Thirty four year old Flyweight prizefighter Brian Viloria is riding high once more after a four-fight winning streak, whither his last one was a solid victory against Mexican Omar Sotto that ended savagely in the opening round. The last time they fought he merely upended the Mexican by a Split Decision, so his latest win is still in a way vengeful, if not exclamatory. Still, the past has a way of catching up with us in a tangle, and now it all goes back to the year 2010.
In my last interview with Brian Viloria a.k.a. “The Hawaiian Punch” we touched a bit on the inevitable notion of retirement. He had just fought Colombian Carlos Tamara and was winning it handily until he mysteriously ran out of energy late in the fight. He failed to defend his IBF title forging on depleted until the haunting Technical Knockout. The general idea was that he was too experienced as a boxer, already a world champion with a number of defenses, with a glitzy amateur background and a U.S. Olympian, to have outpaced himself in a match he was clearly winning. I personally thought it had something to do with his diet. It guess it was easier to say he was an old 30 year old and shot.
He insisted that he was at the best shape in his life. He proved it and did not suffer a single loss in six fights. He is scheduled to fight on October 17th in what is expected to be the toughest fight in his whole career against Roman Gonzalez, who is second only to the highly debated, self-proclaimed best ever Floyd “Money” Mayweather in the Pound for Pound rankings of the best of the best in the world. Only a handful may have believed he could regain footing to get this far, and even so, the same misgivings remain about his present condition. We are back in 2010, entangled with the lingering misfortunes of the Tamara fight, unfairly shaped by a single point in time. Is Brian Viloria not too old to beat Roman? Is he going to gas out in the late rounds again? They said he passed out after that of extreme exhaustion, the fighter is shot, he doesn’t have the legs to stay for twelve rounds, they say.
True to his nickname “The Hawaiian Punch” Viloria said his power could make a huge difference. I suppose he intends to make it a brawl, as he added Roman Gonzalez’ ability to fight backwards is suspect.
Roman Gonzalez (43-0, 37 KOs) is among the best technical fighters one rarely sees nowadays, and worse, when he fights he is easily overlooked which only doubles the danger. He doesn’t carry a fancy alias or persona nor does he display superlative speed or power the kind that wins your girl over. “El Chocolatito” is a sweet technical fighter that subtly operates on your body, stealthily adding it up in small deceptive quantities until your doctor says you got too much sugar and must quit. His offense and defense is impervious, so he never loses focus. He has a deadly composure and carries himself almost flawlessly around the ring with impeccable movement and balance, and never expends more than necessary in an exchange. He manipulates his opponents with the fundamentals, the minutiae of distance and in-fighting, control and foot placement; Roman Gonzalez is the devil himself in the detail.
Viloria (36-4, 22 KOs), promised to train as he never has under the tutelage of Freddie Roach. He’s been down once, or twice, in his boxing career but look at where he is now. He has always been a devastating counter-puncher and has a respectable chance of pulling this off, that’s more than just a puncher’s chance. It’s the Hawaiian Punch and chocolate, call the doctor quick!