Saturday, 6 April 2013

Brian Viloria v Juan Francisco Estrada

In a notable upset Mexican Juan Francisco Estrada (23-2, 18) claimed both the WBO and WBA "super" Flyweight titles thanks to an inspired performance against the highly likable Brian Viloria (32-4-0-2, 19) who may well be on the verge of calling an end to his glorious career.

The fight started badly for Viloria who looked dry coming in to the opening round and whilst he wasn't rocked early on he certainly didn't get off to a great start as Estrada started fast with weak shots. By the end of the opening round however Viloria was starting to get into things and landed an excellent left hand and a lovely burst of effective shots late in the round. The round was up for argument though Viloria just didn't look like he was the same man who stopped Hernan Marquez last year in a fantastic bout.

In the second and third round Viloria appeared to settle in to the bout more and and started landing some excellent counters despite being forced to take some body blows, by the end of the third however Viloria seemed to have finally found his rhythm and was planting his own, hurtful body shots with the intent of slowing down Estrada.

In round four Estrada started to match Viloria as the bout moved up a gear and both men traded hard shots. Viloria's shots seemed the classier whilst Estrada's seemed the more forceful as neither man looked to back down. The following round saw Estrada grow in confidence almost as if he realised he could take Viloria's power, though more notably was the flat footed-ness of Viloria who rarely seemed willing to chase the more energetic Estrada. In fact it sort of looked as if Viloria was being somewhat lazy as we entered the middle rounds.

The sixth round again saw both men trading off shots with the best single shot of the round being a nasty looking shot to the mid-section by Viloria, though unfortunately for him Estrada just came right back at him with a nasty burst of shots as the Mexican continued to realise that Viloria wasn't going to be able to take him out with a single blow. This was further proven in round 7 as both men landed huge bombs on each other to start.

Sadly for Viloria after winning round 7 he started to fade badly as Estrada came on strong and really let his hands go up close as he waged a toe-to-toe war with Viloria who seemed unable to match the work-rate, power, speed or accuracy of his younger rival. By the end of round 8 Viloria was starting to appear very weary as if he was running out of gas and this showed in the subsequent rounds as Estrada just took over the bout winning an action packed 9th round (the round of the fight) and then final 3 rounds with the 12th being a total domination.

Sadly for Viloria he took a real whooping in the final round and although he remained on his feet (somehow) he took the sort of battering that can make a fighter think twice about returning to the ring. At 32 years old Viloria is an old man for a Flyweight and with his hard fought career against top contenders I'll be honest I'd like to see him hang them up here. He's been a great ambassador for the sport and one of the most fun to watch fighter we've seen in the lower weights for quite some time though the signs at the end of round 12 were that of a fighter who needs to think twice about continuing.

For the 22 year old Estrada this is a career defining victory over a man who was widely regarded as the best Flyweight on the planet. Estrada may have been the man in the right place though he's a fighter who proved against Roman Gonzalez that he was a nightmare for anyone and he could well remain the champion at Flyweight for a very long time (unless he's killing himself to make 112lbs).

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