By Cliff Rold
Almost six years after suffering his first defeat and losing his first professional title, 31-year old WBO Flyweight titlist Brian Viloria (31-3, 18 KO) of Waipahu, Hawaii, avenged the defeat with a sudden ninth round stoppage of 35-year old former two-time 108 lb. titlist Omar Nino (31-5-2, 13 KO) of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, on Sunday morning at the Ynares Sports Arena in Manila, Philippines.
Viloria controlled most of the bout, and had Nino hurt in the fourth, but once again found difficulty in the wily challenger. Viloria scored his fifth straight win, and third in a row against a current or former titlist, since a shocking twelfth round stoppage defeat to Carlos Tamara at Jr. Flyweight in January 2010.
Both men weighed in at the division limit of 112 lbs. for what was the rubber match in their rivalry. After scoring the upset in their August 2006 encounter, Nino came off the floor twice to salvage a draw in their immediate rematch in November of that year on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao-Erik Morales III. The verdict was later overturned to a “No Contest” after Nino failed the post-fight drug test.
The referee was Michael Ortega.
Viloria rushed out of the corner at Nino to start the fight, almost falling over the challenger as Nino set both hands on the canvas to keep his balance. Ortega wiped off Nino’s gloves and the action resumed. Both veterans worked the jab and the fight took on the look of their first two encounters. Viloria was quicker but Nino was ready to respond with two and three punch attempts. Viloria managed a couple quick left hooks and added a solid right hand counter in the last minute.
Neither man could gain much advantage in the second round. Viloria landed single quick shots but couldn’t firmly establish his range. Nino landed some shots to the body and occasional jabs while timing his bursts of offense.
The action heated up early in the third. Viloria landed a hard right and left hook in the first minute, Nino responding with a firm left hook at a minute in. Viloria blocked a three-punch attempt only to be caught with a Nino left hook. He replied with sharp right. Nino scored with a combination to the belly late in the frame.
Nino jumped right on Viloria with a body attack at the bell for the fourth. Viloria struggled to land clean as Nino came in below his straight shots. A Nino right connected at mid-ring halfway through the round and he added a quick right to the body moments later. In no mood to continue playing chess, Viloria rocked Nino with a left hook and unleashed along the ropes. Nino kept his feet as Viloria fired away, clipping Viloria with a low blow to get a momentary respite. At the bell, Nino appeared disoriented, his corner helping him to find the way to his needed seat.
Viloria rocked Nino again with the left early in the fifth and opened a cut on the corner of the left eye. Nino again landed low off the ropes and Ortega took a point for the foul. A brief, violent exchange in the middle of the ring came after the deduction and both men dug hard to the body at close quarters in the final minute. Viloria landed one last harsh left hook just before the bell.
Nino had a better round in the sixth, Viloria struggling to find the Mexican clean until the final moments. Nino connected to the body and his corner had his cut under control.
The Viloria jab had Nino off balance in the first minute of the seventh, his left hook aiding the process. Nino connected with a counter right but waited more than threw. In the last minute, each man took turns firing single right hands, Viloria’s launching and landing more often.
Viloria took a pair of muffled right uppercuts in close early in the eighth and a long right before a minute was past. A Viloria counter right caught Nino’s attention but he handled it fine. They exchanged rights just inside a minute and Nino landed one more with about thirty seconds to go. With four rounds remaining, it was evident Nino remained a difficult task for Viloria despite the passage of time, the challenger wreaking havoc on hopes of consistent timing.
It didn’t need to be consistent in round nine.
Showing off the power he’s always had, Viloria ended matters with a sudden assault. A counter right hand staggered Nino in the middle of the ring, Nino stumbling to the ropes. Viloria missed with a right hand before landing a left to the temple and right to the face. Another Viloria right hand sent Nino reeling and Ortega jumped in as Nino’s corner signaled surrender for their man. Nino strongly objected to Ortega, and his corner, but the die was cast at 2:07 of round nine.
For Nino, it was his second loss in three fights and third by stoppage in his career. Nino was last stopped by then-future 115 lb. titlist Juan Alberto Rosas in 2004.
Viloria, a 1999 World Amateur Champion and 2000 U.S. Olympian, ultimately posted two title reigns at 108 lbs. before embarking on arguably the best run of his career one class higher. The Nino victory follows a title win over Julio Cesar Miranda and knockout of former lineal World Jr. Flyweight Champion Giovanni Segura.
Viloria could find revenge a lucrative business should he continue on a track similar to Sunday.
Viloria’s second defeat came at the hands of Edgar Sosa by majority decision in April 2007. Sosa is currently riding a two-fight win streak at Flyweight after a failed title try against then-lineal World Flyweight Champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam in October 2011. Tamara could also be a loss Viloria looks to avenge, though Tamara could be hard sell coming off a sixth-round stoppage at the hands of Ricardo Nunez last month.
