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.
By Francisco Salazar