Viloria contemplates future after TKO loss to Gonzalez
MANILA, Philippines - Brian Viloria is making the most of his New York trip, spending time with family in the Big Apple following his ninth-round technical knockout loss to Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez this past Saturday (Sunday morning Manila time) at Madison Square Garden.
The 34-year-old Viloria, a former two-division champion and a 2000 U.S. Olympic representative, says he left it all in the ring against THE RING magazine’s current pound-for-pound champion and has no regrets about his performance.
“I tried to take the fight to ‘Chocolatito.’ It’s a testament to how great a fighter he is,” said the Filipino-American boxer Viloria (36-5, 22 knockouts).
The fight, which took place as the co-featured bout of Gennady Golovkin’s 8 round demolition of David Lemieux on an HBO Pay-Per-View telecast, saw Gonzalez (44-0, 38 KOs) stop his 15th opponent in his last 16 fights.
According to Compubox, Gonzalez landed 335 of 805 punches (42%) compared to 186 of 594 (31%) from Viloria. Viloria was knocked down in round 3 for the first time in his career, amateur or pro, and was stopped for the second time in his career.
Viloria was checked out at a local hospital afterwards as a precautionary measure and says all tests came back fine. He says he feels he could’ve continued fighting, adding that he had Gonzalez hurt to the body before Gonzalez recovered and launched an attack that prompted referee Benjy Esteves to stop the fight.
“You know fighters, you never feel like it’s a good time to be stopped. I felt I could’ve kept going,” said Viloria. “I felt I wasn’t too hurt. It was my fault for not throwing back, for not responding to his attack so that gives the reason why the ref stopped the fight.”
Viloria, who had won 4 straight coming into the flyweight championship fight, says he wants to continue boxing but will take time off before getting back to the gym and considering what is the best course to take with his future.
“I’ll take a few days off and rethink my position and think about what I want to do now with my future, not just in the sport of boxing but in life in general," said Viloria.
“We never anticipated the possibility of a loss last night, so it's too early to speculate about next steps,” adds Viloria’s manager Gary Gittelsohn.
Viloria holds high praise for Gonzalez, saying he doesn’t foresee anyone in the 112-pound division derailing him for the time being.
“At this point I don’t think anybody could. He’s really short, crisp with his punches. Very methodical. Right now I don’t think anybody could beat Roman at that weight division,” said Viloria.
Viloria’s brave stand earned respect from observers - many of whom may not have paid attention to the flyweight division previously. The highest remarks came from his manager Gittelsohn.
“I can say unequivocally that Brian comported himself with the kind of class that makes me proud to be in his orbit,” said Gittelsohn.
“I am proud of Brian's performance although, naturally, disappointed about the outcome. Brian has the soul of a champion and he showed tremendous heart, character and grace. He deserves to hold his head high.” – Rappler.com
Ryan Songalia is the sports editor of Rappler, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and a contributor to The Ring magazine. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @RyanSongalia.