His corner threw in the towel after the third knockdown.

Marquez is no Mike Tyson after all. But there were instances when he released a flurry of punches, especially in the fifth canto, when Viloria appeared to be groggy and was not able to retaliate. But the Hawaiian Punch, who was never been knocked down in his career, recovered and dropped the Mexican down on the very same round. The fifth round could be a candidate for “Round of the Year.” Marquez bombarded Viloria with punches in the other rounds but only in short bursts as Viloria gamely defended and countered with a barrage of his own.

Rey Danseco of boxingscene.com said that Viloria declared that he is a 100% Filipino and his parents Ben and Rosemarie came from Narvacan, Ilocos Sur but migrated to Hawaii for a living. He became the 35th Filipino world champion when he won the WBC world light-flyweight title dethroning Eric Ortiz of Mexico by a remarkable first round knockout.

Viloria, who was born in Waipahu, Honolulu, Hawaii, said he would have competed for the Philippines in the 2000 Sydney Olympics had the invitation from the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines (ABAP) arrived earlier ahead of the US Olympic Trials where he defeated fellow Filipino-American Donaire in the quarterfinals.

Viloria won the light-flyweight gold medal in the 1999 World Amateur Championships in Houston, Texas. He also won the US championships and the national Golden Gloves championships on that same year.

The 5-foot-4 champion used the nickname “Hawaiian Punch” from fellow Filipino-Hawaiian, the former WBA superbantamweight champion Jesus Salud, who was born to Filipino parents in Sinait, Ilocos Sur in 1963.

On April 29, 2009, he won the IBF junior flyweight title against Ulises Archi Solis at the Araneta Colisseum. He had a heart-breaking loss to Colombian Carlos Tamara on January 23, 2010 at the Cuneta Astrodome when Viloria ran out of gas in the 12th round prompting the referee Bruce McTavish to stop the fight with the champion leading in two judges’ scorecards. Many thought Viloria’s career was over with that disheartening defeat.

But he was back on the top of the world when he won the WBO flyweight crown with a unanimous decision win over Julio Cesar Miranda of Mexico on July 16, 2011 in Honolulu, Hawaii.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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