Christmas package from Brian Viloria and SSS
His spectacular conquest of a tough Mexican warrior on Sunday has visibly landed underdog Brian Viloria among the top ten pound-for-pound boxers in the world.
Maybe not (yet) in the Upper 5, but his masterful display of sharpness, power and courage—together with the clinical integrity of referee Samuel Viruet—has made the WBO flyweight title fight one of the year’s finest, ahead of the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez bout in Las Vegas last month.
Of course, the anxious home crowd was supremely wary of Giovani Segura, a feared knockout artist also known as the Aztec Warrior.
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Actually, it could not be said that majority of the fans who came to the Ynares Gym in Pasig showed up ready to be disappointed.
But everybody was visibly unsure how Viloria, with a history of inconsistency, would fare against the celebrated Mexican.
It was also known to everybody that Segura had previously registered a resounding stoppage of the popular Puerto Rican pride Ivan Calderon.
But, come to think of, has anybody bothered to ask if Segura had, say, met somebody with Viloria’s unpredictable power and sharpness.
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What would unwrap on Sunday, courtesy of Viloria, was a sparkling Christmas package.
The bout had a furious start, but with no sign whatsoever how it would finish.
There would only be a strong shift in the third round, after Viloria dug a dagger right hand to Segura’s half-covered belly.
As mentioned previously, Segura tried to keep a straight face, but would next return to his corner as though he had suffered an accident.
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It would be like a punching picnic for Viloria from thereon.
But Viloria was quick to explain the job was not easy as it had appeared.
Of course, it did not take long for fans to realize the Viloria that showed up for what he would call the biggest fight of his life was no longer the tiny warrior whose career had gone up-down-up and maybe nowhere, no thanks to suspect tenacity.
Viloria was on live television the morning after to explain he had never sacrificed and worked as hard as he did against Segura.
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Asked what motivated him, Viloria said it was the damning claim by people who had started to doubt his ability, with others going as far as saying he was at the tail-end of his career.
He said it was a big, very challenging fight.
“I could’ve made it easy by boxing from a distance, avoiding a brawl,” he told columnist Joaquin Henson. “I actually did not follow our game plan. I tried to stand my ground. I wanted to prove myself against a feared pound-for-pound fighter.”
What had obviously been overlooked was the new snap in his punches, which he used to slam, but on Sunday landed with spear-like sharpness.
He was clearly launching shots no longer from his shoulders, but from down the navel, the tested seat of power.
In the end, the bigger bonus was the rekindled romance with fans that goaded him on, shouting, thundering his name again and again in the thick of battle.
With that career-defining win, there should be no turning back for the reborn Hawaiian Punch.
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(SSS YULE INFO: “This is Monreal Naciancino, Vice President of the SSS, NCR Operations Group. I’ve read your column regarding your request for the recomputation of your SSS monthly pension. Please be informed that same has now been done. Your monthly pension has been properly adjusted. Also, your accumulated adjustments can be withdrawn from your depository bank on Dec. 30, 2011. Thank you for your continued trust, Merry Christmas.”)