Bare Eye

Time for Viloria to join Pacquiao’s elite gang


Brian Viloria scored a knockdown each with a selection of killer punches-an opening right cross, a rocket-like right straight, a culminating left hook-to stop Mexico’s Hernan Marquez and unify the WBO and WBA world flyweight boxing titles.

It was a tough and very trying assignment as the 31-year-old Viloria had aptly predicted.

But if the bout did at several furious points appear like a mismatch, it was due to the smorgasbord of punches Viloria was able to bring to the table.

Add to that the obvious miscue the referee had committed in ruling a Viloria fall in the fifth round a mere slip.

* * *

Viloria, at points, did succeed in engaging in a fistic feast.

He was dishing out lethal blows, leaving his foe to suck in poison leather, when the referee mercifully ordered a halt.

Of course, it was Marquez’s chief handler Robert Garcia who threw in the towel to signal his man had had enough.

But it was also not surprising that Viloria next admitted “the victory looked bad, but I wasn’t hurt.”

* * *

He was hurt.

The bout was closer than it had appeared on the television screen.

Take it from one seasoned and gifted fight chronicler, who rated the fifth round of the world flyweight unification bout in Los Angeles one for the books, maybe the finest round in all of boxing this year.

Tyson Marquez started the fifth round with evil intent, wrote Mitt McGrain of “Viloria remained cool once more and had great success with a twisting right uppercut to the gut … which already had the look of being the punch to take newfound wind out of Marquez’s sails-when instead the Mexican found a crunching right hand counter that drew an audible sigh from the crowd. Little Tyson then absolutely poured on the hurt, driving Viloria back to the ropes and landing perhaps fifteen unanswered cuffing punches before driving him across the ring and to the canvas in what was questionably ruled a slip. While Viloria did technically slip to the ground it happened in the main because he was being beaten across the ring by a near-possessed opponent.”

* * *

McGrain was direct to the point.

A punch did go in right before Viloria hit the canvas.

This reporter saw that fleeting blow itself.

Anyway, slip or no slip, the brilliant result should help solidify Viloria’s candidacy as certified member of the elite pound-for-pound gang.

The win did not only erase sorry memories of his unstable, fast-fading stands. It also confirmed his newfound grit and maturity.

* * *

By the way, Manny Pacquiao was supposed to have been at ringside to help work the Viloria bout for television.

There were conflicting reports on why Pacquiao had decided to skip it.

Of course, it could’ve helped detect debilitating effects of digging in blindly and taking a shallow crouch while going for a knockout.

But more than that, Pacquiao could’ve also fully appreciated the killer blow, the rocket-like straight, thrown by Viloria safely from atop, that floored Marquez for the second time on Sunday.

The shot was launched from the seat of power down the navel, not unlike a spitfire mantis strike by the immortal Bruce Lee.

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  • robrano

    An “elite gang” which just fights Mexicans, only there where blood tests are not requested to prove no doping?

  • Denzel Boksingero

    Masyadong negative magsulat si Recah Trinidad about Pinoy boxers. Sports writer ka Mr Trinidad pero your writing about sports is mediocre. Parang political column. Walang aksyon…

  • Estace Yambot

    FAREWELL TO A LEGEND- Manuel ‘Mau’i Reynante
    Every summer, me and my boyhood friends trek to the town plaza, you see small and big groups from the neighboring barrio, some of them even barefoot but everyone’s excited as it only happens once a year. It is electric. No kid wants to miss out this opportunity, this is better than Christmas, to get a glimpse of the boys of summer. Waiting patiently, lining up the ro…ad, everyone’s jockeying for position, the sun is blazing, it is high noon but the town is in a standstill. Eerily there are no Jeepneys or tricycles on the road and all of a sudden you hear commotion ‘ayan, ayan na!’ (here they come, here they come) and you see a jokester riding his bike at the middle of the road. The town police blows his whistle and goes after the guy, and the crowd cusses and laughs and howls. Then everybody settles down again, from afar you hear the siren of the police motorbikes, and you see the sponsor car that reads Marlboro Tour. As little as I was, I have to fight it just so no one impedes my view, then swoosh, a bunch of sweaty sunburnt skinny cyclists with massive legs sprint to the finish, split second of happiness, then applaud! You can’t beat the exhilliration, to see your heroes in person. Bonzo, Etrata, Rivas, Sicam, Igos just to name a few. These are your idols within arms length. You marvel at their strengths, amazed by their bikes, then one by one they go to a nearby ‘poso’ to soak themselves, doze with well water to cool down their overheated bodies dead tired from 4-6 hours of biking. No support bus, no gatorade, no powerbars, no pretentions. A groupie gives them a ration of rice and ‘ulam’ on a skimpy cellophane and you wonder how will that small amount of food suffice? But they still cycle on, they must be supermen.
    Fast forward and here I am, a wannabe cyclist based in Caifornia, invited by a friend to join this Giro de Barkada in Stockton. I can barely keep up as I was gasping for air, legs are burning, and was ready to pass out. Then here comes an ‘old man’, passing the peloton on the left, this is crazy. Then I realized how out of shape I was. During the after ride festivities, I learned that ‘that old man’ was Manuel ’Maui’ Reynante. Inaugural and two time winner of the Tour of Philippines. I can’t believe it! One of my childhood heroes, the ‘Armstrong of Philippine Cycling’ is here with me. How cool was that? I shook his hand, I remember the strong grip, and he joked with me, giving me pointers on how to improve my cycling skills. For that brief moment, I truly enjoyed his company, like he is just one of the guys. He has this outgoing personality, down to earth, unpretentious, humble. His bright smile, energy, playfulness, enthusiasm is so real, Tutuong Tao!
    Manuel Reyante, 67 year old was the inspiration and is instrumental in the organization of Pinoy Cycling Clubs here in Northern California. Thousands of Pinoys here in this part of the States are now active and participating regularly in different Club sponsored rides. Teams such as Luzvimin Racing Team, Tracy Riders Cycling Club, Team Coconut Cycling Team, Tropa, Siclista, Barangay Team are much involved in these huge and highly successful cycling events attended by hundreds of cyclists and are also involved in different fund raising events for charities like Bantay Bata.
    Suddenly the shockwave reverberates from the shattering news of Manuel ‘Maui’ Reyante’s passing. Everyone has his story of the man, and no adequate words can express the enormous degree of sadness and loss that we feel with his tragic passing. The Filipino Cycling Community not only in the States but in the Philippines as well is sadder and less joyful without him.
    For this I pay tribute to the man. The legend. His legacy lives on, he is irreplaceable, a great ambassador, most remarkable individual. He is revered as one of the all time best cyclists in the Philippines. He is the symbol of the working class, never forgetting his blue collar root. He is the Godfather of Pinoy Cycling this side of the earth, most beloved for his friendship and loyalty. His contribution to the sport is unparalleled and will never be forgotten, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones. But if there are of any consolation, the legend comes home, riding his bicycle. Farewell to a legend, farewell to a friend. Ride on Sir Maui.

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