'V' for Viloria victory


POSTED: Sunday, August 30, 2009

Brian Viloria played the role of promoter right up to the very end.

Comfortably ahead both in his own mind and on the judges' scorecards, Viloria let it all hang out in the final round of his IBF light flyweight title fight against Jesus Iribe last night.

He punctuated his unanimous decision victory with a 3-minute slugfest in the 12th round, sending a Blaisdell Arena crowd of 4,500 into a tizzy all the way until the final bell rang.

“;I thought I owed it to the crowd to give a little bit of a great show in the 12th round,”; Viloria said. “;I hope everybody enjoyed that.”;

Viloria's first defense of his IBF light flyweight title ended with him ahead 118-110, 117-111 and 117-112 on the judges' scorecards.





        Judges' scorecards:

        Hubert Minn 118-110

        Pat Brown 117-112

        Omar Sellers 117-111



The Waipahu native improved to 26-2 with 15 knockouts, while Iribe fell to 15-6-5.

The marquee moment of the fight happened in the final round. After saluting the crowd as he exited his corner, Viloria and Iribe met in the center of the ring and engaged in a fight that could only be described as a brawl.

The two went back and forth, stopping only on a few occasions to gather themselves before getting right back at it. The fight ended with both men in the center of the ring standing toe-to-toe as the crowd screamed their approval, punctuating a dream week come true for “;The Hawaiian Punch.”;

“;This whole week was amazing,”; Viloria said. “;Just to see boxing back here ... hopefully we opened the doors to bring bigger fights back here.”;

Viloria entered as a heavy favorite against Iribe, who had never fought outside of his home country of Mexico. The challenger proved to be a tough test, however, stealing a couple of rounds midway through the fight after Viloria built an early lead.

Iribe started shaking out his right hand during the fourth round and was sporting an ice pack on his hand in the post-fight press conference, claiming he broke it in the second round.

“;If his hand were not broken, we would have gotten a victory,”; Iribe said through his Spanish interpreter. “;In the 12th round, everybody knows what kind of potential this Mexican fighter has.”;

The final-round flurry was a crowd-pleaser, but wasn't the type of finish Viloria's trainer, Roberto Garcia, had in mind.

“;There were a couple times where he was trying to please the crowd and I kept telling him in the last round I thought it wasn't necessary,”; Garcia said. “;But he thought it was, which I understand.”;

Viloria said he felt in control of the entire fight, even as Iribe began to win a couple of rounds midway through. Still, the champion says he has plenty to work on.

“;I think I would give myself a B-plus,”; Viloria said. “;Only because I didn't come out with a knockout. There's always room for improvement in every fight. If you think you are on your 'A' game, then you're dead wrong.

“;That's the scary thing. I might be a world champion right now, but there's a lot more improvement (I can make) in my game.”;

Viloria once again expressed his desire for a unification title fight next against WBO champion Ivan Calderon (32-0-1), assuming Calderon wins his upcoming fight against Rodel Mayol next month.

“;It's up to Gary (Gittelsohn), my manager, and my team to see where to go from here, but I think I'm ready,”; Viloria said.

In other fights last night:

AJ Banal (20-1-1) def. Jose Beranza (32-16-2) by unanimous decision; Alfonso Gomez (20-4-2) def. Raul Munoz (20-13-1) by TKO at 1:01 of the first round; Dennis Laurente (32-3-5) def. Zaid Zavaleta (18-6-2) by UD; Mike Balasi (8-1) def. Toby Misech (1-1) by KO at 33 seconds of the third round; Isaac Arasato (5-0) def. Donald Gonzalez (1-2) by TKO 2:15 into the first round; Justin Mercado (1-1-1) and Richard Bernard (1-1-1) fought to a draw; Kuulei Kupihea (4-1) def. Shalei Padilla (0-1) by TKO at 1:24 into the fourth round.