Monday, March 27, 2023  |



Blandon: Viloria not considered for ‘Chocolatito’ fight yet

Photo by Mark Ralston/Getty Images

Photo by Mark Ralston/Getty Images


The manager of Roman Gonzalez says the RING flyweight champion is ready to fight anyone but says resurgent contender Brian Viloria isn’t in the running to be his next opponent until his team makes a formal proposal.

Gonzalez (43-0, 37 knockouts) is set to appear in the co-featured bout of the HBO pay-per-view card headlined by the WBA middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin vs. IBF beltholder David Lemieux on Oct. 17 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Viloria (36-4, 22 KOs) began actively campaigning for a clash with the three-division champion after knocking out Omar Soto in one round this past weekend. Viloria, 34, has now won four straight since ceding the WBA/WBO flyweight titles in a split decision loss to Juan Francisco Estrada in April 2013.

Viloria remains RingTV’s No. 3 contender at 112 pounds, behind Estrada and IBF titleholder Amnat Ruenroeng. Gonzalez, in addition to being the division’s champion, is also rated No. 2 pound-for-pound.

“Brian Viloria is a good fighter, an ex-champion and we believe a fight with him would be great,” Gonzalez’s manager, Carlos Blandon told RingTV, “but there are other candidates; he is not the only one.

“Right now for the October date, he is not even in the race [to be the] possible rival. Now, if Viloria’s people send us a proposal worth considering, then we will consider it. But for now, we have not received any.”

A follow-up email inquiring which fighters were being considered for the date wasn’t responded to by press time.

Viloria told RingTV over the weekend that he felt Gonzalez had been “dodging” a fight with him for years.

“We’ve been wanting to get a match against him but his people have been saying he’s not ready yet or he doesn’t want to commence in talks to get us together,” Viloria said of Gonzalez. “Hopefully my manager [Gary Gittelsohn] can do something and get him to commit to a fight against me close to the end of the year or in the next couple of months.”

Gittelsohn had said he would begin discussions with HBO to make the fight on Monday.

Gonzalez’s manager, who handles the Nicaraguan fighter along with Japanese promoter Teiken Promotions, asserts that Viloria needs Gonzalez more so than Gonzalez needs him.

“Brian Viloria needs to fight champions like Roman in order to regain his credibility in the ring, so the ball is in their court,” says Blandon.

“If it was up to Roman, he would fight monthly, but there is a business behind the sport and, most importantly, we take care of Roman’s health and well-being before any decision. Money does not move us; it just motivates.”


Ryan Songalia is the sports editor of Rappler, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and a contributor to The Ring magazine. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @RyanSongalia.