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Viloria regains title


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POSTED: Sunday, April 19, 2009

From the parking lot to the “;Thrilla in Manila,”; Brian Viloria's comeback trail had the perfect ending.

The 28-year-old boxing hero in the Philippines gave the hometown crowd more than 30 minutes of thrills before knocking out Ulises Solis to win the IBF light flyweight title today at the Araneta Coliseum.

Viloria(25-2, 15 KOs) saved the best of his six-fight return to championship status for last, beating up the 108-pound Mexican kingpin ruthlessly before ending it with an overhand right at 2:56 of the 11th round.

“;I could go 12 more rounds,”; Viloria said. “;It was from bell-to-bell—he is a great champion and he came to fight. I just knew that I couldn't let him dictate the action.”;

Solis (28-2-2, 20 KOs) had successfully defended the belt eight straight times, but didn't have an answer for Viloria's right hand.

“;I've got a great right hand,”; said Viloria, who is known for his left. “;The training camp was perfect and I got to show it with a world title.”;

The home-country crowd roared every time the Waipahu native of Filipino descent connected with Solis' face. Viloria said that he was so zoned into the task at hand that he didn't hear the crowd until after the knockout. Then he could not ignore it.

“;It erupted, the entire arena just crescendoed,”; Viloria said. “;I knew it was going to be loud, but ... wow.”;

Viloria opened a large cut above Solis' right eye early in the fight and eventually did the same to his other eye. By the time he hit the canvas in the 11th round, both eyes were swollen, victims of countless hooks and jabs.

Solis remained on the mat for roughly 5 minutes after an overhand right connected square on Solis' jaw, crumpling him in a heap.

“;I knew if I touched him with a right hand, my right hand has been perfect all training camp and I just let it go tonight,”; Viloria said.

Viloria entered the fight as the No. 9-ranked 108-pounder by the IBF and quickly proved he is much better than that.

The win was Viloria's sixth in the last seven fights and capped a comeback road that at one point saw him fighting in the parking lot at swap meets.

“;It's a storybook ending,”; Viloria said. “;I've fought in places where people go shopping and on street corners. You can never write a better ending than that.”;

Viloria, who said he might have retired with a loss, hopes this is just another beginning. The champion plans to fly back to Hawaii for a short break before getting on with a task he knows is more difficult—defending his new title.

“;Right now I am going to let it soak in,”; Viloria said. “;Then I have to get back into the gym and get to work no matter where we decide to go from here. I feel like I am at the top of my game right now.”;