Boxing

Viloria stops Segura to retain title

His sights fixed on lucrative paydays against top-of-the-line opponents, Brian Viloria hurdled a major roadblock Sunday afternoon when he stopped Mexican Giovani Segura in the eighth round before a highly-appreciative crowd at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

Viloria, making the first defense of the World Boxing Organization flyweight title he won last July in his birthplace of Hawaii, put on a sterling showing against somebody who was expected to rip his head off.

Segura came in with sparkling credentials, having knocked out 24 of his 29 opponents, including 11 in the first round.

But Viloria banked on his experience and the support of the crowd as he made Segura’s face look like a Halloween mask when referee Samuel Viruet intervened 29 seconds into the eighth stanza.

Segura was fast and furious in the first round but Viloria took command beginning in the second, leaning on ring generalship and crisp punching to the head and body to register his most remarkable win.

“This win means a lot to me,” said the ecstatic Viloria, who sustained a minor cut on his left eyebrow.

In the end, Segura sported a huge lump near his right eye and he had to be brought to the Medical City for treatment.

Games and Amusements Board boxing division chief Dr. Nasser Cruz said the swelling that Segura suffered has to be treated immediately.

While Viloria was jubilant, he was also very much concerned about Segura, whom he had sparred with many times before.

When the stoppage took place, Viloria led on all the scorecards of the three judges.

Viloria’s manager Gary Gittelson said he “wants Brian to be very active” in 2012 that he is looking for a fight “sometime in mid-February.”

The name of the opponent hasn’t been decided on but on the short list are Thailand’s Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, Mexico’s Hernan “Tyson” Marquez and Puerto Rico’s Ivan Calderon, a rival of Viloria during their amateur days.

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