Mexico's Juan Francisco Estrada (L) fights against Brian Viloria of the U.S. during their WBO/WBA World Flyweight Title match at Cotai Arena, inside Venetian Macao in Macau April 6, 2013. Photo by Bobby Yip, Reuters.
MANILA (2nd UPDATE) – Filipino-American boxer Brian Viloria failed to retain his WBO and WBA flyweight crowns on Saturday night following a split decision loss to a younger and faster Juan Francisco Estrada in the main supporting bout of the "Fist of Gold" card in Macau on Saturday night.
Estrada, at 22 a decade younger than his Filipino-American opponent, was in front on two of the judges scorecards to claim a fully deserved win over the scheduled 12 rounds.
Two of the judges saw it 116-111 and 117-111 for Estrada. The other judge favored Viloria, 115-113.
Estrada improves his overall record to 23 victories against two defeats.
Viloria tried to match Estrada’s pace in the early rounds, but the Mexican consistently unloaded body punches that wore down the defending champion.
The 22-year-old Estrada also controlled the match by using his longer reach, preventing “The Hawaiian Punch” from landing his power punches.
Viloria, sporting green and gold trunks, rattled Estrada again with 40 seconds to go in the fifth with a straight right to the Mexican's face, and he pulled off the same right over the top at the start of the sixth.
The Filipino then decided to engage the Mexican in close combat, but Estrada did better in the exchange.
As the fight went on, Viloria began to tire, with both men bleeding.
Viloria was given a stern ticking off from the referee in the 10th for a low blow, perhaps a sign he knew he had lost impetus, and the older man was firmly on the back foot at the end of that round.
It was more of the same in the 12th and final round, as both boxers went in search of a big finish, Viloria getting pinned into his own corner as he desperately tried to cling on to his belts.
"Now the cameras will turn on me, before this fight I considered myself a nobody in boxing," Estrada said afterwards, promising to give his beaten opponent -- whose face was badly cut -- a rematch, possibly in Macau.
"Now I am starting my career and I feel very happy about it."
It was a sad loss for the 32-year-old Filipino-American who unified the WBO and WBA belts by stopping Hernan “Little Tyson” Marquez last November.
The defeat also ended his six-fight win streak since 2010.
The other Filipinos in the Fist of Gold card won their respective assignments.
Milan Melindo, who had been chasing Viloria for a WBO title shot, stopped Indon fighter Tommy Seran in the fourth round.
Penalosa siblings Dave and Dodie Boy Jr. also won against a pair of Thai fighters.
Dave scored a 2nd-round stoppage against Cheroenchai Sithsaithong, while Dodie Boy fought his way back from a first-round knockdown to halt Ngaotawan Sithsaithong in round 3.
In the main event, Chinese Olympic medalist Zou Shiming outpointed Eleazar Valenzuela. -- With Agence France-Presse
Fist of Gold will be aired locally on ABS-CBN Channel 2 on Sunday, starting at 9:55 a.m.