By Jake Donovan
The up and down career of Brian Viloria remains on the rise for the moment, thanks to an impressive eighth round stoppage over Giovani Segura in their alphabet flyweight title fight Sunday morning (local time) at Yñares Sports Arena in Pasig City, Philippines.
The official time was 0:21 of the eighth round.
Segura came out aggressive (does he know any other way?) in the opening round, taking advantage of Viloria’s lazy jab. Still, it was the defending titlist who enjoyed the round’s best moment, connecting with a left hook that briefly shook his challenger. Segura was unable to respond, save for a very low blow to towards the end of the round.
The crowd rallied behind Viloria – Hawaiian born, but of Filipino descent – in what turned out to be a huge round. Segura had early success, but was slowed down by a steady body that left him winded by rounds end, and left with blood streaming from his right eye due to right hands scored upstairs by Viloria.
Viloria’s left eye began to swell in the third, but continued to do damage downstairs. Segura was slowly punching his way back into the fight, but was a bit out of control whenever throwing upstairs. That changed in the fourth, when the American-based Mexican worked his way inside, negating Viloria’s advantages and turning the fight into a grind-‘em out brawl.
Segura’s body attack allowed the former lineal junior flyweight king to get back into the fight in the fifth round, constantly pressuring Viloria. His right hooks upstairs were wild, winging shots that never came close to landing, but was able to control most the action whenever he was able to keep it in a phone booth. Viloria enjoyed a late surge in the final minute, though not enough to take the round.
Chants of “Vi-lo-ria” filled the arena in the sixth, a round that was filled with two-way action. Viloria’s success came in the role of counter puncher, though a dangerous position to play as it meant allowing Segura to get off first and continue to dig to the body. His mode of attack changed for the better in the seventh, scoring right hands from the outside to prevent Segura from getting his punches off.
A bizarre sequence of events took place prior to the eighth round. With his right eye now swollen shut, Segura was prepared to go out to battle before being confused by referee Samuel Viruet’s waving his arms to suggest the end of the fight. The Viloria corner began to celebrate before the third man decided to let the round begin and the fight continue.
Viloria’s celebration would begin soon enough. The two-division champion immediately attacked, backing up Segura until the referee jumped in to finally wave off the fight for good.
Segura didn’t protest the stoppage, at least not visibly, as he was feeling his right eye with his glove while Viloria’s corner partied it up across the ring.
The win is the fourth straight for Viloria, who improves to 30-3 (17KO). The last remaining hope of the 2000 U.S. Olympic boxing squad, Viloria makes the first defense of the alphabet title he picked up earlier this summer with a decision win over Julio Cesar Miranda in his native Hawaii.
Segura falls to 28-2-1 (25KO) with the loss, as he was stopped for the first time in his career. The former junior flyweight king had won nine straight dating back to March ’09, but took a chance in vacating his 108 lb. crown and now heads back to his California home empty handed.
Featherweight contender Martin Honorio boxed his way to a decision win over Fahsai Sakkraeerin in the evening’s co-feature. Scores were
Honorio was in complete control in a bout that wasn’t aesthetically pleasing, but proved effective for the Mexican veteran. Sakkreerim was aggressive, but fell into the traps set by a counter punching Honorio, who scored with his right hand throughout the bout.
Both fighters shifted gears later in the fight. Honorio found himself along the ropes on several occasions, though was able to fight his way out by attacking the body.
The win marks three straight for Honorio, who improves to 32-6-1 (16KO). The win puts him in contention for a future title shot at Juan Carlos Salgado (who was fighting in Mexico as this went to publish), but getting to that point might require a rematch with Argenis Mendez, againt whom he dropped a narrow decision in May ’10.
Sakkreerim snaps a two-year, 12-fight winning streak with the loss as he falls to 36-3 (20KO).
In a major upset, Ardin Diale scored a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Lolito Sonsona. Scores were 98-92 across the board in the flyweight preliminary bout.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]