VICTORIOUS VILORIA: UNDERDOG FLYWEIGHT CHAMP KOs MEXICAN FOE
 

[PHOTO - HAWAIIAN PUNCH Filipino-American boxer Brian ‘The Hawaiian Punch’ Viloria (left) connects with a right uppercut to the face of Mexican challenger Giovani Segura during their title fight Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011, at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City. Viloria stopped Segura in the 8th round to retain his World Boxing Organization flyweight crown. (Bob Dungo, Jr.)]

MANILA, DECEMBER 12, 2011 (BULLETIN) Given up for dead owing to his unpredictability, Brian Viloria issued a strong statement Sunday, stopping mandatory Mexican challenger Giovani Segura in the eighth round to retain his World Boxing Organization (WBO) flyweight crown before a sparse but appreciative crowd at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

Referee Samuel Viruet stepped in after Viloria tagged Segura with a left to the head at ring center, sending the crowd in a frenzy and Viloria jumping with joy as though he had just won the lottery.

“Every fight is not easy (but) this fight was easy because I trained hard and stuck to my gameplan of not getting caught napping on the ropes,” said Viloria, who was the underdog going into the scheduled 12-rounder.

Segura sported a golf ball-sized lump near his right eye that was so hideous that he had to beg off from the post-fight press conference so his injury could be treated at Medical City.

With the win, Viloria, who has been criticized for not being able to hold on to a world title, assured his fans and followers and his team that he is here to stay.

“I am back, I am here and I am staying,” said the beaming Viloria, who was making the first defense of the WBO 112-lb title.

Segura was a tough customer, having knocked out 24 of his 29 foes.

“I had to stand my ground. Giovani has heavy hands. I know why he knocked out 24 guys. (But) his punches were a bit slower than I expected,” said the 31-year-old Viloria, who was born in Hawaii to parents from Ilocos Sur.

Asked to compare this latest win to his other greatest hits--one-punch knockouts over Eriuc Ortiz and Ulises Solis -- Viloria said the conquest of Segura tops the list.

“This win means a lot to me. This is a big accomplishment,” said Viloria, who suffered a cut on his left eyebrow.

Viloria said he had the fight in the bag as early as the third round when he hurt Segura with a body shot.

“He started backing up with a body shot and it looked like there was a glaze in his eyes in the third round,” he said.

Segura actually started fast and strong, backing up Viloria with his patented two-fisted assault in the first round.

That was the only round Segura won as Viloria not only wisely evaded his hard shots starting the second round but also hurt him with head and body shots.

Segura sported a golf ball-sized lump near his right eye that was so hideous that he had to beg off from the post-fight press conference so his injury could be treated at Medical City.

Fans already knew that Viloria would emerge victorious as early as the end of the second as Segura looked winded after taking a brutal beating specially to the head and body.

But Segura refused to give up and continued to engage even though he was on the receiving end of Viloria’s rights and lefts.

“We were up against a tremendous fighter in Segura. This victory means so much to me. We trained everything for what Segura would bring to the table,” said Viloria’s trainer and cutman Ruben Gomez, who was once a corner man of Manny Pacquiao.

Pacquiao actually called the fight at ringside for a local TV station.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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