MACAU – After losing his titles to Juan Francisco Estrada the other night, Brian Viloria vowed to stage a comeback and asked for a rematch against the younger Mexican fighter.
But Viloria, now the former WBO and WBA flyweight champion, will have to wait a while because it looks like Estrada has already agreed to face Filipino Milan Melindo in August.
“I want a rematch. I gave you this chance so you give me a chance. You can reciprocate,” Viloria, bruised and battered, said during the post-fight press conference at The Venetian.
“I’m not finished yet. Tonight was just a little bump on the road. I’m going to come back,” said Viloria, who apologized to his Filipino fans for “letting you down.”
Estrada, who was waiting for his turn to be called up the stage, seemed to have agreed instantly, and Viloria gave him the thumbs-up sign while saying, “Okay? Let’s do it again.”
Fight promoter Bob Arum cut the impromptu negotiations short by saying Estrada will take on Melindo next, and maybe the 32-year-old Viloria can face the winner.
“Let’s do that,” Viloria said.
The Filipino-American fought Estrada hard for 12 rounds and dropped a split decision. He felt he could have won the fight while others thought he blew it.
Neither fighter went down although at times in the closing rounds, Viloria looked ready to go. But he managed to hang on, ducking and throwing punches until the end.
One judge had it 115-113 for Viloria while the two others had it 117-111 and 116-111 for Estrada.
Viloria walked into the conference room with a swollen face and plasters above his eyes due to cuts that needed a couple of stitches to close.
“I’m sorry I look different than when I first came here,” was the first thing he said through the microphone.
Melindo, still undefeated in 29 fights, earlier knocked out Indonesian Tommy Seran inside three rounds, to earn the title shot against Estrada.
In the post-fight press conference, he said he’s ready for the Mexican.
“I think I can beat him. He’s not that strong because he failed to knock Viloria out. I saw the fight. I can handle him. I can beat him,” said Melindo of Estrada.
Melindo, who fights for ALA Boxing of Cebu, is willing to fight Estrada in Macau although the Mexican camp is thinking of holding it in Mexico.
Both camps are already looking at the first week of August. In the meantime, Viloria will have to wait, rest for a while and ponder his next move.
“I need to go back to the drawing board and then come back stronger. I’ve been here before. I want a rematch,” said Viloria.
“I want a rematch then I will make things easier for myself. I need to do some things in the gym for me to correct some things. I’ll fight tomorrow if I could,” he said.
Estrada’s victory spoiled what could have been a great night of boxing for the Filipinos at the Cotai Arena of The Venetian Hotel.
The Peñalosa brothers, Dave and Dodie Boy Jr., put on some show when they knocked out their separate opponents from Thailand.
Dave, who figured in the opening bout, didn’t waste much time stopping Cheroenchai Sithsaithong in the second round of their super-bantamweight bout scheduled for four.
Fight fans who came in early had just started to warm up their seats when Dave pulled off the victory and improved his unbeaten record to 6-0 with four knockouts.
Dodie Boy Jr. climbed the ring and didn’t stay there for long either.
But the ride wasn’t as smooth as his brother’s because Dodie Boy went down in the first round after he took a hard left from his Thai opponent.
Dodie Boy got up and hung on. Then in the second, it was his turn to score a knockdown after connecting with his own left.
In the third round, he went for the kill and after rocking his opponent with a left cross, he landed a couple of body blows, the last one sending Sithsaithong down for good.
“We’re happy with their performance. I think Bob Arum was also happy,” said Gerry Peñalosa after watching his nephews hurdle their matches.
Dodie Boy Peñalosa Sr., also a former two-time world champion, is the father and trainer of the two promising boxers. He was all smiles.
Estrada just spoiled all the fun.