By Francisco Salazar
There is no questioning the talent that Brian Viloria has possessed since turning pro over 11 years ago. And there is no question that Viloria has underachieved in a few fights throughout his career.
His flyweight unification bout against Hernan Marquez on Saturday night at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles was a microcosm of his career. There were times in the scheduled 12 round fight where Viloria looked as though he was in danger of going down.
However, Viloria was able to overcome the obstacles that Marquez put in front of him, the same way Viloria was able to overcome previous challenges in big fights throughout his career.
Viloria dropped the hard-hitting Mexican three times in route to a 10th round stoppage victory before a vocal crowd of about 3,200 at the arena located just south of downtown Los Angeles.
The Viloria-Marquez fight headlined a nine-bout card, presented by Zanfer Promotions in association with Top Rank.
Viloria had entered his bout against Marquez having won five bouts in a row since a disappointing 10th round technical knockout to Carlos Tamara in January of 2010. Amongst his victories during his winning streak was a eighth round technical knockout in December.
Those in boxing wondered if Viloria would able to withstand the hard-hitting, aggressive style of Marquez, who had won seven bouts in a row since being stopped by Nonito Donaire in July of 2010.
The highly-anticipated fight between Viloria-Marquez brought about a fighter that showed the brilliance he once displayed in a dominating fashion.
Marquez came on aggressively from the opening bell, placing Viloria on the defensive. However, prior to the bell ringing to end the first round, Viloria landed a left hook to the head that dropped Marquez to the canvas. Marquez was able to get up and was saved by the bell. The knockdown seemed to affect Marquez in the rounds that followed. Marquez backed up, while Viloria let his hands go, beating him to the punch.
In a wild fifth round, Marquez was able to momentarily stun Viloria with a combination. However, Viloria withstood that assault to drop Marquez with a left-right combination to the head. Marquez stood up on wobbly legs and was barely able to make it out of the round.
Marquez made some adjustments in the seventh and eighth rounds, pressing the fight instead of backing up. He would find success landing punches to the head of Viloria with left hands and landing more to the body.
However, Viloria swung the fight in his favor for good in the 10th round, dropping Marquez with a left hook to the head. Marquez got up on wobbly legs, prompting Viloria to go in for the kill. Viloria never got that opportunity as trainer Robert Garcia acknowledged to referee David Mendoza to stop the fight at 1:01 to save his fighter from further punishment.
Viloria, from Waipahu, HI, improves to 32-3, 19 KOs. Marquez, from Empalme, Sonora, Mexico, drops to 34-3, 25 KOs. With the victory, Viloria successfully defended his WBO flyweight and captured Marquez’s WBA flyweight title.
Gonzalez wins tough battle over Estrada
Unbeaten Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez won a hard-fought 12 round unanimous decision over Juan Francisco Estrada. With the victory, Gonzalez successfully defended his WBA light flyweight world title.
Gonzalez was victorious over two months ago on October 6th, stopping previously-unbeaten Stiven Monterrosa in the third of a scheduled 10 round non-title bout. The little-known Estrada, who was ranked #15 by the WBA despite not having fought a legitimate contender, stopped German Meraz in the ninth round in his last fight on August 24th.
Gonzalez was effective at beating Estrada to the punch in the first three rounds with effective combinations to the head and body. Gonzalez continuously landed right hands to the head and left hooks to the body of Estrada.
However, Estrada stopped the flow of sorts in the fourth round, countering and landing punches flush to the head of Gonzalez. Even though Gonzalez would land, Estrada was undaunted by the pressure Gonzalez applied, even beating him to the punch at times.
Gonzalez, originally from Managua, Nicaragua, controlled the middle rounds, backing Estrada up to the delight of the hundreds of Nicaraguan fans in attendance. Estrada was able to rally in the eighth round, again countering well to the head of Gonzalez.
Even as Gonzalez controlled the ninth and 10th rounds ad sensing he was down on the scorecards, Estrada launched an aggressive attack in the championship rounds. Estrada was able to win a lot of the exchanges in these rounds, at times backing Gonzalez up. However, the 12th round showcased both fighters landing hard combinations to the head and body, enough to bring the crowd on their feet until the final bell sounded.
One judge scored the bout 118-110, while the other two judges, and Boxingscene.com, scored the bout 116-112, all for Gonzalez, who improved to 34-0, 28 KOs. Estrada, from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, falls to 22-2, 18 KOs.
