SAN DIEGO, October 17, 2015 – What does a best pound for pound fighter look like? He looks like Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (44-0, 38 KOs) did at Madison Square Garden in his ninth round TKO victory over Brian Viloria (36-5, 22 KOs). Gonzalez retains the WBC flyweight title belt.
Gonzalez showed all the qualities any boxer needs. Footwork. Hand speed. Ring generalship. Patience. Power and Accuracy. The will to win that keeps a champion undefeated.
As the fight neared, fans of Brian Viloria anticipated a possible upset. He had trained well and said he was focused like never before. It was not to be. Viloria captured the first round on the card by starting quickly; Gonzalez let him as he got his measure. From there, Gonzalez was firmly in control.
Viloria went down in the third round on a short right. He popped up quickly, and Gonzalez went in for the kill, firing at will. Despite taking a lot of punishment, Viloria finished the round. It was hard to believe he was still upright after a brutal round. Viloria managed to collect himself, but Gonzalez kept working at him, the partisan crowd of 20,548 full of Nicaraguans cheering him on.
The game Viloria proved he was still a live dog here and there, catching Gonzalez in the middle of round 4. But he had little left that could seriously hurt Gonzalez. Meanwhile, while Viloria looked to be on his last, the fight looked like a walk in the park for Chocolatito. It was time to consider whether Viloria’s trainer Marvin Somodio or the ring physician should stop the bout. Viloria was so behind on the scorecards and lacked the power to change the course of the bout.
Gonzalez was in control, in no rush. He simply continued his relentless output of punches, two to one over Viloria in the later rounds. Still, Viloria didn’t want to give up.
Give him credit for bringing out the best in Gonzalez. The ring physician spoke to Viloria and Somodio after Round 8, but Viloria came back our in Round 9. But that was it. Referee Benjy Esteves stopped the bout at 2:50 of the round. Gonzalez embraced Viloria, symbolic of the respectful contest it was despite the brutality of Gonzalez’ performance.
“Roman is a tremendous fighter,” said Viloria after the bout. “I have nothing but respect for him. I had prepared for a different Roman and he surprised me with his defense and his speed.
“I do feel like the fight was stopped prematurely, I feel good and can keep going,” added Viloria. “If I had an opportunity to take him on again I would. I feel like I learned a lot today and would use that for the next time around.”
Gonzalez credited his preparation and his faith for the victory. “The training I did was 100 percent to have the conditioning I did,” Gonzalez said through a translater. “The victory is not mine, it’s God’s.”
Asked his reaction to being considered the world’s pound for pound best fighter, Gonzalez said “I feel happy for my accomplishment. From the beginning, I dedicated this fight to God and the victory again is his. Simply, I am just a humble servant of his. Thank you and God bless you all.”
Gonzalez said he would be happy to fight whoever his promoter chooses, because that is his role. He also said he would be happy to fight again in New York. “I feel happy because here only legends have fought, I feel blessed by God. Today I feel I’ve left a legacy and I feel blessed with God. I hope to keep it up and keep doing the best work available.”
Gonzalez and Viloria both delivered on the promise of a Little Drama Show, worthy champions who may convince more fans of the talent in the smaller weight classes.
What more can you ask, fight fans?
HBO Sports will present a replay of Gonzalez vs. Viloria and Golovkin vs. Lemieux on Saturday, October 24, at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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