Brian Viloria Spills Heart and Soul in Ring, Comes Away with Career-Defining Win
In front of a raucous hometown crowd at the Neil S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Brian Viloria left nothing outside of the ring. In a scintillating performance that could very well define his career, Viloria faced his toughest opponent to date head on.
From the opening bell, this world-title fight had the makings of a fight-of-the-year candidate.
Viloria stormed into his opponent, Julio Cesar Miranda, with a vengeance, flooring the Mexican champion with a combination of punches. The crowd exulted into a frenzy it would repeat numerous times throughout the remaining 34 minutes of action.
But, as game as you would expect from any great Mexican champion, Miranda was not phased from tasting the canvas. He composed himself quickly and got out of the first round without much worry.
It was clear though, in that round, that Miranda had to sweat out two pounds the day before to make weight. He was not as crisp and lively as Viloria, and the "Hawaiian Punch" took full advantage.
Often times looking lethargic, Miranda was throwing long, loopy haymakers into the Hawaiian night while Viloria snapped off well rehearsed jabs and straight rights.
As the middle rounds ensued, Miranda tightened his belt and showed that he wasn't going to let go of his WBO strap easily.
The two dug in and exchanged leather like hungry sharks. A cut opened up over Viloria's right eye, and Miranda started to resemble the fighter that won his last three title defenses in dominating fashion.
The middle rounds were enthralling: two warriors standing toe-to-toe as though they had nothing to lose.
Truly, it was the stuff champions were made of.
Miranda showed the heart of a hundred men as he valiantly dug down deep inside himself to stay upright and balanced enough to land some heavy shots on a challenger who was now tiring.
But Viloria was determined not to let the early lead he built wither away.
It seemed at the beginning of every late round that Viloria would charge out of his corner and rip a left hook into Miranda before he could brace himself for the punch.
Yet every time Viloria did this, Miranda absorbed the shot and began to deliver some of his own.
At times in the 10th and 11th rounds, a once-lively Viloria appeared winded and worried. But every time that happened Viloria was able to draw strength as though it was siphoned from the crowd, and he stood up to the hard-charging Miranda, who was now looking to land a huge shot to turn the tide.
That shot never came.
The clock winded down to the final bell.
Then moments later, with an invigorated crowd sensing the outcome, the ring announcer belted out:
"And the new, WBO Flyweight Champion of the World..."