As if Gennady Golovkin versus David Lemiuex is not explosive enough, promoters have added a flyweight title bout between Roman Gonzalez and Brian Viloria.
Flyweight champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez announced his arrival in the US market with an auspicious HBO TV debut on May 16th at the Forum of Inglewood, California. Gonzalez easily dispatched of former junior flyweight champion Edgar Sosa by knocking him out in two brutal rounds. That fight was held in the undercard of Gennady Golovkin’s title bout against Willie Monroe which also ended via knockout. K2 Promotions and HBO liked the explosive duo fighting together in one card, hence when the title unification bout between Golovkin and Canadian David Lemieux was put to paper, they didn’t hesitate to put Chocolatito in the undercard.
Finding His Match
Adding Gonzalez as co-feature was a no brainer, however finding the right opponent for him was tricky. Like Golovkin, Gonzalez has left a destructive trail in the strawweight and junior flyweight divisions before moving up to flyweight in 2014. At 43-0 with 37 KOs, he’s virtually dominated every opponent he’s faced and has given his promoters a match-making headache in the process. Three fighters were initially considered for his next bout: Popular Puerto Rican flyweight McWilliams Arroyo, former junior flyweight champion Giovanni Segura of Mexico and then Viloria. In the end, promoters went with Viloria, a former two-division world champion and 2000 U.S. Olympian who’s faced the who’s who of the smaller weight classes.
The Hawaiian Punch
Known as the Hawaiian Punch for his birth place and punching power, Viloria barged into the world title picture with an explosive first round TKO win over erstwhile champion Eric Ortiz in 2005. After an unfortunate trilogy with Omar Nino, Viloria regained a piece of the flyweight title when he stunned Ulises Solis four years later. In 2011, when his career was almost given up for dead, Viloria won the WBO flyweight title against Julio Cesar Miranda and defended it thrice before losing to Juan Francisco Estrada in a close split decision in 2013. Since then, Viloria has won four bouts in a row three of which were by knockout.
A Fight to Remember
At 28, Chocolatito may be nearing his prime and is hands down the best fighter in his weight class. However, Viloria is still going strong at age 34 and has proven in the past that he can rise above adversity and win even if all odds are against him. Although a grizzled veteran, Viloria considers Gonzalez as his “toughest fight” ever but likewise he is the toughest opponent Chocolatito will have ever faced. Viloria’s fight resume is incredibly tough and it’s what sets him apart from Gonzalez’s previous opponents. Gonzalez has acknowledged that this will be a difficult fight for him but is confident that this is his time and he is ready for any challenge. GGG-Lemieux was hailed as one of the best matches made in years, and Gonzalez-Viloria has the potential to top that.