Trainer Marvin Somodio said that former world champion Brian “The Hawaiian Punch” Viloria would shine again in 2018. The 37-year-old Viloria (38-5 win-loss record with 23 knockouts) is set to fight Artem Dalakian of Ukraine on February 24 for the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) flyweight title at the Forum in Inglewood California, USA.
“He (Viloria) is very much determined to be a world champion again and we believe that he’s still capable of doing it,” Somodio, one of the trainers in Freddie Roach’s Wildcard Gym told The Manila Times in an overseas call.
“If we do not believe in him, why we waste our time in training? He remains a dedicated fighter and very disciplined. He is still very explosive.”
“At the same time, this is his last chance to win a world title.”
Somodio said that Viloria still got what it takes to become a world champion though he needs to tweak some aspects of the boxer’s training.
“There is a lot of gas left in his tank but we just have to remind him how and when to aggressively attack his foe. We also need to remind him sometimes to slowdown in training,” added Somodio.
Viloria lost to Nicaraguan Roman Gonzalez last October 17, 2015 via 10th round knockout.
“The only problem that I saw in his previous bout against Gonzalez was his early peaking. He came up short in most fights and he gassed out. He tried to finish off Chocolatito (Gonzalez) in the first round, but he could not sustain his aggression in the later rounds. I believe he learned from that loss,” said Somodio.
“We really need a good timing in our executions because Brian is more of a counter-puncher.”
After losing to Gonzalez, Viloria won against Mexican Ruben Montoya via unanimous decision last March 2 in Japan and then scored a fifth round stoppage win over American Miguel Cartanega in StubHub Center in California, last September 9.
The No. 1 WBA flyweight Dalakian, 30, is undefeated in 15 fights, 11 of which he won by way of knockout. Viloria is currently ranked No. 2.
Somodio said that Viloria’s sparring session would begin in January.