Viloria could also look to the winner of the bout immediately preceding the main event.
The co-feature pitted a pair of former titlists inside the 115 lb. division. The result was a bout with plenty of drama and action despite a dominant performance on the scorecards.
30-year old former WBC 108 lb. titlist Rodel Mayol (31-5-2, 22 KO), a Philippines native fighting out of Los Angeles, California, scored three knockdowns en route to a unanimous decision over a well conditioned but outgunned 31-year old Julio Cesar Miranda (37-7-1, 29 KO). Both men came into the contest at 114 lbs.
The fight opened with Miranda pressing and Mayol playing the counter-puncher. It worked for Mayol right away. A quick left hand caught Miranda flush and Mayol went to the weapon again right away.
Clipping Miranda clean, he sent the tough Mexican to his knees at mid-ring. Miranda, clearly staggered, made his feet and showed no fear of resuming his pursuit. It cost him late in the round as Mayol again struck with a hard left to the cheek, and then another to the temple to nearly drop Miranda in the corner. Miranda fired a left off the ropes and kept his feet into the bell.
Both men were firing hard at close quarters early in the second, Miranda grappling in close to try to put some weight on his man. It didn’t help, the greater speed of Mayol overwhelming him. A left to the jab to the face began the assault. Miranda covered up to block a right and left hook before two sizzling left uppercuts dropped Miranda at the midway point of the round.
Miranda made it to his feet again, taking the mandatory eight in the corner and charging forward. A shove sent Miranda to the floor again in the last minute and the referee correctly ruled no knockdown. In the closing seconds, Miranda landed a big right and Mayol quickly tied up to freeze further offense.
Willing to absorb blows in the hope he could land something to reverse the tide, Miranda was stunned twice in the first minute of round three by hard salvos from Mayol. Miranda kept his feet and dug to the body from outside and in the clinches, eating a massive left hand from Mayol late and still coming forward.
The snap in Mayol’s shots waned in round four as Miranda hit whatever he could get a glove on. Mayol’s mouth was open as seconds ticked by but he kept Miranda honest by continuing to fire and answering body shots when they tied up. Miranda’s efforts sent him to the floor at the bell, tripping himself with a wild left hand swing.
The next time Miranda hit the floor it was courtesy of a Mayol right hand along the ropes in the first minute of round five. A body shot nearly sent Miranda through the ropes and a right to the face sent Miranda reeling to his left. Miranda’s glove touched the canvas and the referee tolled another mandatory eight. Mayol, fighting at a more measured pace, appeared to have his wind back in order.
Jabbing, moving, and blocking, Mayol contained Miranda in the sixth. A right hand and left uppercut rocked Miranda at mid-ring. In the final minute, Miranda was hurt with a right to the body along the ropes.
Mayol landed a head snapping right early in the seventh but the battle quickly went inside and stayed there for most of the round. It was grueling stuff as both men leaned, shouldered, and dug to the body. As he had most of the night, Mayol stayed a step ahead in terms of clean shots.
A body combination from Mayol had Miranda backpedaling and sucking air in the second minute of round eight. Miranda’s movement kept him from further punishment, the Mexican collecting himself for a series of desperation bombs in the final minute of the round. Most missed wildly, lefts and rights, Mayol able to see them coming. Mayol was warned late in the round for hitting on the break.
A body combination was finished with a clean left by Mayol in the first thirty seconds of round nine. Miranda just didn’t have the snap on his shots to change what appeared an imminent fate and was lucky not to have another knockdown ruled against him just before the bell as a Mayol shot had his glove scraping the floor again.
A break was called early in the tenth and final round to fix loose tape on the glove of Mayol. Both men surely welcomed a few extra seconds of rest in their tough, if one-sided, battle. Miranda, game, stayed on top of Mayol in hopes of an answered prayer. To his chagrin, the Lord appeared content to watch Mayol land a few more sweeping lefts before using wise clinches down the stretch to secure certain victory.
Mayol’s big win came in at scores of 100-87, 99-90, and 97-91. Mayol came into the bout rated #9 by the WBC at 108 lbs. and #12 by the IBF at 112 lbs. and picks up his fifth straight win since losing his title to Omar Nino in June 2010.
Miranda, who entered the bout rated #4 by the WBA and #3 by the WBO at 112 lbs. finds defeat for the first time in three fights since his title loss to Viloria in July 2011.
Bantamweight: Gabutan Singwancha (18-1-2, 8 KO) UD12 Dado Cabintoy (9-3-2, 4 KO)
Bantamweight: Robert Udtuhan (17-1-2, 13 KO) D12 Alvin Makoling (9-4-2, 2 KO)
The card was televised in the U.S. on pay-per-view and webcast by Integrated Sports Management, promoted by Solar Sports.
Cliff Rold is a member of the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]