Francisco stops Gallo in 6
Super bantamweight Drian Francisco stopped Javier Gallo in the fifth round of a scheduled eight round bout.
The southpaw Francisco was effective with his awkward style, outlanding Gallo to the head. He was especially effective landing counter left uppercuts to the head of Gallo. Although Gallo landed right hands to the head of Francisco, his punch output dropped due to the Filipino fighter attacking his body. In the fifth round, Francisco aggressively attacked Gallo, hurting him to the body with hooks and left hands. After Gallo staggered backwards after a series body punches by Francisco, referee Dr. Lou Moret stepped in and stopped the fight at 2:54.
Francisco, from Agoncillo, the Philippines, improves to 24-1-1, 19 KOs. Gallo, from Buena Park, CA by way of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, falls to 18-6-1, 10 KOs.
Garcia too much for Narvaez
Welterweight prospect Rodrigo Garcia stopped Octavio Narvaez in the second round of a scheduled six round bout.
The taller and stronger Garcia (12-0, 7 KOs) rained down punches onto the stockier Narvaez, who tried to get on the inside. In the second round, Garcia landed four right hands in succession to the head of Narvaez (7-13-1, 4 KOs), dropping him to the canvas. Referee Dr. Lou Moret immediately stepped in and stopped the bout at 1:54.
Garcia, from Santa Ana, CA, goes to 12-0, 7 KOs. The Nicaragua-born Narvaez, who lives in Los Angeles, CA, drops to 7-13-1, 4 KOs.
Ruiz gets by tough Flores
Welterweight Andy Ruiz won a hard-fought four round unanimous decision over Rufino Flores.
Ruiz, who is trained by Robert Garcia, was quicker to the punch in the first round, but was momentarily stunned by Flores in the second. The 19 year old Ruiz was able to control the tempo in the last two rounds by landing hard right hands to the head of Flores. All three judges scored the fight in favor of Ruiz, 39-37, 39-37, and 40-36.
Ruiz, from Oxnard, CA, goes to 4-0, 2 KOs. Flores, from Los Angeles, CA, falls to 2-5, 2 KOs.
Bantamweight Hanzel Martinez (20-0, 16 KOs) of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, won an eight round unanimous decision over Alejandro Moreno. One judge scored the bout 80-72, while the other two judges, including Boxingscene.com, scored the bout 79-73 in favor of Martinez, who is trained by Robert Garcia. Moreno, who hails from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, drops to 24-30-3, 11 KOs.
Lightweight Jessie Roman (13-0, 8 KOs) of Santa Ana, CA won a six round unanimous decision over Angel Rios (9-16, 6 KOs). All three judges, along with Boxingscene.com, scored the bout 60-54 in favor of Roman.
Featherweight Gabino Saenz (8-0-1, 6 KOs) of Indio, CA stopped overmatched Uriel Torres in the second round of a scheduled four round bout. Saenz used more strength than skill in dropping Torres at the end of the first round. A wild, but hard right hand dropped Torres at the beginning of the second round. Although Torres got up and tried to fight back, his corner saw enough and the fight was waved off at 33 seconds. Torres, from Huntington Park, CA, drops to 1-2.
Bantamweight Edgar Valerio (2-0, 2 KOs) scored a second round knockout over Anthony Briones in a scheduled four round bout. After a Valerio combination dropped Briones to the canvas, Briones remained on one knee while he watched referee Dr. Lou Moret counted him out at 43 seconds. Briones, from Hemet, CA, falls to 0-2.
- With Viloria and Gonzalez winning their respective bouts, a potential clash could happen between the two. Gonzalez stated in the buildup to Saturday’s fight that he wanted to fight the winner of Viloria-Marquez.
- This was the first fight card at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles in over five years. Boxing will return to the venue, which opened in 1959, on December 15th when Amir Khan faces off against Carlos Molina.
- Super welterweight contender Alfredo Angulo and former welterweight world title holder Antonio Margarito watched the action from ringside. Former world champions Larry Holmes, Julio Cesar Chavez, and Marco Antonio Barrera were at ringside calling the action as analysts for television.
- The fight card was televised live on Wealth TV and Azteca America.
- Ring announcer during the televised portion of the card was Jimmy Lennon Jr. Michael Vale and Hector Duarte shared the ring announcing duties during the non-televised portion of the card.