Brian Viloria Set To Defend WBC Light Flyweight Title On OLN Tonight

10.08.06 - By Jacqui Snow: Bob Arum/Top Rank promised to use the OLN Fight Night (and the huge budget of $250,000 per episode) to introduce exciting young prospects who wouldn’t otherwise get a chance to showcase their skills. They certainly delivered on that promise with their debut show, featuring Kelly Pavlik in a TKO win over veteran Bronco McKart. This week they’ve done it again, as undefeated power-puncher Brian "Hawaiian Punch" Viloria (19-0, 12 KO's) defends his WBC Light Flyweight title against Omar Romero (23-2-1, 10 KO's)..

Hawaian-born Viloria spent his early childhood in the Philippines before heading back to his native state at the age of six. Only 19 years old when he represented the United States at the 2000 Olympics, he was already the most experienced boxer on the team, with a 24-5 amateur record, plus a world championship and Golden Gloves title to his name. However, Viloria exited the Games early after losing a controversial decision to France's Brahim Asloum.

Viloria later went on to become a star in the Phillipines when he won his WBC title with a sensational first-punch knockout of Eric Ortiz (24-4-1, 16 KO's) on the undercard of the September 2005 Manny Pacquiao/Hector Velazquez bout. Before his demolition of Ortiz, he'd taken on Ruben Contreras (9-16-3, 4 KO's), controlling the action and rocking Contreras a number of times before the referee stopped the fight in the 6th round. Contreras unfortunately suffered a seizure after the fight and required brain surgery because of intercranial bleeding.

Viloria defended his title this past February, scoring a 12 round unanimous decision against Jose Antonio Aguirre (33-4-1, 20 KO's). Despite injuring his power-punching right hand, he swept rounds 7-11 on all the scorecards to ultimately claim victory. Viloria and his trainer Freddy Roach claim that the right hand is now completely healed.

With his popular appeal, crowd-pleasing fighting style and—most importantly—the potential he brings for big-money fights, Brian Viloria has been compared to Michael Carbajal. The lighter weight classes have historically shown little financial success, but a victory by Viloria over Romero would set the stage for a series of pretty marketable bouts. Fan favorite Jorge Arce seems to be the front-runner for a potential Viloria fight, but Vic Darchinyan (26-0, 21KO's) is another name that's being thrown around. There's also the possibility that Viloria will graduate to flyweight and take on Thailand's Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (62-2, 32 KO's) for the WBC title. Any of these matchups has the potential for some intriguing and potentially explosive action.

Carlos Bojorquez (26-8-6, 22 KO’s) takes on Jose Luis Zertuche (18-2-2, 13 KO’s) in the undercard. Bojorquez’s original opponent, John Duddy (17-0, 15 KO’s), withdrew due to “heat prostration”, supposedly caused by the recent hot weather in New York where he was training.

Article posted on 10.08.2006

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