At 37, Fil-Am boxer Brian Viloria eyeing fifth world title
Thirteen years after his first world title win, Brian Viloria (far right) is gunning for his fifth world championship. (Photo courtesy of Steve Angeles on Twitter: @stevieangeles)
In 2005, Filipino-American boxer Brian ‘The Hawaiian Punch’ Viloria captured his first world championship, knocking out Eric Ortiz in the first round to become the new WBC Light Flyweight world champion.
Now, thirteen years later, Viloria is hunting for his fifth world championship, and at 37 years old, Viloria is still as explosive as ever.
“I've had a kid so I thought it’d be opposite.” Viloria told ABS-CBN’s Steve Angeles. “It’s all about taking care of yourself, whether you’re fighting or not fighting. I always tell people boxing is a lifestyle, just staying in shape.”
Following his 2015 loss to then-pound for pound king Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzales for the WBC Flyweight world title, Viloria revealed that he thought long and hard about his future. After sitting out 2016, Viloria made his return to action in 2017, stringing together a couple of victories that has earned him a shot at the vacant VBA Flyweight world title.
Viloria has relatively flown under the radar in the past few years, but a look at this record will show that the Waipahu native has won six of his last seven fights.
“I feel like this is my first world title fight. There’s a lot to prove, a lot of people tell me ‘You’re getting old blah blah blah, do you still have what it takes?’” said Viloria. “A lot of those questions come up to me, but for me I have to prove it in February 24th, and for me that’s what’s motivating me. I think I’m still capable of competing at the top level.”
On February 24th, Viloria goes toe to toe with Ukraine’s Artem Dalakian, an unbeaten opponent who’s seven years Viloria’s junior.
And while Dalakian may have the edge on youth, experience will definitely be on the side of Viloria.
This will be Dalakian’s first chance at a world championship and his first fight outside of Ukraine.
Still, Viloria believes that Dalakian will be coming in hungry and ready.
“I know how he feels. I still know the feeling of fighting for my first world title and you get up for that and knowing your against a guy that’s proven himself in the division.”
“Kids get up for that. They come up with their A-game for that.” Viloria added.
Nearly seventeen years after his professional debut, Viloria finds himself still fighting at the highest level of the sport with a fifth world title in his sights.
It isn’t lost on him however, that he could be on the tail-end of his career.
“I wish I could do it forever but I can see the bridge coming up and right now, I’ll take it from fight to fight.”
But for now, the focus is on the WBA Flyweight crown.
“Right now I feel great but we have to see. We’ll wait when that time comes and we’ll make a decision.” Viloria says.
Viloria and Dalakian battle for the vacant WBA Flyweight world championship at the Superfly 2 card at The Forum in Los Angeles, California on February 24th.
Also fighting on the same card is reigning and defending IBF Flyweight world champion Donnie ‘Ahas’ Nietes.
H/T: Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN