PASIG CITY – A battle featuring two boxer slash punchers with heavy hands will throw down this Saturday night (Sunday morning Manila time) as Brian “The Hawaiian Punch” Viloria of the Philippines via Waipahu, Hawaii puts his WBO Flyweight title on the line against Giovani “The Aztec Warrior” Segura of Mexico in a clash that has ‘Fight of the Year’ written all over it. Former sparring partners, both pugilists know each other very well and are friends outside the ring but once they step inside, it will be all business as both fighters are looking to knock each other out.
Viloria, a 3-time world champion whose biggest win was an 11th round knockout of then undefeated Ulises “Archie” Solis, is the more tactical fighter of the two. He represented the United States in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and is a decorated amateur. Suffice to say, he’s got the skills necessary to outbox his opponent this weekend.
Segura on the other hand gained popularity by handing, also previously unbeaten, Ivan “Iron Boy” Calderon two devastating knockout losses. At the time, Calderon was regarded as a top ten pound for pound entrant on most experts’ lists before Segura laid waste to him. As a result, Segura broke into Ring Magazine’s pound for pound list at #9. Of his 28 victories, 24 of those did not hear the final bell giving him a stunning 80% knockout percentage. Segura will have the edge in power entering the fight which promises to be in an instant classic.
Who cries this Saturday night? We shall soon find out in a few days. Here are the FightCardBoxing team’s staff predictions:
Viloria will throw more punches, then run out of gas in the later rounds (as usual). Segura throws slower but more powerful punches and will keep pushing and pressuring Viloria (almost like Margarito). Segura will KO Viloria in the later rounds unless the Hawaiian Punch can do the hula dance for 12 rounds.
SEGURA BY KNOCKOUT IN THE LATER ROUNDS
Viloria needs to box smart and not engage in a brawl. His mental state is a factor in this fight and I believe his confidence will give him the ‘W’. This is for Viloria’s legacy. I see an upset win for the Hawaiian Punch. Segura will look like a one-dimensional fighter and Brian will cruise to an easy Unanimous Decision.
BRIAN VILORIA BY UNANIMOUS DECISION
I think Viloria can win by knockout as long as he has good conditioning like he claims. He’s a power puncher with the ability to counter with accuracy and he’ll have many opportunities to counter Segura. Segura is also a power puncher but he can be a bit careless sometimes. He swings wildly but he can also absorb many punches and is very durable. He has a tendency to lower his guard when punching however but he also employs deadly uppercuts. If Viloria can stay away from those uppercuts, keep his stamina up with good conditioning and execute the perfect game plan, I don’t see why can’t stop Segura.
BRIAN VILORIA BY KNOCKOUT
It’s hard to imagine a scenario where this fight goes to the cards. I’ve gone through it over and over in my head and it’s extremely difficult to picture these two still standing at the end of twelve rounds.
Segura is a monster of a heavy puncher, his best punches are body shots and coincidentally the body is Brian Viloria’s main weakness. For Segura to score a victory, he’d have to apply constant pressure on the inside and never relent on his foe.
Viloria, on the contrary, has to use the Boxing skills he’s been gifted with as an amateur and as a pro. When it comes to skill and overall technique, Viloria has the clear edge. If he keeps the fight at a distance and scores the points, he could soften up Segura for a late round KO.
I’m surprised at how many Filipinos on the message boards are giving Brian Viloria more than a good chance to upset Segura. I’d think that given the history of heartbreak he’s given the country with his lackluster performances in the past, that people would chalk it up to conventional thinking and say Segura steamrolls Viloria. It’s the logical choice, at least on paper.
However, HBO’s Larry Merchant said it best, “that’s why we fight the fights”. Nothing makes me happier than seeing our fellow Filipinos stand by our own blood.
Look for Viloria to control the tempo and be fleet on his feet, boxing out of harm’s way when the going gets tough – and believe me, it will. I’m giving Brian Viloria the benefit of the doubt that he’s got his stamina issues all fixed for this fight. Conventional wisdom says choose Giovani Segura to KO Brian Viloria on his home turf, but I have to swim against the tides on this one. Go big or go home I guess! Something tells me we have yet to see the best of “The Hawaiian Punch”.
BRIAN VILORIA BY TKO IN RDS 11-12