BRIAN Viloria has been a three-time world champion, but is dangerous when backed against the wall.
And the 34-year-old Fil-Am finds himself exactly in that position against highly-touted champion Roman Gonzales when they fight for the World Boxing Council (WBC) flyweight title on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time) at the Madison Square Garden in New York.
Despite winning his last four fights, three by knockout,Viloria stands as the prohibitive underdog in the 12-round match against the 28-year-old Gonzales, who boasts an impressive record of 43-0 (with 37 KOs) and is now considered the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world following the retirement of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
But Viloria is unfazed, having been in this situation before when he beat fancied Eric Ortiz to win his first world title in 2005, then did the same thing against Ulises Solis four years later to regain the light-flyweight crown, and yet again when he became flyweight champ by destroying two of the best in the division in Giovani Segura and Hernan Marquez, respectively.
He hopes to add Gonzales, nicknamed ‘Chocolatito’ in that elite list of victims.
“I just hope to prove that wrong,” said Viloria over HBO Boxing when asked about Gonzales’ rise as the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter today.
“He’s a great world champion, a great guy, a good spirit. Too bad, we’re just gonna destroy each other on Saturday.”
After losing his flyweight titles to Mexican Juan Estrada two years ago, Viloria knows the window of opportunity is fact closing for him that he can’t afford to lose this one against his formidable foe from Nicaragua
“We gonna show everything we’ve got on Saturday,” said the undaunted challenger (36-4, 22 KOs).
“This is just one of the best camps I had this last couple of months, so I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life.”