By Chris Robinson
There's a new face at the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy in Oxnard, California these days, as WBA flyweight champion Hernan 'Tyson' Marquez has enlisted the services of the respected trainer ahead of a crucial bout in his career.
On September 29th, Marquez will meet up with WBO champion Brian Viloria inside of the Home Depot Center in nearby Carson in a fight that is intriguing on many levels.
Written off by many in the sport following a January 2010 TKO loss to Carlos Tamara, Viloria (31-3, 18 KO's) has rejuvenated his career with a recent winning-streak and is coming off of a pair of commanding stoppage victories over Giovanni Segura this past December and Omar Nino Romero in May.
The 23-year old Marquez recognizes both the danger of Viloria as well as what this fight means to his blossoming career.
"He's been on a great winning streak," Marquez recently told me of Viloria, who has reeled off five straight victories. "He's had a couple of really good wins, but I feel ready and I feel that I'm ready to beat him.
"It's the most important fight of my career," Marquez would elaborate. "It's the fight that's going to take me to the next level. Either I go up to the next level or I stay where I am at."
The last time Marquez (34-2, 25 KO's) tasted defeat was in July of 2010 when he rose in weight to challenge Fil-Am star Nonito Donaire for the interim WBA super flyweight crown in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Marquez fought a spirited battle that evening but was ultimately outgunned and stopped in the eighth round.
Garcia was working the corner of Donaire that evening and he was so impressed by Marquez's effort that he told him that his doors to his gym were always open for him. Marquez never let that conversation with Garcia escape him and now, a few years later, he seems at home in his new facility.
"It's a complete change in my career," Marquez would say of working with the always-busy Garcia. "A change of trainer, change of team, change of a place to train. But it's all for good and I felt very comfortable right away. It's all for a good reason, to win the fight."
As far as what he learned during his tense battle with Donaire, Marquez insists that the loss was needed to give him a different perspective on how he approached the sport.
"It was a great experience to fight somebody like Nonito," Marquez added. "Sometimes you have to lose a fight to win and I think that's what happened. It was a learning experience not to move up and in weight and take fights that maybe you're not supposed to. Now, I've moved back down, became a world champion, and I'm continuing my career."
As for Donaire, he too is staring a dangerous challenge right in the eyes as he will meet former junior featherweight champion Toshiaki Nishioka inside of the Home Depot Center on October 13th in an HBO attraction.
Asked for his take on the fight, Marquez feels that Donaire, the IBF/WBO champion at 122 pounds, will have to be weary of Nishioka.
"I think it's a very close fight," stated Marquez. "It's a fight that could go either way. Nishioka is very experienced, has a great power punch. It's very interesting. Nonito's got to be in great shape for this fight."