By Chito Yu Katangkatang
Photos: Big Joe Miranda
Unified WBO and WBA Flyweight Champion Brian Viloria is in Manila to celebrate his recent victory over Hernan Marquez with his countrymen. This scribe caught the soft spoken Champ at the taping of GMA7 sitcom “Bubble Gang” where Viloria was a special guest. In an exclusive interview for Fightnews.com, Viloria shared some of his thoughts on his career next-steps.
With Milan Melindo as his next mandatory challenger for his WBO crown and Roman Gonzales who is moving up to challenge him for his newly acquired WBA belt, this scribe asked him who’s next in line. Viloria calmly told us, “As much as possible, I don’t want to face another Filipino but I worked so hard to get my WBO belt that I cannot imagine giving it away that easy. We will see how things progress about my WBO defense. Right now, the most lucrative fight is against Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzales. Chocolatito is undefeated, has a great KO ratio. It’s the fight that people would love to see. It will be a big big fight in the lower division.”
The Hawaiian Punch also shared that the Marquez fight ended up in their desired result and looked easy because they really worked hard for it during training camp. “We have prepared for four months. We developed a gameplan and I executed it inside the ring. I followed the game plan strictly and it paid off very well. Hernan is a great fighter, he is tough and has power on both fists. But nothing is impossible if you have a good game plan.”
Another star was born from that fight and that is wild card trainer Marvin Somodio who is originally from Promoter Anson Tiu Co’s Shape Up Boxing Gym in Baguio City. Training Viloria was Somodio’s first big assignment from his mentor Freddie Roach and he did the job with flying colors. According to Brian, “I call Marvin as “The Chosen One.” (laughs) He is one great guy. It was so much fun working with him. He is an extension of Freddie Roach and he absorbs what Freddie teaches him pretty fast. A very fast learner. This guy is gonna go far in boxing. He is indeed the man behind the scene. We spoke Ilocano all the time and people were looking at us like “what’s goin on?” Marvin was a great help in my preparation for Marquez and we will be seeing more of him in my next fights.”
Right now, Viloria just wants to relax and enjoy the fruit of his hard work. He wants to celebrate his victory with his wife, his supporters and with his family. “I have no definite date about my next fight. It’s time to relax and enjoy my victory.”
He ended the interview with his message for his fans. “Kumusta kayo amin dyay Ilocos Sur. And to all my countrymen, thank you for the support and the kind words. You have seen me in my ups and downs and know all the hardships. I just want to tell you Maraming maraming Salamat Po!”
Special thanks to GMA7’s Miss Marivic Araneta and Vanessa for the making this interview possible and to Cavite City’s pride Alvin Brian Go for the logistical support.