By Cliff Rold
When he lost his first belt to Omar Nino, it was hard to imagine Brian Viloria would eventually win titles the most times of his 2000 U.S. Olympic team brethren. At just two, he is now also to date a titlist in more divisions than anyone on that squad. Nino? Try even pondering Viloria ever racking up a quality win again after a stoppage loss to the tough, but limited, Carlos Tamara in 2010.
Saturday night, Viloria added a 112 lb. belt to his pair of diadems at 108, a third major title at age 30 when most had written him off. Not having had the chance to see the contest as yet, it must be noted that early reports indicate initially mis-reported scores (later corrected) and, while Viloria scored an early knockdown on a body shot, the reports indicate a string second half for now former-WBO titlist Julio Cesar Miranda.
Two of the scores were very close for Viloria. One was wide. There isn’t much controversy cycling, but 117-111 in a close-sounding fight is worth a raised eyebrow given recent events (not just Lara-Williams either).
It doesn’t take away from what Viloria got done. His resilience is remarkable. Viloria, who many thought might just be the next Michael Carbajal during his early pro career, never quite met the billing. He’s still had a laudable career with the cherry just placed on the sundae. The Tamara loss was tough.
The Miranda win is vindicating.
It’s also a win for the Flyweight class. Viloria is as close as Flyweight gets to a star in the U.S. With Jr. Flyweight king Giovanni Segura now up a class, and a thrilling new beltholder in WBA titlist Tyson Marquez, 112 lbs. can be a place for fights people want to see for at least a moment. Viloria can cash in.
So can fight fans.
Cruiserweight: With his latest win, Marco Huck does not rise at 200 lbs. but makes apparent something that has been true a long time: he deserves a chance to avenge the only loss of his career to Steve Cunningham. Fans deserve to see the two best Cruiserweights lock horns. Cunningham-Huck II is overdue.
Jr. Middleweight: Pawel Wolak-Delvin Rodriguez was a genuine treat for the fans and Rodriguez is awarded for the rousing draw by joining Wolak in the top ten. Kermit Cintron slips out to make room, joining Austin Trout on the list of guys who could easily be in the 154 lb. top ten.
Lightweight: Juan Manuel Marquez took care of business, quickly, and cleared his way to the Manny Pacquiao fight in November. Chapter III doesn’t look like it will be the best of their rivalry. Let’s dare them to surprise us.
Flyweight: Viloria rises but Miranda, who had been on a healthy streak, doesn’t fall far.
These results and more are reflected a page away.
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Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org