PASIG CITY, PHILIPPINES – Before the fight not many observers were giving Brian Viloria, who was known to have serious issues with conditioning and stamina, much of a chance at scoring the upset against highly regarded Giovani “The Aztec Warrior” Segura. After the 8th round however, completely dismantling his opponent en-route to a TKO victory, Viloria has now entered talks to crack the mythical top ten pound for pound rankings. How quickly the tides change.
Viloria has been somewhat of an enigma to boxing analysts. He loses fights he’s not supposed to lose (Edgar Sosa, Carlos Tamara) and wins fights he’s not supposed to win (Solis, Segura). His polarizing inconsistency is what leaves a bad taste in the mouth of most Filipino fight fans, with some quick to write him off whenever he’s matched against top-level opposition. All of that seems to have changed following his win against Segura.
Criticism of Viloria’s camp has always alluded to stamina issues he’s dealt with in the past. Viloria insists that proper adjustments were made to prevent him from ‘gassing out’ in any of his future tiffs. The adjustments couldn’t have come at a better time as Viloria looked very strong and appeared to be capable of going the distance on a full tank had the fight not been stopped in the eighth.
In fact, with the way he dominated Segura, I don’t think anybody can bet against him now. Viloria dazzled with a masterful performance. He boxed Segura to absolute submission. By the middle of the contest, Segura was completely out of the fight – stumped and confused. He had no answer for Viloria’s superior boxing ability. From the fourth round onwards, Segura’s fighting spirit had left him. It’s as if he was a shell of his true self. Viloria took only a few rounds to figure him out.
“It’s the punches that you don’t see that hurt you” Viloria said, “I could see every punch he threw”.
Segura just could not keep up with Viloria’s speed and underrated power, which surprised not only him but also everyone in attendance. Whenever Segura would throw that right cross, Brian was there to counter with perfectly timed left hooks that quite simply just got there first. The left hook counter was literally there all night, resulting in a large hematoma Segura contracted in the 2nd round which got worse as the fight progressed. Referee Samuel Viruet had no choice but to stop the fight when he felt Segura could no longer defend himself and was in danger of permanent injury.
Team Segura tried to contest the stoppage but they should be thankful the bout was halted early. Segura was reported to have suffered a fractured orbital bone and a blood clot. The stoppage was just and merciful, who knows what kind of permanent damage Segura could have suffered had he been allowed to continue.
Stoppage or not, he appeared to have no solution to Viloria’s technical mastery.
“Brian is the best at 112 lbs. right now” said Gary Gittlesohn at the post-fight press conference.
Gittlesohn who manages Viloria, a winner of his last four fights, two by knockout, may indeed be right. With four inspirational victories under his belt, which includes seizing the WBO Flyweight title from ‘Pingo’ Miranda and moving on to obliterate Segura, Viloria now has the authority to command the big money fights in his weight division according to his manager.
Indeed, Brian Viloria has arrived on the big stage. Gittlesohn was asked who was on the short list for possible next opponents for ‘The Hawaiian Punch’. A few names came up. Hernan “Tyson” Marquez was an option, although I think it would be an easy fight for Brian as Nonito Donaire had already exposed him as being very limited. Ivan Calderon is damaged goods following the beatdown he got from Segura, Viloria will make easy work of him. Finally, Pongsaklek Wonjongkam – a legend in Thailand with 83 victories – seems to be the best option. Wonjongkam is the reigning WBC Flyweight champion, it seems a unification bout is in order.
Regardless, I think whoever Viloria goes up against will have a tough time dealing with The Hawaiian Punch’s awesome combination of speed, power and technical ability. He’s, in my opinion, the best in his division.
“I’m here to stay!” Viloria exclaimed.
After the fight, Viloria thanked all the fans for the support and all the media for ‘believing in him’.
“Thanks for believing in me, man.” he told me at the post-fight press con, as he posed for photographers.
I picked Brian Viloria to upset Giovani Segura by knockout.
Thank you Brian, for making me look like a genius.