Viloria working with new trainer for Sosa fight
Joe Goosen will be in the Waipahu boxer's corner for his April title bout against Edgar Sosa
Brian Viloria's career will get a new start on April 14.
Granted, the Waipahu light flyweight will carry his 19-1 record (with 12 KOs) into the world-title fight against Edgar Sosa, but everything about what he does in the ring will be new. Viloria will have trainer Joe Goosen in his corner for the first time, and his new boss expects him to look nothing like the man who has not knocked out an opponent in more than a year.
"When you see him, Brian Viloria is going to have a different look in his eye," Goosen said.
Goosen, who also trains Diego Corales and Michael Nunn, has been working with Viloria this week. He has not seen tapes of the former Olympian and has never seen him in action, but what Goosen has seen of the Hawaiian Punch so far has got him excited.
"Brian is in agreement with what is necessary and it seems to have lit a fire under him," Goosen said. "I have very few fighters I take on, when I do I expect them to commit to me one-on-one and Brian has done that. He always gets to the gym early and ready to work.
"He made a commitment to himself -- he will be going back to what made him so exciting and successful," Goosen said.
Viloria's shot at regaining his World Boxing Council light flyweight title will come on April 14 in the Alamodome in San Antonio. Viloria fought in San Antonio in the fifth fight of his career, stopping Antonio Perez in the third of six scheduled rounds in 2002 as part of a card highlighting his fellow 2000 Olympians.
Goosen hopes Viloria shows the same aggressiveness he showed back then, when he was new in Freddie Roach's Wild Card Gym and stopped six of his first eight opponents before leaving his fate up to judges. But after winning the WBC title two years ago, Viloria was beginning to get lost in Roach's packed gym.
Team Viloria manager Gary Gittelsohn responded by pulling Viloria out of the gym before his last fight, a draw with Omar Nino. Now Gittelsohn has called in Goosen to reshape Viloria's career with his bare hands.
"He is getting the direct attention that I have known that he needed for some time," Gittelsohn said. "And Joe Goosen simply cannot be ignored in the corner; he demands a fighter's attention. It is just a better fit for Brian right now."
Viloria won the title with a spectacular first-round knockout of Eric Ortiz at the Staples Center in September 2005. But that was the last time he stopped an opponent, defending the strap with a decision over Jose Antonio Aguirre five months later. He lost the belt when he was on the wrong end of a decision to Nino last year.
Viloria knocked Nino down twice in November in his first attempt at regaining his belt, but judges called the fight a draw. Nino was stripped of the belt after the fight, though, when he tested positive for methamphetamine, leading the WBC to demand a match between Viloria and No. 2 contender Sosa for the belt.
The WBC promised Nino the winner of the Viloria-Sosa tilt, but Nino has had his boxing license suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission until a hearing can be held. The hearing was originally scheduled for Feb. 16, but he requested a continuance, pushing the hearing back to early March.