By Mike Cherry
Honolulu (HawaiiNewsNow) – Despite sporting a 2-inch cut above his right eye that swelled by the second, Brian Viloria (29-3) couldn't have been happier Saturday night. The Waipahu native defeated Julio Cesar Miranda by unanimous decision for the WBO Flyweight championship in a fight that went the full 12 round distance.
Roughly 90-seconds into round one, Viloria struck the first resounding blow, sending Miranda to the canvas in what would be the fight's only knock down of the night. As it turned out, it set the tone for the "Hawaiian Punch" as well.
"That felt great," admitted Viloria.
"I didn't expect it to happen. But, you know, I didn't want to get myself overly confident. That's how you have to take a look at it, and be like, alright I got this and give yourself enough time to lay back just a little bit."
Viloria did anything but relax.
Unlike his last championship bout versus Carlos Tamara (a fight that saw Viloria unable to answer the 12th round bell, thus forfeiting his IBF light flyweight title, despite leading in the judge's score card), Viloria was determined to go the distance.
And he did with the help of a raucous crowd who chanted his name in every round.
"I needed to dig down deep in those last couple of rounds and just hearing everyone's chant took me over that. Those are the type of fights that just energizes you. The people out here...I love them."
When the final bell sounded Viloria's hand was raised in victory as he claimed the WBO flyweight championship, the 3rd title of his pro career. And maybe the best of them all.
"I think it was more proving to myself," said Viloria. "Proving to myself that I still belong on the world caliber stage. Losing the title the way I did in Manila, it sets you back a little bit. This is...I think....sweeter than my first two world titles."