MANILA -- International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior flyweight champion Brian Viloria said Ivan Calderon will have to square off with Rodel Mayol before even thinking of fighting him.
Calderon, the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior flyweight champion, is set to defend his title Mayol at the Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
“Everyone's saying that Calderon should win this fight easily but the heart of Filipinos is really strong so he shouldn't be looking past Rodel Mayol,” said Viloria in an interview on dzSR’s Sports Chat.
The Puerto Rican champion earlier said that he wanted to fight Viloria to unify the WBO and IBF titles.
Viloria, however, said he should not take Mayol lightly.
“Hope Mayol will take his title. Calderon’s priority should be his next fight and not looking past his next fight,” said the Filipino champion.
“If he (Calderon) wins and regains his title then we'll talk,” added Viloria.
The Mayol-Calderon match will be among the undercard fights in the upcoming title clash between WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto and Joshua Clottey.
Mayol earlier expressed confidence over his chances against Calderon.
“Siguro pag naglaban kami ni Calderon, kayang kaya ko na ‘yan kasi maliit si Calderon,” said Mayol.
The fight would be Mayol’s third attempt on a world title. He said he thinks that this time, he will come out triumphant.
“’Yong training ko hindi parehas sa dalawang laban ko. ‘Yong training ko ngayon binabantayan ako lagi, sa pag-jogging, sa pagkain ko. Tapos ‘yong mga ka-sparring ko malalaki,” the WBO challenger said.