Viloria: Exorcising his past demons
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Viloria: Exorcising his past demons

Filipino-American Brian Viloria came out galloping from the starting block to knockdown Mexican Hernan ‘Tyson’ Marquez in the first round, found himself in trouble in the middle round of their abbreviated unification bout before scoring a spectacular knockout victory in the 10th round.

Viloria finished off Marquez late in the tenth stanza as Marquez’ trainer Robert Garcia waved the white towel when the unified super flyweight champion moved in for the kill.

Viloria earlier connected with a thunderous left hook that sent Marquez crashing on his back.

The Mexican beat the count but was his legs were no longer into the fight.

The referee stopped the fight after Garcia climbed near the corner of Marquez to signal enough was enough.

Viloria annexed Marquez’ World Boxing Association flyweight crown to add to his World Boxing Organization flyweight title.

While Viloria’s win was emphatic, he was also in queer streets in Round 5 when Marquez opened up and unloaded his haymakers near the ropes.

Just as when Viloria was poised to go down, he unleashed a serious of combination punctuated by a right straight that sent Marquez crashing to his pants in the middle of the ring.

From then on, Viloria coasted until Marquez again tagged Viloria in the middle of the tenth round.

It was Marquez’ last gallant stand as he went down for the third time in that fateful round.  Seconds later, the referee halted the fight.

In stopping Marquez, Viloria proved he now belonged to the elite class of heavy handed punchers in the business.

He also exorcised his past demons.

Viloria’s boxing career has been marked by several ebbs and flows, with the ‘Hawaiian Punch’ almost looking like he is ready to quit boxing for good after lackluster outings in all three fights between August 2006 and April 2007.  He lost to Omar Niño Romero and Edgar Sosa during that period and was held to a no contest by Niño in between those two fights.  He lost his light flyweight title to Niño in 2006 and failed to regain it against Sosa in April the following year.

He would not fight again after the Sosa defeat until January 2008.

It was an uphill climb back to the top of the flyweight division for Viloria, who many boxing insiders say lost his appetite for the sports.

But comeback he did.  The following year scored a spectacular 11th round KO over Ulises Solis to again become a light flyweight champion.

It was a short lived reign, however, as he lost his title to Carlos Tamara via technical knockout after just one successful defense.  In losing to Tamara in 2010 before his hometown crowd in Pasay City, Viloria again reverted to his unfocused self, fading in the latter rounds before the referee stopped the fight in the last round.

When all seemed lost for him, Viloria made another comeback and won the World Boxing Organization (WBO) flyweight title in 2011 from Julio Cesar Miranda via a unanimous decision.

Including his annihilation of Marquez Sunday morning (Philippine time), Viloria’s last three fights were all abbreviated victories.

At 31, Viloria may have few years left to finally gain the respect of the lords of boxing promotions as he suggested to both HBO and Showtime immediately after his victory over Marquez.

Win one more big fight to prove that he had already exorcised his past demons of notoriously fading and losing focus in the latter rounds of his fights, Viloria could find himself in the conversation along with fellow Fil-Am Nonito Donaire and, to a lesser extent, the King of the Hill himself, Manny Pacquiao.