SINGAPORE – Brian “The Hawaiian Punch” Viloria (30-3, 17KO) has had an up-and-down, roller coaster of a career and his fans have all been along for the ride.
From the sensational victories against previously unbeaten Ulises Solis and former RING magazine P4P entrant Giovani Segura, to stinging defeats against lesser fighters, unknowns like Carlos Tamara and Edgar Sosa -- Brian Viloria has carved a path of heartbreak and redemption.
On Saturday, May 12, at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City, Philippines, he defends his WBO Flyweight title against a familiar foe, arch-nemesis Omar Nino Romero (31-4-2, 13KO) of Guadalajara, Mexico.
Viloria and Romero have fought twice before.
The first fight ended with Romero getting the nod of the judges. This gave Viloria the first loss of his career, which subsequently sent him spiraling into inconsistency.
Many feel that Viloria simply had an off-night, hence the need for a rematch.
Months later, the two fought for a second time, this time the fight ended in a majority draw, allowing Romero to retain the WBC Light Flyweight title he lifted from Viloria in the first fight.
The decision was later overturned to a no-contest ruling, after Romero tested positive in the post-fight drug tests.
This third fight presents an opportunity for Viloria to redeem himself against an opponent who seemingly has his number and appears as a thorn on his side.
Keys to the fight: Brian Viloria
Viloria is on a roll right now, his last victory was perhaps the most memorable one – an 8th round TKO against highly regarded Giovani Segura of Mexico, then Ring magazine’s #9 pound-for-pound best fighter.
The fight against Romero is very simple. To win, Brian Viloria just has to stick to what he does best, his combinations, and hit his opponent with some good power shots.
The first two fights against Romero were a bit too close for comfort, with Viloria often looking for the one punch that could knock Romero out. For this fight, he has to put his punches together if he wants to score the stoppage.
An obvious mistake for Viloria in the first two encounters with Romero is that he would often head-hunt.
This time, Viloria needs to focus on working the body to take some craftiness away from Romero who is clever and a bit dirty sometimes on defense. If Viloria can keep busy and keep Romero on his toes, he can outwork and wear down the Mexican and score a late stoppage.
Romero may be too slick to be knocked out with just one punch, that’s why it’s key for Viloria to employ a steady, concentrated attack.
Keys to the fight: Omar Nino
Romero has been on the slide recently -- it’s safe to say he may not be the same fighter who fought Brian Viloria before.
Nevertheless, if you’ve got an opponent’s style down pat, chances are your body will remember how to fight them via muscle memory.
And that’s really the worry here in this fight: it’s that Nino may have Brian Viloria’s number.
For Romero to win, he just has to box cleverly and do what he has done well before. He can be a bit of a dirty fighter at times, but nothing too over the top. This seems to frustrate Viloria and take him out of his rhythm.
Romero’s boxing ability should be able to score him the win, if he boxes a perfect fight – which is easier said than done against the surging “Hawaiian Punch."
Look for Brian Viloria to be too strong and too much for Omar Nino Romero who is now only a shadow of his former self. Viloria will stick to combination punching this time, with his newfound stamina and focus.
By the middle rounds, Viloria will have landed too many body blows and combinations which will have opened up Romero’s head. Romero will then be ripe for the taking.
It will be an all-action fight and fans will be treated to another Brian Viloria classic.
With the win, Viloria will be primed and ready to make his return to prominence and possibly bag some fights against elite fighters in the very near future.
Prediction: Brian Viloria by TKO in the 5th round. - Rappler.com
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