Roman Gonzalez stops Brian Viloria in round 9
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - Roman Gonzalez overcame a brave challenge from Brian Viloria, knocking him down in round 3 before forcing a referee stoppage at 2:53 of round 9 on Sunday, October 18 (Saturday U.S. time) at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The WBC flyweight champion Gonzalez (44-0, 38 knockouts) of Managua, Nicaragua lived up to his billing as THE RING magazine’s pound-for-pound champion, weathering an aggressive start from the 34-year-old Filipino-American Viloria (36-5, 22 KOs) of Waipahu, Hawaii.
Viloria landed several big right hands to the chin and left hooks to the body before Gonzalez picked up the pace in round two and began pushing Viloria back with uppercuts and body shots of his own.
Viloria was knocked down for the first time in his career - pro or amateur - moments into the third round after a short right hand chopped down from the 28-year-old “Chocolatito.” Viloria rose up with a knowing grin on his face and came back out swinging. Viloria may have won the fourth round but the pressure of Gonzalez continued to break down Viloria.
As Viloria slowed down, Gonzalez’s pace increased, and by round 7 it appeared that trainer Marvin Somodio may have to step in and stop the fight. Viloria fought hard until the end, urged on briefly by the ringside doctor’s consultation before the beginning of round 9.
Viloria attempted one last ditch effort, hurting Gonzalez momentarily with a left hook to the body before Gonzalez came back, piled on punches against the ropes before referee Benjy Esteves ended the fight.
“He’s number one for a reason. He’s a great fighter. Very strong, very precise with his punches," said Viloria, a 2000 U.S. Olympian, was previously a 2-time junior flyweight and unified flyweight champion, in the post-fight interview.
"All the punches hurt but when you have very good physical conditioning you can withstand those punches," said Gonzalez, who has won titles at strawweight, junior flyweight and flyweight.
"I knew that I was going to face a very good rival in Brian Viloria but I came in very good condition to win this fight. He’s very tough." – Rappler.com