By Dennis Principe
HAWAIIAN Punch Brian Viloria wants to prove he still has the desire to be an elite fighter.
A former two-division world champion, Viloria will be meeting one-time world title challenger Jose Afredo Zuniga of Mexico in a 10-round non-title fight to be held Saturday night at the Venetian Hotel’s Cotai Arena in Macau.
After losing his WBA and WBO flyweight belts to another Mexican Juan Francisco Estrada April of last year also in Macau, Viloria has tallied one victory by scoring an uninspiring 10-round decision win over Juan Herrera of Colombia last March in Las Vegas.
“In my last fight I think I disappointed myself. Laid off the pedal a little too much after the last few rounds. I knew I got that in the bag I just needed to follow through,” said Viloria ”It’s just that understanding that you have what it takes and you really haven’t performed to the best of your ability.”
The 25-year-old Zuniga (11-5-1, 5 knockouts) seems to be the kind of fighter Viloria needs to fight as the Mexican is coming off a disputable 12-round majority decision loss to Peruvian Alberto Rossel in a battle for the interim WBA light flyweight crown held September of 2013 in Lima, Peru.
“I really want to get back in there and show to everybody that I still have that fire, the passion the drive to continue to become a world champion,” said Viloria.
Beyond the Zuniga fight, Viloria is hoping to get a chance to regain the belts he lost to Estrada.
“It’s something I’ve aimed at even during the start of the year. We tried to contact them but they turned down our offers every time,” revealed Viloria” I have to be patient in order for me to go after him. Hopefully our road will cross again. I can’t really force everything on their end.”
Viloria’s bout opposite Zuniga will serve as the undercard of main eventer Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba who will stake his WBA and WBO superbantamweight crown against Sod Kokietgym of Thailand.
Also featured in the card promoted by Top Rank, Inc. is Chinese hope Zou Shiming who will be entering his his first-ever 10-round bout against Colombian Luis De la Rosa.