Photos by Big Joe Miranda
Brian “Hawaiian Punch” Viloria has a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Just shy of his 34th birthday, Viloria is now the WBO and WBA Flyweight Champion of the world. A unification match dubbed as “50 years in the making”. Last night at the LA Sports Arena was one of the best performances Viloria has ever put. From the opening bell it was obvious Viloria’s speed would be his advantage with 24 year old WBA champion southpaw Hernan “Tyson” Marquez.
Tyson was knocked down in the 1st round and eventually being dropped again in the 5th round. Tyson was not ready to give up and from RDs 7-9 from the looks of it he was going to win by KO because it seemed to be Viloria was starting to gas out. You could hear Robert Garcia in his corner telling him “You’re ready for 3 more?” At the start of RD 10, Tyson no longer respected Viloria by coming on aggressively and landing punches and pounding away at Viloria, and Viloria seriously wipes him out with a left hook. Referee David Mendoza giving Tyson an 8 count, Tyson slips and you can tell Tyson was hurt and his legs were completely gone. The only thing keeping him alive was his pride and his heart. Robert Garcia throws in the towel and stops the fight at 1:01. Tyson is surely one who punches a lot but lacks enough power to hurt Viloria and penetrate fully the latter’s defense. Marquez’ moniker of “Tyson” didn’t hold up to its name, instead Viloria took it away by showing what a vicious “Tyson punch” looks and feels like.
Most fighters at Viloria’s age tend to slow down and Viloria joked at a post interview in his dressing room “I think I found the fountain of youth”. Well, the fountain of youth has truly been working for the champion and there are talks of Viloria and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzales of Nicaragua to eventually fight next. Gonzales also put on a spectacular performance which he successfully defended against Juan Francisco Estrada of Mexico. What did Viloria have to say when asked about Gonzales? “Let me rest first, my birthday is next week. Then I’ll be back in the gym.”
This fight has “Fight of the Year” written all over it, a victorious win from a true champion, who deserves to be on the Pound for Pound list. Going in as an underdog can be good at times because with the audience we can “Expect the Unexpected” which is what happened. From an interview with Brian a week before the fight he did state” I think they’re in for a surprise” (Robert Garcia and Tyson). Great fight from two great champions, Tyson is still young and has a bright future ahead of him. Respect to Robert Garcia for stopping the fight, knowing his fighters’ limits and saving their careers.
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