By Jake Donovan
The officials have been announced for Saturday's flyweight alphabet unification bout between Brian Viloria and Hernan 'Tyson' Marquez at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles.
Referee David Mendoza of California has been tabbed as third man for the 12-round title tilt, which airs live on Wealth TV. The three ringside judges will be Levi Martinez, Jonathan Davis and David Denkin, all from the United States.
Mendoza - a 12-year veteran official - has officiated hundreds of bouts, but has limited experience at the championship level. His most recent title fight assignment came in June, when Leo Santa Cruz won a vacant bantamweight belt against Vusi Malinga.
One title fight which sticks out is his handling of Tim Bradley's super lightweight title defense against Nate Campbell in Aug. '09. Bradley was originally awarded a TKO victory when Campbell was forced to quit after three rounds due to a severe cut over his left eye. Mendoza acknowledged the frequent headbutts which took place, but also ruled that the cut was caused by a punch in ruling it a TKO.
The official decision was overturned a month later upon successful appeal from the Campbell camp, with the fight changed to a no-contest.
Other notable assignments for Mendoza include last summer's lightweight title fight between Brandon Rios and Urbano Antillon; Vic Darchinyan's knockout win over Diosdadi Gabo in a flyweight title defense in March '06; and Shane Mosley's dramatic last second 12th round knockout over Ricardo Mayorga in their Sept. '08 non-title fight.
Viloria (31-3, 18KO) makes the third defense of the WBO strap he acquired in July '11, outpointing Julio Cesar Miranda in his birth state of Hawaii. Both of Viloria's previous title defenses came in the Philippines, scoring knockout wins over Giovani Segura to cap a stellar 2011 campaign and Omar Nino Romero earlier this year to avenge an upset loss and draw, both occurring in 2006.
Saturday's bout marks his first fight in Los Angeles in four years for Viloria, who trains out of the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood.
Marquez (34-2, 25KO) entered the title picture in highlight reel fashion. The diminutive southpaw recovered from an early knockdown to score three of his own in stopping Luis Concepcion in a Fight of the Year contender last April. He has since fought four times, though only making two official defenses, including a 1st round knockout of Concepcion in their rematch last October.
Both of Marquez' fights in 2012 came in non-title bouts. A revenge-fueled win over Richie Merpranum was downgraded to a 10-round bout when Merpranum - who handed Marquez his first career loss more than two years ago - came in above the limit. Marquez scored two knockdowns en route to a wide decision win.
His most recent fight featured a more sluggish version of the fiery Mexican warrior, struggling to a majority decision over Fernando Lumacad this past July.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox