News that our very own Brian Viloria (36-4 with 22 knockouts) and Roman Gonzalez (42-0 with 37 KOs) of Nicaragua will square off in the undercard of the Gennady Golovkin-David Le-mieux fight scheduled on October 17, 2015 should get Filipino boxing fans buzzing.
Although the world middleweight championship bout between Golovkin (33-0 with 30 KOs) and Lemieux (34-2 with 31 KOs) promises fireworks, the potential excitement of the world flyweight championship fight between Viloria and Gonzalez can never be overlooked. Simply put it, the Viloria-Gonzalez fight will not be a picnic for either fighter even if the Nicaraguan will get the nod of bettors.
Viloria, who was a former world light-flyweight and flyweight champion, has racked up three straight knockout wins (yes, his opponents were counted out) over moderate opposition. The Filipino only has one loss by stoppage, or to Carlos Tamara on July 2010 where he lost the International Boxing Federation world light-flyweight title. Viloria was stopped in the last round of the fight and many believed it was more of fatigue that caused the Filipino’s stoppage loss.
As for Gonzalez, he remains undefeated and is No. 2 in The Ring’s Pound-for-Pound list. With 37 knockouts from 42 wins, Gonzalez is a certified knockout artist who is definitely seeking to make Viloria his 38th knockout victim.
Viloria, however, remains unfazed and believes Gonzalez has never faced anybody like him or a pressure fighter. But let’s face it – Gonzalez is the toughest opponent Viloria will face in his career.
On paper, Gonzalez definitely has the edge because of his undefeated record and a higher knockout percentage. But when it comes to physical stature, both fighters are almost evenly matched with Viloria standing 5’4” and having a 66-inch reach and Gonzalez standing at 5’3” with a 64-inch reach. The Filipino is the older fighter at 34 years old. Gonzalez is 28 years old.
Viloria and Gonzalez have a common opponent in Juan Francisco Estrada (32-2 with 23 KOs) of Mexico. Gonzalez scored a unanimous decision win over the Mexican on December 2012 while Viloria lost to Estrada via split decision on April 2013. Estrada, who holds the World Boxing Association and World Boxing Organization world flyweight titles, is the No. 1 contender in The Ring flyweight rankings where Roman is the champion. Gonzalez is the holder of the World Boxing Council world flyweight championship. Meanwhile, Viloria is the No. 4 contender in The Ring rankings for the flyweight division.
For sure, Viloria knows that a win against Gonzalez will get him bigger paydays and a higher level of recognition. Let’s face it – Viloria has yet to attain the recognition that Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire both have.
If Viloria gets to beat Gonzalez (which is not a remote possibility), the Filipino will even be doing a favor to compatriot Donnie “Ahas” Nietes (36-1-4 with 21 KOs) who is eyeing a campaign in the flyweight division.
I have written before that the biggest challenge Nietes faces in the flyweight division is Gonzalez. But the camp of Nietes may be aching that their ward would be the first one to defeat the Nicaraguan knockout artist.