The flyweight division rarely gets a lot of attention in boxing, but one of the biggest fights in the division's history is upon us. Hernan "Tyson" Marquez will battle Brian "Hawaiian Punch" Viloria in a match to determine the premier fighter at 112 pounds.
Marquez (34-2, 25 KOs) will put his WBA Super World Flyweight title on the line, and Viloria (31-3, 18 KOs) will stake his WBO Flyweight title in the first unification bout the division has seen in 40 years.
There is a lot at stake, and both fighters recognize it.
Marquez told Boxing Scene:
I'm very motivated. My mind is only focused on beating Viloria, so I am training with a great team that is led by Robert Garcia in Oxnard. I'm very happy, there is nothing else that I need. We are eager and focused on training,
Viloria also knows the urgency involved with this bout. Per Boxing Scene Viloria said: "there's nothing for me if I don't win this."
Aside from the serious focus on the fight, both fighters appear to be very likable guys. Viloria, who is Filipino-American, is a die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan, per his Twitter account:
Really Gasol? Really? SMH. #Lakers— Brian Viloria (@BrianViloria) November 14, 2012
The Mexican-born Marquez eats, sleeps, drinks and thinks boxing. It should be an exciting battle, but the great flyweight action may not end with this bout. Another highly touted flyweight is said to be eyeing the winner of this fight.
WBA Light Flyweight champion, Roman "Chocalito" Gonzalez has apparently targeted the winner for a fight in the future, per Boxing Scene. He's a spectacular KO-artist at 33-0 with 28 KOs in his career.
That's still down the road, but here's how you can catch this flyweight unification bout:
When: Saturday, November 17, 9 p.m. ET
Where: The Sports Arena in Los Angeles, Calif.
TV and Live Stream: WealthTV.com
The Book on Viloria
Tale of the Tape (via Boxrec.com)
Nickname: Hawaiian Punch
Birth Place: Waipahu, Hawaii, USA
Viloria is a solid technical fighter. He has a good jab, and his 66" reach is long for the flyweight division. He uses it to his advantage to control tempo.
Though he isn't lightning fast, he has fast hands on the inside. He throws short, hard combinations in-close and has a good feel for when to back away and reset.
He also has solid footwork.
You will rarely see him off-balance, as he maintains a wide-stance most times. It allows him to deliver his punches with good leverage, and to circle and move productively in the ring.
Take a look at Viloria stopping Omar Nino Romero in their third meeting. The stoppage was a bit premature, but Viloria was probably going to finish it in the next 10 seconds. It happens at the 34:37 mark:
His lack of exceptional quickness is perhaps his only significant physical shortcoming. Fighters with a combination of foot and hand speed could give Viloria issue with movement and darting in and out of close quarters.
Viloria also holds back at times with his aggression. He appears to get too comfortable with pace, and that tendency can cause him to take rounds off.
He must use the jab to keep Marquez on the outside. He has a nice reach advantage, and Marquez wants to slug away on the inside. Viloria can't match power with him, but he can outbox him.
He must stay poised and not allow Marquez to entice him into a brawl. If he can slow the pace a bit, he has a great chance of winning a lopsided decision, or even gaining a late-round stoppage.
The Book on Marquez
Tale of the Tape (via Boxrec.com)
Birth Place: Empalme, Sonora, Mexico
Marquez is explosive—hence the nickname. He fights at a breakneck pace, and he has a great chin. He bounces back from punches quickly, and he's dangerous even when he's hurt.
He gets great torque on his power shots, and he throws each of them with the intent to end the fight. Take a look at Marquez's demolition of Luis Concepcion in their second fight:
Marquez isn't hard to hit.
He is especially vulnerable to punches that come straight up the middle. He tends to hold his guard a little too wide; this causes the 1-2 combination to land with more regularity than it should against a high guard.
Because he is so aggressive, he can be impatient at times. This tendency puts him in harm's way a little too often.
In this clip, Marquez is dropped by Concepcion in their first meeting. He came back to win by TKO in the 11th round, but this is an example of how his defense fails him:
Marquez only knows one way to fight.
He's looking for the stoppage in every fight, but because he has good speed, big power and a solid chin, he has a good shot at obtaining his goal.
He needs to turn this fight into a brawl. If he can get Viloria to speed the pace up, he has an advantage.
This is a tough one to call, but I'm going to go with Marquez in this one. His energy and hunger will be tough to subdue. I can't see Viloria eluding his wrathful exchanges for 12 rounds.
I say he stops Viloria in the eighth round.
Follow Brian Mazique and Franchiseplay on YouTube and Twitter for reactions, analysis and news from the world of sports and sports video games