MANILA, Philippines - Brian Viloria yesterday proved that there’s still a lot more left in him when he knocked out Mexico’s Hernan “Tyson” Marquez at the Los Angeles Sports Arena yesterday.
Viloria floored Marquez three times, in the first, fifth and 10th rounds, en route to the sensational stoppage that gave him the WBO and WBA flyweight titles.
The victory cemented Viloria’s place in boxing history, and regardless of what happens next, he will be forever remembered as a great champion.
Bigger fights will come his way.
Viloria improved to 32-3 (19 KOs) while Marquez, who previously lost to Filipinos Nonito Donaire Jr. and Richie Mepranum, dropped to 33-3 (25 KOs).
The Filipino-American, who’s turning 32 in six days, came out swinging. He went to the body right in the opening minute of the bout and was rewarded early.
A right to the jaw sent Marquez down in the closing seconds of the first round. Though he managed to get up, Viloria was able to send the message right away.
Marquez tried hard to fight back and in the fifth round he got Viloria in trouble. Many felt Viloria was ready to go until he connected with a right that floored the Mexican anew.
The two warriors fought toe-to-toe in the fifth round, and if there is such a thing as the “Round of the Year” it would have been the clear winner.
With the two knockdowns on his card, Viloria hiked his lead, and by that time all he needed to win the bout was to stay on his feet until the final bell.
But Viloria was in no mood to dance the night away, slugging it out with the Mexican warrior who knew he needed a knockout to steal the win.
In the 10th round, Marquez must have felt that Viloria was running out of gas. He pressed the attack and looked to land the big one.
Instead, he took a big left hook. Marquez went down for the third – and last – time.
The 24-year-old Mexican got up on wobbly legs, and his trainer, Robert Garcia, threw in the towel with 1:01 left in the round. Then the celebration began in the Viloria corner.
“I’m too fast for Marquez,” said Viloria.
Just days ago, Viloria talked about the importance of the fight and hinted that it could be his last as a champion. He knew Marquez was out to finish him off.
“There’s nothing for me if I don’t win this fight,” said Viloria, who now has racked up six straight victories, four by knockout, since losing to Carlos Tamara in 2010.
Garcia is Viloria’s former trainer, and this time he was on the other corner.
Viloria said there’s nothing personal about it but added that he had to prove something. He trained long and hard under Ruben Gomez and Marvin Somodio, and got help from Freddie Roach.
“It’s part of the game. Fighters change coaches all the time,” said Viloria, who trained at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.
“I’m a different fighter now from two years ago when I still had Robert Garcia as my trainer. If he thinks he knows some of my weaknesses, I think I’ve corrected those weaknesses,” he said.
It was the “Hawaiian Punch” at his best.