MACAU—World flyweight champion Brian Viloria knows Mexican Juan Francisco Estrada also packs a wallop. What he wants to find out is whether the Mexican challenger can take a punch as well.
Viloria, the reigning WBO and WBA king, will test the mettle of Estrada in the early rounds, look for his soft spots, and then pour on the heat in their 12-round fight for his titles on Saturday night.
Though listed as heavy favorite over Estrada, who is coming off a close decision loss, to unscathed Roman Gonzalez (33-0), Viloria refuses to be lulled into complacency.
“He (Estrada) is hungry,” Viloria told Filipino sportswriters at The Venetian Macao after the press conference of the fight card headlined by Zou Shiming, China’s two-time Olympic champion and three-time World Amateur champion, who is making his four-round pro debut against Mexican Eleazar Valenzuela.
“I don’t care what happened in the past, but Estrada’s a dangerous fighter because he has nothing to lose and everything to gain.”
Viloria (32-3 with 19 knocouts) describes his foe (22-2, with 17 KOs) as a “high output type of guy.”
“He puts a lot of combinations, a lot of punches,” said Viloria. “He likes to throw uppercuts, likes to throw hooks.”
The Filipino champ is keen on finding out whether Estrada can take power punches to the body and chin.
“I don’t know if he takes great body shots, so I want to test that a little bit,” said Viloria. “I want to see his ability to absorb punches.
“I’m gonna adjust throughout the fight and see the best key to beat him. I think the best fighter does that all the time.”
Thanking Viloria for giving him the opportunity to redeem himself from that loss to Gonzalez, Estrada said he is ready to prove his true worth.
The Mexican also said he would spoil a possible match between Viloria and Zou next year by beating the Filipino.
Other Filipinos seeing action in the 66-round fight card at the 15,000-seat Cotai Arena in The Venetian’s five-hectare resort-casino complex, are unbeaten prospects Milan Melindo of Ala Promotions and the Peñalosa brothers, Dodie Boy Jr. and David.
Melindo, 28-0 with 11 knockouts, will clash with Indonesian flyweight Tommy Seran (18-1, 9 KOs), while David (5-0, 3 KOs) takes on Thai super bantam Cheroenchai Sithsaithong in the four-round curtain raiser set at 6 p.m.
Dodie Boy Jr. (10-0, all by KO) tangles with Thai Nimithra Sithsaithong (4-4, 3 KOs) in another featherweight tussle.
Also present during yesterday’s press conference were Top Rank Promotions chief Bob Arum, former world heavyweight champ George Foreman, trainer Freddie Roach, WBO president Paco Valcarcel, renowned fight commentator Larry Merchant and Viloria’s wife Erica.