Monday, May 29, 2023  |


Brian Viloria targets late-year return, then title

Fighters Network
Brian Viloria (left) battled valiantly against Roman Gonzalez in October 2015 but was eventually stopped in the ninth round. (Photo: Naoki Fukuda)

Brian Viloria (left) battled valiantly against Roman Gonzalez in October 2015 but was eventually stopped in the ninth round. (Photo: Naoki Fukuda)

They say time flies when you’re having fun. It has been 16 years since a then-19-year-old Brian Viloria was part of the U.S. boxing team at the 2000 Olympics.

In the ensuing years, Viloria’s career has endured peaks and valleys. He has won four world titles as a pro and lost when he was expected to win. However, he has designs on adding to his tally of world honors before walking off into the sunset.

The diminutive boxer-puncher is reminiscing over representing his country at the Sydney games, though surprisingly isn’t watching boxing.

“I’ve been watching the Olympics,” Viloria told last Friday. “I‘m very proud of the guys. To be honest, I haven’t seen much of the boxing. I’ll take a look over some of the replays and see the talent that is coming through.”

Although it is 10 months since his last fight — a spirited effort against consensus pound-for-pound No. 1 Roman Gonzalez — Viloria, who lives in Los Angeles, says he’s a regular at the gym and tries to stay close to his fighting weight, estimating he’s currently around 122 pounds.

“Life is great,” said Viloria, whose ledger sits at 36-5 (22 knockouts). “It was a great match with “Chocolatito.” He’s a talent, he’s a special kind of guy. I’m really happy to have fought him. You always want to fight the best and I fought the best.

“I’m helping raise my son; I took a bit of a hiatus. Hopefully we’ll have a fight in place before the year end and try to get back.”

So what weight class is the “Hawaiian Punch” focused on returning in?

“Flyweight has been comfortable for me,” he said. “Right now I’m going to see what my options are at 112. Possibly, maybe go up to 115 but right now I’m comfortable in that weight division (flyweight).”

Beyond that decision, Viloria’s goal is simple: one more title for the road.

“That’s something I want to do and then I’ll have to cross that bridge on retiring, but it would be great to get one more [title] under my belt before I call it a day with boxing.”

Back in June, Viloria, who turns 36 in November, made the pilgrimage to Canastota to visit the International Boxing Hall of Fame. The likeable Hawaiian was well received and a popular figure.

“It was an amazing experience to spend time with some of the legends of boxing and be able to pick their minds, see what their mindsets are and being surrounded by the greatness,” he said proudly. “I would recommend to a lot fighters to try to go out there and experience that firsthand, to see the history of boxing and be around some of the greatest fighters there is in the sport of boxing.”

He firmly believes it would be an honor to be recognized at the Hall of Fame but, “right now I’m not done with this sport.”

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