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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, August 10, 2006

Viloria finally will fight back

Advertiser Staff


Viloria vs. Romero, 3 p.m., OLN

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Brian Viloria pronounced his recovering right hand "100 percent ready to go" and would like to prove it on challenger Omar Nino Romero in their World Boxing Council light flyweight championship fight today in Las Vegas.

The scheduled 12 rounder is the main event of a card at the Orleans Hotel that will be shown on the Outdoor Life Network beginning at 3 p.m., Hawai'i time.

"It feels like I just fought here (in Las Vegas)," Viloria said after yesterday's weigh-in during which both fighters came in at the 108-pound limit.

But a lot has happened since February, when the Waipahu native last defended his title with a unanimous decision over Jose Antonio Aguirre, the WBC's No. 3 contender, in Las Vegas. Viloria broke a bone in his right hand in that bout, an injury that has kept him inactive until now and forced postponement of a mandatory WBC bout.

It was the second time in Viloria's 19-0 (12 knockouts) career that an injury to the right hand forced a layoff, but it shouldn't be a factor in this fight, Viloria's corner said. "It (the hand) is perfect," said Gary Gittelsohn, Viloria's manager.

"The specialist in Los Angeles cleared Brian six weeks ago to resume sparring and the Nevada commission doctor looked at it (yesterday),' Gittelsohn said. "Quite frankly, I would not put him in any fight if there was even a half of a percent of concern."

The 30-year-old Romero is 23-2-1 (10 KOs) and the No. 10-ranked contender. He has won his last four fights but has not fought outside his native Mexico. "He doesn't take a step backward and will be pressuring Brian," Gittelsohn said.

Viloria and Romero have had one common opponent, Gilberto Keb Baas. Viloria knocked out Baas in the 11th round in 2004 and Romero was stopped by Baas in the fifth round in 1998.

Viloria's 20th victory in a five-year professional career could launch him in one of two directions. It could mean a bout with Wandee Singwangcha of Thailand in a WBC-mandated bout. Or, it could open the way for a unification bout with Koki Kameda of Japan with both the WBC and World Boxing Association titles on the line.

"Right now, we're only concerned about this (Romero) fight," Gittelsohn said.