Boxing: Former champ Viloria returns to the ring in March
SINGAPORE – Four-time world champion Brian Viloria returns to the ring on March 29 against an opponent to be announced.
Viloria last saw action in a grueling fight at Venetian Resort in Macau, China in April of last year, dropping the WBO and WBA flyweight titles to Juan Francisco Estrada via split-decision.
Viloria (32-4, 19 knockouts) had previously been on a tear in the 112-pound division, posting impressive victories over former WBO flyweight champion Julio Cesar Miranda, former pound-for-pound entrant Giovani Segura and highly-regarded Hernan “Tyson” Marquez.
Viloria’s victory over Marquez had unified the flyweight titles for the first time in 50 years. But when the unstoppable force met the immovable object in Estrada, it was Viloria who found himself on the losing end.
“Honestly, I let him dictate the fight more than I should have,” said Viloria, a Filipino-American born in Waipahu, Hawaii but now residing in Los Angeles, Calif.
Since the loss, Viloria says he has had ample time to get back his bearings and make another run for a fifth world title.
“Physically, I’m well rested. I went through a tough fight against Estrada, and some grueling wars against Segura and Marquez. “I gave myself time to rest and heal up properly and get into the right state of mind.”
Resiliency is perhaps Viloria’s best trait, as well as his undying perseverance in a brutal sport. Though his boxing skills keep him strong in the trenches, at the end of the day, it’s his enormous fighting heart that oftentimes carries him to victory under dire circumstances.
And though a few unexpected setbacks have kept him from becoming a dominant force in his division, Viloria maintains he’s ready to give it another go.
“I want to get back in the ring, it’s been a while now and I’m getting myself ready for another title run,” said Viloria, who at 33 years of age wants to reassure fans that the hunger is still very much there.
“I’ve won four world titles already and I want to prove to everybody that I am still one of the best out there and can become world champion again.”
The road to the title is a long and winding one, with Viloria’s most recent conqueror not keen on an immediate rematch with the man known as the “Hawaiian Punch”. But Viloria is no stranger to hard work and persistence.
“I’ve been trying to pursue a rematch with [Juan Francisco] Estrada but their camp turned it down because they said I was too tough of a fight and they wanted the rematch after a couple of easy fights first,” said Viloria.
And though the rematch with Estrada isn’t on the horizon as of yet, Viloria says he’s ready for any challenges that will soon come.
“I’ve been in training for the last month and a half, getting myself in fight shape. I’m well rested psychologically and physically,” said Viloria.
And though his next fight will be in sunny Las Vegas, Viloria says he’ll never forget where he came from.
“I miss the Philippines a lot,” says Viloria, who has fought several of his biggest fights in the Philippines.
“I want to go back to the Philippines and see if I can perform out there for the fans,” he added.
Though the fight is just under two months away, Viloria says he’s also excited for a totally different challenge, something not boxing related – fatherhood.
Viloria and wife Erica Navarro Viloria are expecting their first child together, a baby boy.
“I’m really excited. We have three more months until the baby is due. I’m ready for that as tough as its going to be,” he said.
Another impressive showing can catapult him back into a deep flyweight division where names like Nicaraguan former two-division titleholder Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez and WBC flyweight titleholder Akira Yaegeshi of Japan exist.
Here he is once again, back and ready for another run at a world title. - Rappler.com