MACAU - Brian Viloria was outworked and outfought by the younger Juan Francisco Estrada of Mexico as he lost his World Boxing Organization and World Boxing Association title belts on Saturday night at The Venetian Hotel and Resort Casino here.
The Filipino-American lost the 12-round bout by split decision 111-117 (Levi Martinez) and 111-116 (Michael Pernick). Only Robert Hoyle saw the fight in favor of the dethroned champion (115-113).
Viloria, 32, controlled the fight early on, but appeared to have lost steam going in the later rounds, allowing his 22-year-old opponent from Hermosillo, Mexico to gain momentum and the win.
Estrada appeared to get stronger as the fight wore on just as Viloria was showing signs of slowing down.
The former Olympian was wobbled by an Estrada right in the ninth and was on the verge of going down in the last two rounds before hanging on in the end.
Estrada’s corner celebrated the moment the final bell rang, readily convinced the young Mexican won the fight.
Viloria, the man they call the `Hawaiian Punch,’ had a lump just under his left eye and quietly left the ring with his corner the moment the decision was announced as the huge Filipino crowd at the Cotai Arena watched in disbelief.
He later acknowledged Estrada was a worthy champion, but vowed he will be back again.
“This is just a minor bump for me,” Viloria said during the post-fight press conference where he showed up wearing bandages both above the eyes after having his cuts stiched on. “I will prove to the boxing world that I can be a champion again."
"It is what it is. I just can’t change it now. I just got to suck it up, roll with it, and just try to comeback."
Viloria fell to 32-4, with 19 KOs and lost for the first time in three years following his 12th round technical knockout loss against Carlos Tamara in their 2010 title match for the International Boxing Federation light flyweight crown.
Estrada finally became a world champion after his unsuccessful bid for the WBA light-flyweight title against Roman Gonzales last November in a 12-round unanimous decision loss.