REIGNING World Boxing Organization (WBO) flyweight champion Brian Viloria sets off what promises to be a great and busy month for Philippine boxing in the final stretch of year 2012.
The 31 year-old Viloria battles World Boxing Association (WBA) champion Hernan `Tyson’ Marquez in a unification bout on November 17 at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles.
The 12-round match is just the first of four big fights in a month’s span featuring Filipino boxers.
After Viloria, it’s Manny Pacquiao’s turn to take centerstage on December 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas as he meets long-time rival Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico in a highly anticipated fourth encounter.
Fellow Filipino Mercito Gesta, a native of Mandaue City, Cebu, but now based in San Diego, California, will see action in the undercard of the Pacquiao-Marquez showdown as he vies for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) light-welterweight crown held by champion Miguel Vazquez.
Gesta, nicknamed `No Mercy’, is undefeated in 27 pro fights with one draw, including 14 KOs.
Nonito Donaire Jr., the reigning WBO super-bantamweight king, then caps the Filipino fighters’ campaign abroad when he stakes his 122-lb. belt against rugged Jorge Arce in an expected slam-bang affair at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas on Dec. 15.
Viloria, 31-3, with 18 KOs, believes Marquez is one of the best flyweights in the world today, but is confident of beating the Mexican and set the tone for a blissful campaign by Filipino boxers who fights after him.
“I’m confident about this fight. I feel good, feel great about this fight which is a fight I’ve been wanting to happen for a while now,” he said of his match-up with Marquez that has been postponed several times over.
“But now that it’s taking shape, I’m kind of happy for it.”
The `Hawaiian Punch’ is on a five-fight win streak, including sensational knockouts over his last two bouts against Giovanni Segura (TKO 8th) and Omar Nino Romero (TKO 9th).
The 24-year-old Marquez from Sonora, Mexico, packs a menacing 34-2 record, including 25 KOs. His two losses, however, were inflicted by Filipinos – Donaire (TKO 8th) and Richie Mepranum (UD 10th).
That should be enough for Viloria to feel he can unify the world’s 112 lbs. title belts.
“I know it’s going to be a really tough match, but realistically, I think I have what it takes to beat Marquez,” said the 2000 Sydney Olympian.