By Jake Donovan
It always sounds like just another excuse whenever a fighter rationalizes a losing effort with reasons other than the possibility that he just faced a better opponent that evening.
There’s no guarantee that Juan Francisco Estrada beats Roman ‘Chocolatito’ under better circumstances than which the two fought in their terrific slugfest last November. But he perhaps has a point when he suggests a stronger version awaits Brian Viloria this weekend in Macau, China.
“I feel very good about this fight against Brian Viloria, since it at the flyweight division,” insists Estrada (22-2, 18KO). The title bout – which airs live on HBO2 (Saturday, 2PM ET) – marks his second straight crack at alphabet glory after falling short against Gonzalez in Los Angeles last year.
Viloria unified two flyweight belts on the same show, knocking out Hernan ‘Tyson’ Marquez in an equally thrilling brawl in the evening’s main event.
His effort drew rave reviews, delivering a Herculean effort against an undefeated 108 lb. titlist many have previously suggested as invincible. The fight was Estrada’s first ever below the flyweight limit, having campaigned as high as bantamweight during his a career just 4 ½ years young.
A week away from turning just 23 years old, Estrada is still growing into his frame. He believes for the moment that he will be right at home at his natural flyweight limit against the streaking unified titlist.
“I will fight with a lot of heart. I was ready for the fight with Roman Gonzalez, but it was at 108 lb. I am ready to conquer the flyweight division. I will leave my heart in the ring like always, and I am looking forward to this Saturday.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox