Filipino boxing champ Brian Viloria (left) and Mexican challenger Juan Francisco Estrada Photo by Val Cuenca, ABS-CBN News
MANILA, Philippines – World boxing champion Brian Viloria expects a tough battle against his younger challenger from Mexico as they square off in Macau Saturday night.
Viloria will defend his WBO and WBA flyweight crowns against 22-year-old Juan Francisco Estrada on the “Fist of Gold” fight card at the Cotai Arena of the luxurious Venetian Macao Resort Hotel.
The Filipino champion expects Estrada to engage him in a brawl to prove himself worthy of sharing the same ring with him.
“I am expecting a toe-to-toe fight. A hard barn-burner,” Viloria, nicknamed the “Hawaiian Punch”, told BoxingScene’s Ronnie Nathanielsz.
But the 32-year-old Viloria is determined to force his will against Estrada.
“I will counter with a smart fight. I’m going to pace right off the bat and not let his youth and aggressiveness take over and try to disrupt my fight plan.”
Viloria is a veteran of 37 fights, with a 32-3-0-2 slate.
The last time he suffered a defeat was in 2010 when he succumbed to dehydration while fighting Carlos Tamara.
Since then, he bounced back by winning 6 straight victories. Along the way, he won the WBO and WBA titles.
“I fought my way tooth and nail to get to this point. There’s a lot more ways to go. There are bigger and better things ahead. I don’t know how bigger and better it can get after this but I feel I’m on the right track and I want to stay on this track,” Viloria said in a separate interview with The Philippine Star.
The hard-hitting Estrada, meanwhile, has compiled 22 wins against 2 defeats.
“I will give my all inside the ring as always. I’m excited,” said Estrada, who used to campaign at the junior flyweight division.
He said he feels more comfortable fighting as a flyweight as he didn’t need to squeeze himself too much to make the weight limit.
“I feel stronger now,” Estrada said.
The card will also feature Milan “El Metodico” Melindo, Dodie Boy Peñalosa Jr., and his brother David Peñalosa.
The crafty Melindo will trade punches against Indonesian boxer Tommy Seran, while Dodie Boy Jr. will battle Thailand’s Ngaotawan Sithsaithong.
David, on the other hand, will face Cheroenchai Sithsaithong.
The main attraction of "Fist of Gold" is Chinese Olympic superstar Zou Shiming, who will be making his professional debut against Eleazar Valenzuela.
If things go as planned, Viloria will be having a lucrative fight with Shiming, said Top Rank’s Bob Arum.
The blockbuster card will be aired locally on ABS-CBN Channel 2 on Sunday, starting at 10:15 a.m.