By Dennis Principe
The Hawaiian Punch Brian Viloria is not bothered by the recent accolade that was given to his upcoming opponent Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez of Nicaragua.
The 28-year-old Gonzalez was named by The Ring Magazine, USA Today and ESPN.com as boxing’s new pound-for-pound king as soon as it was relinquished by the now retired Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
The undefeated Gonzalez (43-0, 37 knockouts) will stake his reputation and his World Boxing Council (WBC) flyweight belt against Viloria in a 12-round title fight Saturday at the Madison Square Garden in New York.
“I’m just taking it as an opportunity to get back on top of the mountain. Chocolatito has done so much not only for our weight division but also for the sport of boxing and I give him that credit,” said Viloria “But I think it’s time for me to step up to the plate and try to get the title away. It’s going to be a tough battle but I trained really hard for this fight.”
The 34-year-old Viloria (36-4, 22 KO’s) said his team focused on improving on his stamina, something which bothered him in most of his marquee fights.
“I did some mistakes of holding back in the later rounds but right now in this fight I think I just have to try to let everything go from the start until the end of the bell. I have to keep myself in shape to be able to go full 12-rounds without having to slow down,” said Viloria.
Viloria’s title challenge opposite Gonzalez has been touted as a potential Fight of the Year candidate and could steal the thunder from the main eventers of the card where middleweight sensation Gennady Golovkin of Kazakhstan will try to unify the division by facing fellow champion David Lemieux of Canada.
“I’m just focus on the task and not to worry about all of that talk. My main focus is to try to take down the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world. I have enough motivation for me to keep myself focused and get ready to fight,” said Viloria.