Viloria's legacy run resumes in Macao

MANILA, Philippines -- In the brutal, punishing grind of the sport of Boxing, there’s a purity to be found amidst its violent nature. They say a fight is like a journey, in that it’s not about the destination, it’s about how you get there. Along the way, trials and tribulations pose the hardest of questions whose answers are discovered upon only by experience.

Inside the ring, between thousands of gazing eyes and bright, flashing lights, there’s an unshakable silence and tranquility rooted in the very core of a fighter. Here, in this inner peace, is where warriors are born and bred.

For Brian Viloria, a fighter who was once at the lowest point in his career just a few years ago, the 12 rounds spent inside that ring mean everything – years of hard work, an entire life devoted to the science of violence, months spent away from family and friends, those closest to his heart, the warmth of his hometown of Waipahu, Hawaii.

Viloria brings it all inside the ring every time he takes center stage, his heart and soul bared for the world to see.

This Saturday, April 6, Brian Viloria (32-3, 19 knockouts) will headline a fight card in Macao against tough Mexican challenger Juan Francisco Estrada (22-2, 18 knockouts). The fight will be for Viloria’s unified WBA and WBO Flyweight titles.

Not an easy task

It won’t be a walk in the park for Viloria when he steps inside the ring across the hard-hitting Estrada. He certainly doesn’t expect it to be. Just about every little thing in his career has been difficult. Only recently, with Viloria winning his last 6 fights, 4 by knockout, has the ride gotten a bit smoother.

But the fight scheduled this weekend is no easy task. Juan Francisco Estrada, though unheralded, took Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, arguably the man to beat in the Flyweight division, into deep water and gave him all he could handle for 12 grueling rounds.

Expect Estrada to be in Viloria’s face the entire night. His high-pressure style will put Viloria’s endurance to the test and his power will keep Viloria honest all throughout.

Unfortunately for Estrada however, “The Hawaiian Punch” has seen all this before.

Dismantling two of the toughest Mexican warriors in Giovanni Segura and Hernan Marquez, Viloria proved to the world that whatever stamina issues he’s had in the past are most certainly non-existent now.

Estrada fights similarly to Segura and Marquez in that all three fighters are volume punchers.

Viloria, a 2000 US Olympian, prefers to use his intelligence rather than his brute strength. His Boxing skill is leagues above everyone else’s and it’s proven to be his greatest asset.

But the key to victory isn’t just Viloria’s immense talent and skill, it’s his heart. Viloria’s indomitable will and refuse-to-lose attitude gives him the edge in just about every fight.

Look for Viloria to put his winning formula to work once again. He’ll use his superior ring generalship and well-placed combinations to do damage, and to set up a late round knockout.

Viloria's resurgence

Things haven’t always been easy, but Viloria wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Maybe, when all is said and done, people will look back at his career and wonder. If he would have quit after dropping two straight to Omar Nino Romero and Edgar Sosa back in 2006, would he be where he’s at now?

Or if he let the cards fall where they may after suffering a heartbreaking 12-round TKO loss to Carlos Tamara in 2010, would he now be defending champion and Rappler’s #9 Pound for Pound entrant?

Things have surely not been easy.

“It’s the punches you don’t see that hurt you,” Viloria once said – in Boxing as well as in life.

Viloria teaches us that it’s not about how hard you get knocked down, what matters is you have the will to get back up and continue fighting.

This Saturday, Viloria continues on his journey as a fighter. With rookie all-star trainer Marvin Somodio at his side, the two make an impressive duo as they take on all-comers. Their partnership produced a masterpiece of a victory over Tyson Marquez just a few months ago and they look to continue this trend against Estrada.

“I’m here to stay!” said Viloria, in a message to his fans. “Thanks for believing in me.”

Melindo gets chance, too; Zou debuts

Also in action is Pinoy Boxing standout Milan “Method Man” Melindo, who takes on Tommy Seran of Indonesia in the undercards. And highly regarded Zou Shiming of China, Olympic gold medalist, makes his professional debut against Eleazar Venezuela of Mexico. -