Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Brian Viloria-Juan Francisco Estrada: Pre-Fight Report Card

by Cliff Rold

Sometimes, you can win for losing.

Last November marked one of the most anticipated Flyweight clashes in the U.S. since the heyday of Michael Carbajal.  Former Olympian Brian Viloria was set for a main event unification clash with Tyson Marquez.  As the narrative went, superlative Jr. Flyweight titlist Roman Gonzalez would be featured on the undercard.

Gonzalez has become, for the most part, that automatic at the lower ranks.  One just sort of assumes that when he’s facing a generally anonymous opponent, he’s going to whack them out sooner or later. 

Juan Francisco Estrada was a generally anonymous opponent.

Little seen outside of his native Mexico, he had a nice record but little of real quality on it.  He didn’t appear to belong in the ring with Gonzalez…until the bell rang.  In a fight that ended up stealing the show from the anticipated main event, Estrada came up short but gave Gonzalez everything he could handle and gave the fans a candidate for Fight of the Year.

There are those who would like to see Viloria-Gonzalez.  It wasn’t going to come as part of the suddenly very interesting global spectacle that is the debut of Zou Shiming (HBO2, Saturday, 2 PM EST).  Instead we get the best sort of comparison-shopping, boxing style.  Estrada, the man who gave Gonzalez hell, gets rewarded for his efforts.  Viloria will be fighting not just to win but, one would think, to prime the pump and further imaginations about a future clash with a looming rival.  

Let’s go to the report card.

The Ledgers

Brian Viloria 

Age: 32
Titles: WBO Flyweight (2011-Present, 3 Defenses); WBA “Super” Flyweight (2012-Present, 1st Attempted Defense)
Previous Titles: WBC Light Flyweight (2005-06, 1 Defense); IBF Light Flyweight (2009-10, 1 Defense)
Height: 5’4
Weight: 111.2 lbs.
Hails from: Waipahu, Hawaii
Record: 32-3, 19 KO, 1 KOBY, 2 No Contests
Rankings: #1 (BoxingScene, Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, ESPN, Ring, SecondsOut, BoxRec)
Record in Title Fights: 8-3, 5 KO, 1 KOBY
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced: 10 (Gilberto Keb Baas KO11; Eric Ortiz KO1; Jose Antonio Aguirre UD12; Omar Nino L12, NC12, TKO9; Edgar Sosa L12; Ulises Solis KO11; Carlos Tamara TKO by 12; Julio Cesar Miranda UD12; Giovanni Segura TKO8; Tyson Marquez TKO10)

Vs.

Juan Francisco Estrada
Age: 22
Titles/Previous Titles: None
Height: 5’4
Weight: 112 lbs.
Hails from: Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
Record: 22-2, 18 KO
Rankings: #10 at 108 lbs. (BoxingScene, TBRB)
Record in Title Fights: 0-1
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced: 2 (Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr. L8; Roman Gonzalez L12)
 
Grades
Pre-Fight: Speed – Viloria B+; Estrada B+
Pre-Fight: Power – Viloria A; Estrada B+
Pre-Fight: Defense – Viloria B; Estrada B-
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Viloria A; Estrada A

As much as one has to like the story of Estrada making a name for himself to get a fight like this, the story of Viloria is a roller coaster.  He’s been up and down since the amateurs, currently riding the best wave of his paid tenure.  Viloria’s rebound since the loss to Tamara has been a lot like the rebound of Wladimir Klitschko at Heavyweight after his loss to Lamon Brewster.  Klitschko’s ride has been longer.  Viloria may have had the better opponents.

He damn sure makes the better fights. 

They each end up with some concussive results. 

Viloria, early in his career, often handcuffed himself waiting for openings.  He’s still not punch crazy in there, but he has a scary calm.  He waits, but he punches at the right times now.  Marquez, in his last fight, found out all about it.  In the spots where he rocked Viloria, he found the cagey veteran even more dangerous.  Few can let loose lethal, short power shots the way Viloria can.  He obliterated the wild swinging Segura by consistently beating him to the punch.

He has mastered the art of being Brian Viloria.

At 32, and as a Flyweight, how long that counts remains to be seen.  Estrada might be just the guy to end his career renaissance. 

Estrada was a revelation against Gonzalez.  He showed quickness, pop, and technique.  He was sometimes too wide with his shots, especially as he fatigued.  What he lacked in finesse he often made up for with energy. 

The problem is we still don’t know what the Gonzalez fight really said.  Was it just a case where a young fighter gets a shot and falls short with a hell of an effort?  Or was it the beginning of a real force in the lower classes just getting his sea legs?  Gonzalez was a huge leap in class for Estrada and he kept pace.  Larry Merchant often reminded not to overrate a fighter off of a loss.

Estrada doesn’t have any particular win to point to just yet.  That said, we know he can hang with a fighter many would pick to beat anyone from Flyweight down in Gonzalez.  We know in his first loss, to the current 115 lb. titlist Sanchez, he came off the floor early and returned the favor before coming up just shy.  One factor of interest: Estrada appears the taller man despite their listings.  He certainly has the longer arms.  If he can get his jab going, can he disrupt Viloria’s ability to set for counters?

