MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Brian Viloria returned from nearly 15 months out of the ring to score an 8-round unanimous decision over Mexico’s Ruben Montoya on Thursday, March 2 at Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.
The Filipino-American “Hawaiian Punch” Viloria (37-5-0-2, 22 knockouts) reportedly had to deal with ring rust against Montoya (14-5-1, 9 KOs) in his promotional debut for Teiken Promotions, winning by the scores of 78-74, 78-75 and 77-75.
Viloria, 36, had been out of the ring since October of 2015 after being stopped by WBC flyweight and The Ring magazine’s pound-for-pound champ Roman Gonzalez in 9 rounds. The fight was part of the untelevised undercard of the WBC bantamweight title fight between Shinsuke Yamanaka and Carlos Carlson.
Viloria admitted to Rappler that he felt “a little rusty” but said it was a “good start” to get back into a rhythm. He hopes to fight another tune-up or two before challenging for another title at 112 pounds.
“We just really wanted to see where I’m at at this point. This fight just gave me a great indication of where I’m at. I know I have a lot more ways to work at,” said Viloria.
Asianboxing.info described the fight as being “good rounds for Viloria” before adding “but he’ll probably need another tune before a big fight.”
Viloria, a 2000 Olympian representing the United States, is a former WBC junior flyweight titleholder and WBO/WBA flyweight titleholder.
Not all Filipino boxers fared as well on the card. Japan’s Ryosuke Iwasa (23-2, 15 KOs) scored a third-round technical knockout of Glenn Medura (8-2-1, 5 KOs) of Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, Philippines in their 10-round scheduled junior featherweight bout, with the fight being stopped at the 2:55 mark.
Text messages to Viloria were not returned by the time of this story’s publication. – Rappler.com
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