With his energy waning and the fight slipping from his grasp, Brian Viloria landed a devastating counter left hook in the tenth round to end the resurgent hopes of Hernan “Tyson” Marquez last night at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California. It was a thrilling conclusion to this battle of top-ranked flyweights, which, though one-sided at times, featured enough hard-hitting action to more than satisfy the crowd.
The fight was scorching from the start, with Viloria dropping Marquez on the seat of his pants with a flush counter right hand late in the opening session. The knockdown was the culmination of a wild sequence that first saw Marquez, who had been on the defensive for much of the round, land his best punch so far, a cuffing left that sent Viloria backing away. His confidence up, Marquez charged forward, opening up with both hands, only to walk into the knockdown blow. He rose at the count of seven, though clearly hurt, and had the bell not rung immediately, the fight might have been over with the next clean punch.
Using both hands effectively and going hard to the body, Viloria, 111 3/4, controlled the action over the next few rounds, piling up points as he backed Marquez around the ring. In the third, Marquez, 110 3/4, was forced to hold after taking a body shot along the ropes, and in the fourth, though more aggressive, he once more took the worst of it.
The fifth was an extraordinary three minutes of action, with the fortunes of both men teetering on the edge of disaster. Marquez started the round with more purpose, eager to exchange for the first time all night, and was rewarded when a right hand sent Viloria reeling. Marquez jumped into action with a two-handed barrage, and in his haste to escape, Viloria tasted the canvas, though it was ruled a slip by Referee David Mendoza. Up quickly but still unsteady, Viloria was driven into the ropes, where he was pinned for a frantic thirty seconds. Although Marquez–firing away non-stop with both hands–was landing, Viloria managed to get his legs back, and it was Marquez, arm-weary from his assault, who was suddenly in trouble. With the action shifting to the middle of the ring, Viloria unloaded, scoring with a three-punch combination that sent Marquez tumbling backwards to the canvas along the ropes. Now it was Viloria’s turn to go for it, only for Marquez to stand his ground, and for the final sixty seconds of the round, both fighters took turns banging away, though Viloria was once more in the ascendancy when the bell rang.
The action calmed in the sixth, and in the seventh, though still in control, Viloria, Waipahu, Hawaii, began to show he might be struggling with the pace. Having forced the issue over the first half of the bout, Viloria began to pick his spots, and while he was effective in beating Marquez to the punch, the Mexican slugger was now the fighter moving forward.
The shift in momentum continued into the eighth, with an emboldened Marquez pressing, and Viloria, who had been really digging with shots early in the fight, flurrying quickly before sliding away from pressure. At times Viloria was too quick with his feet, though on a few occasions Marquez, Empalme, Sonora, Mexico, managed to score along the ropes. The round also featured an almost egregious foul. With Marquez putting on the heat in the waning seconds, Viloria ducked down, bending over forward in the corner to avoid the pressure. Inexplicably, Marquez tried to hammer down on the back of Viloria’s head, as if playing a game of whack-a-mole. Fortunately, he missed, but he was reprimanded by Mendoza for his intent.
The ninth round was the best of the fight for Marquez. Steadily marching forward, he successfully closed the distance repeatedly, catching Viloria with slashing shots upstairs, while digging hard to the body. Viloria, fighting almost exclusively off his back-foot at this stage, was still scoring, though there appeared to be little steam behind his punches, and he gave ground continuously to his hard charging foe.
But in the tenth, with Marquez pouring it on and digging to the body with fervor, Viloria’s stunning left hook gave the fight one final, dramatic twist. The punch dropped Marquez, 34-3(25), flat on his back, and though he managed to pull himself up at the count of eight, his legs were gone. In an attempt to hold, he slipped to the canvas, and after regaining his footing was forced into the corner. In a final act of defiance, Marquez fired a 1-2, but his trainer had seen enough, and with the white towel waving, Mendoza called a halt to the action. The time of the stoppage was 1:01.
After the bout, Viloria, now 32-3-0-2 (19), expressed hopes that HBO or Showtime might finally take an interest in his career. Roman Gonzalez, who won a terrific 12-rounder over Juan Francisco Estrada on the undercard, was mentioned as a potential opponent, and if both sides are willing, that’s surely a bout that can’t be ignored by the cable giants.
Make sure to check out The Living Daylights, a boxing site like no other.