Interview with Flyweight Champion "The Hawaiian Punch" Brian Viloria

boxingPhotos/Interview by Ricardo Conde - Two time world champion ďThe Hawaiian PunchĒ Brian Viloria (25-2, 15KOs) of Waipahu, Hawaii will step back into the ring on August 29th at the Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, Hawaii to defend his IBF title for the first time against Jesus Iribe (15-5, 9KOs).

Viloria resuscitated his career after a stunning knockout in the 11th round of then IBF light flyweight champion Ulises ďArchieĒ Solis (28-2-2, 20KOs) this past April at the Araneta Coliseum in the Philippines, site of Thrila in Manila.

We had a moment to sit down and talk to Viloria as he prepares for his upcoming bout, hereís what he had to say:

Q: Youíre currently preparing for your next fight, which will be against Jesus Iribe, what do you know about your opponent and have you seen video of his fights and do you normally watch video of any of your opponents?

A: Iíve seen his fights, heís quick handed. I think he likes to fight from the outside, I donít think he likes to tangle it up in the middle, so Iím just going to have to put a lot of pressure on him and put my combinations together and I should be able to break him down that way and hopefully everything goes well and I expect a great fight from him.

Q: How is training camp going?

A: Camp has been great, two and a half months of training. Iím ready to go, Iím really excited and just anxious to get to Hawaii and get this fight started. Training has always been great ever since I started with Robert Garcia about a year and a half ago.

Letís talk a little bit about your last fight.

Q: In your last outing you were able to stop Solis in the 11th round, was he the best opponent you have faced to date and whatís your opinion of him as a fighter?

A: I think it was a marquee fight in my career. Hands down itís been one of the best fights that Iíve been in stylistically and just overall my ability to assert myself in that fight was the best Iíve been in any of my fights since I started my boxing career. It was my best performance and the way I prepared for that fight was one of the best training camps Iíve had. I just have to carry that on to my next fight and the rest of my title defenses.

Q: What kind of statement were you looking to make in your fight with Solis, were you looking for the knockout?

A: I wasnít looking for the knockout. I was just trying to win every round, just took it one round at a time not looking for the knockout. My style is like that, I just know how to go twelve rounds and win every round and if a knockout presents itself then I should be in position to take that knockout. I was expecting it to go twelve hard rounds.

Q: Going into the fight with Solis you were considered the underdog, most boxing observers considered him the higher caliber fighter, how did you feel about that going into the fight?

A: Well a lot of people had faith in me. I was a fighter that came out of the amateurs into the pro ranks and everyone saw me as the guy to beat but after my lackluster fights a couple years ago with Sosa and Nino that kind of dropped my stock a little but going into the fight I thought I was the better man. I watched tape of him and I thought I had what it took to beat Solis and I just had to bring that out of myself in the preparation and training camp. It was great for me to show case my talents in Manila. I thought and my trainer thought we had what it took to beat Solis and we proved it.

Q: With your stoppage of Ulises Solis, you are now ranked # 1 in the world in the light flyweight division, how does that make you feel?

A: It feels great to be back on top especially after losing my first world title and to have to climb back up and start from scratch and fight in obscure places. It feels great, I felt the highs and lows of the sport and Iíd rather be back on top. Now Iím just training hard to stay up there to continue what Iím doing.

Q: Should you get past Iribe would you like a unification bout with any of the other champions, Calderon, Sosa?

A: Weíre talking about a unification bout with Ivan Calderon but the fight I really want to get into is a fight with Edgar Sosa. We called him out but heís been trying to dodge the other world champions. A unification bout with Ivan Calderon would be great, hopefully everything goes good in his bout and my bout and maybe we can do a unification bout.

Q: What is your opinion of the current light flyweight division?

A: Itís really stacked; there are a lot of talented guys in this division. Some moving up to flyweight and maybe I can catch some great fights in this division then move up to flyweight.

Q: Name one or two fighters youíd like to face in the near future?

A: Edgar Sosa is one and Ivan Calderon is another. Thereís a lot of talk about a rematch with Solis but I donít see any reason for us to get back in the ring.

Q: What are your goals for the rest of the year?

A: Just continue doing what Iím doing, train hard, and defend my world title. Just focusing on the next bout and weíll see after that, really just working hard to go into next year still the world champion.

Q: Is there anything you would like to tell your fans?

A: Iíd like to say thank you for all your support that youíve given me through out the year and my career, through my ups and downs. Hopefully you guys can come out to watch my next fight or any other fight that will be near or in your hometown.

Brian Viloria is trained by former IBF Jr. Lightweight champion Robert Garcia

Article posted on 22.08.2009

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