We’ll know more once the action gets underway on Saturday.   
 
The Pick

‪This is a tough pick with reasons to like both men.  Estrada’s sheer energy level could cause Viloria problems if it doesn’t play into his hands.  Viloria does a good job of covering up and riding out assaults, and has become expert at finding holes while his opponents are throwing.  Estrada won’t have the element of surprise this time either.  Gonzalez might not have known what he was getting in Estrada.  Viloria does.  This could end up being a controversial decision by the end where volume offense is weighed against precision counters.  Given the chatter is already about Viloria-Gonzalez, and maybe even Viloria-Shiming down the road, it feels like Estrada might have to dish out a pretty thick beating to get the call.  Sticking with the more proven commodity, the choice is Viloria to win.  It should be a hell of a fight.

Report Card Picks 2013: 7-7

Cliff’s Notes…

Just as intriguing on Saturday afternoon’s show is the Jr. Lightweight belt action.  Roman Martinez (26-1-2, 16 KO) never makes bad fights and he might have a chip on his shoulder.  Many felt he deserved to lose his WBO belt last time out versus Juan Carlos Burgos.  Diego Magdaleno (23-0, 9 KO) has long had the look of a comer.  Saturday, he should finally come into his own and win his first major title.  

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Babalu11 on 04-06-2013

Gonzalez already won!!! I knew Estrada had a good chance, Viloria is a great fighter, but those wars could be catching up. I knew that a hungry 22 year old moving up in weight had all the chances for the…

Comment by Cubanstyle on 04-06-2013

[QUOTE=BIGPOPPAPUMP;13216776]by Cliff Rold - Sometimes, you can win for losing. Last November marked one of the most anticipated Flyweight clashes in the U.S. since the heyday of Michael Carbajal. Former Olympian Brian Viloria was set for a main event unification…

Comment by crold1 on 04-06-2013

Man, my picks total is suck this year so far but what a bunch of great fights we're getting. :)

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (3)
Top Headlines De La Hoya: Canelo Would Beat Mayweather 'Easy' in Rematch! Luke Campbell Hopes To Get a Crack at Mikey Garcia's Title Chavez: I've Fought Better Opponents Than Canelo, I Can't Lose! Angel Garcia and The New York State Athletic Commission Horn's Promoter Will Wait To See How Pacquiao-Khan Plays Out Sullivan Barrera Denies Receiving Contract For Beterbiev Fight Arum Skeptical of $38M Offer to Bring Pacquiao-Khan to the UAE Roy Jones Jr. Wants Anderson Silva on Mayweather-McGregor NSAC Director Doubts Canelo-Chavez "Bet" Will Push Through Pacquiao Announces He is Negotiating With Khan for Next Fight Photo: Dmitry Bivol vs. Robert Berridge – Official Weigh-In Sanchez Adjusts Golovkin's Sparring Schedule For Jacobs Fight Emmanuel Rodriguez-Omar Narvaez Moves To March 11 SHO Bill Photos: Deontay Wilder, Gerald Washington Open Workouts Haye Wants Steel Fence To Avoid Violent Bust-Up With Bellew Miguel Flores Makes No Excuses After TKO Loss To Dat Nguyen Canelo: Chavez Jr. Accepted Our Bet, He Better Honor It After Loss! Shannon Briggs vs. Fres Oquendo Deal is Reached Oner: Avni Yildirim Too Strong, Will Take Teeth of David Benavides Adrian Granados Will Be Back on Showtime, Says Manager Cautious Chavez Certain He’ll Make 164.5 for Canelo Fight Michael Perez vs. Marcelino Lopez Tops ESPN2 Bill on April 20 Broner-Granados Fight Peaked at 859,000 Viewers on Showtime Canelo Plans To Vacate WBO Title, Fight at 160 - After Chavez Bout Joe Gallagher: Liam Smith Expects Tough Fight With Williams Izu Ugonoh: I Have To Be at My Best To Beat Dominic Breazeale Chavez Expects to Enter Ring at 180; Canelo Not Concerned DiBella: Unlike Wilder-Wawrzyk, 'Nervous' About Wilder-Washington Chavez: Canelo Picked Me Over GGG For 'Easier Fight, More Money' Gavin McDonnell: I'll Do Whatever it Takes To Beat Rey Vargas Izu Ugonoh Aims To Make a Statement in Big Career Showcase Liam Williams on Liam Smith: This Is A Real Fight, It'll Be Good Cecilia Braekhus' Former Coach Ready To Help Svensson Win Angulo: Canelo Lacking The Heart and Balls To Face Golovkin Mayweather Sr: I Would Beat Conor McGregor's Ass - And I'm 63! Adam Bashanov Set To Turn Pro on Ceylan vs. Lowe Card WBA, AIBA Hold a Second Meeting in Taipei To Further Relations Jhonny Gonzalez Back on March 25, To Face Sergio Estrella Jarrett Hurd: I'm Turning A lot of Non-Believers into Believers Dat Nguyen Shocks Miguel Flores, Blasts Him Out in Six Rounds
Advertisement
Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement