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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, May 18, 2002

Viloria makes fast work of latest foe

By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Columnist

Viloria makes fast work of latest foe

Brian Viloria was letter perfect last night — and the letters were KO. On a night when it took him longer to get into the ring than it did to win the fight when he got there, Viloria was as left as speechless as anybody among the 3,180 at Blaisdell Center Arena by the demolition of Sandro Oviedo 38 seconds into the first round.

The ring-entering music for Viloria and his seven-member entourage required four minutes. His seventh victory without a loss required two punches. The only sweat he worked up was signing autographs. He absorbed more pats on the back than jabs (two) thrown by his opponent.

"I don't know what to say," Viloria said, shrugging his shoulders and searching for a fitting statement on a night when only words failed him.

"That was the fastest I've ever won a fight, pro or amateur," said Viloria who has had more than 240 of them.

Oviedo, the glaze still in his eyes later in the locker room, said simply, "I retire," through an interpreter.

Indeed, when you are the victim of as textbook perfect a combination as the thunderous left, right that Viloria unloaded to the head, what else is there to say?

"It was as hard as I've been hit," said Oviedo, a veteran of 15 years and 42 fights, still trying to shake the cobwebs.

"He never saw it (the left ) coming; he was caught totally by surprise," marveled referee Abe Pacheco.

This, Viloria's first scheduled eight-round bout, was supposed to be the one that told us about his ability to go a main event distance. After just one bout past four rounds, this was to be the biggest test yet of the Sydney Olympian and against his most veteran opponent.

But on a Tom Moffatt card where his U.S. Olympic teammate Jose Navarro was frustrated having to go the eight-round distance to decision Julio Cesar Oyuela, Viloria was breathtakingly brief and stunningly spectacular.

"I really thought this was going to be a longer fight," Viloria said almost by way of apology. "I planned to go the distance. I assumed it would. He's a pretty tough fighter."

Now Viloria goes from being Oviedo's problem to posing an interesting one for his manager, Gary Gittelsohn, now that ESPN is offering a bout on its June 18 card at Del Mar, Calif., and the WBC and North American Boxing Federation are talking ratings.

For it is Gittelsohn who must now decide whether to leapfrog his fighter into a 10-round World Boxing Council junior title bout or try again for eight rounds.

To push Viloria where his ability wants to take him, or to play it safe a while longer.

But that quandary will wait another day.

For now, Viloria can reflect upon and relish a night's work for which he collected $5,000 per punch.