Sharkie’s Machine: Brian Viloria Knocks Out Ulises Solis
By Frank Gonzalez Jr., exclusive to Doghouse Boxing (April 19, 2009)  
In the Main Event of an action packed fight card that took place at the Araneta Coliseum in Metro Manila in the Philippines, IBO/IBF Flyweight titlist, Nonito Donaire (21-1, 14 KOs) faced then unbeaten Raul Martinez (now 24-1, 14 KO’s). Donaire started the fight aggressively; scoring two knock-downs in the first round and a third knock down in the second round. Martinez had a fairly good round three but was floored for a fourth time by a Donaire left uppercut in the fourth round. After the fourth knockdown, the ref stopped the fight, even though Martinez looked quite capable of
continuing. Martinez pleaded with the ref to no avail—it simply wasn’t up for discussion and that was that.

The fight that preceded Donaire vs. Martinez was the real ‘thriller in Manila ’ Sunday morning in the Philippines —the battle of the Light Flyweights, where Brian Viloria (25-2, 15 KOs) snatched up the IBF title from Ulises Solis (28-2-2, 20 KOs ) in a tremendously entertaining fight that saw Viloria test the limits of Solis’ chin. Viloria was explosive and would attack with combinations that were often landing flush and wearing Solis down. There was lots of back and forth exchanges that shifted the momentum, though Viloria was clearly in charge during the first half of the fight. Midway into the battle, Solis started to find some rhythm and win a few rounds but Viloria, in front of his national fans, would not be denied. Whenever Solis mounted a comeback, Viloria turned up the heat and put on one of his career best performances against arguably one of the toughest men in the Flyweight division.

This was an intensely competitive fight but Viloria more often managed to get the better of Solis during exchanges and certainly landed the bigger, more telling punches throughout. Solis was penalized a point in the third round and again in the sixth for low blows but Viloria’s trunks were pretty high. At one point, the ref pulled Brian’s trunks down a bit but it was too late.

Viloria pressured Solis aggressively at the start of each round. But in the fourth, Solis came on stronger, landing many good shots and showing Viloria the potency of his own right hand. Solis rallied in spots, always going to the body in capping off his head shot combinations. This was the first round Solis won.

In the fifth, Viloria started by landing a big right that stunned Solis. A moment later, a Viloria left hook started a cut on the corner of the right eye of Solis. Smelling blood, Viloria tried to close the show but Solis threw a low blow that saw the referee, Bruce McTavish pause the action to give Viloria recovery time. I thought he’d take a point but he didn’t, until Solis threw another low punch (that was actually on the high belt line of Viloria’s trunks) and the ref penalized him with a second point deduction in five rounds.

Having won only the fourth round, by the time the sixth started, Solis needed a knockout to win. Solis used his jab to force the preferred distance/range and started to change the momentum, catching Viloria with a volley of clean punches. Viloria landed a flush right that stunned Solis, who answered with a big right of his own followed by a combination that scored.

Rounds seven and eight were very close, with Solis taking the lead and Viloria at times, appeared to lose focus in spots that enabled Solis to out-box him. Solis had to be trailing big time on the cards but the fight remained competitive, even in the rounds where Viloria was dominant. Viloria rocked Solis with another big right in the ninth. Lots of back and forth action. Solis jabbed to set up his power punches that were finding Viloria, who landed a nasty right left combo. Solis stung Viloria with a flurry of punches that saw another great round of boxing stopped by the bell.

The tempo shifted back in Viloria’s favor in the tenth as he blasted Solis early, Solis landed a big left hook. Viloria went wild, banging Solis with a cacophony of shots. What a fight! What a great round of boxing!

In the eleventh round, Viloria kept up the aggression, landing another stinging right. Solis was shaky and Viloria went for the kill, forcing Solis to exchange at center ring. During that exchange, Viloria ducked a left hook and countered it with a flush right cross that Solis stepped right into and boom…the fight was over.

Viloria’s right hand was the story of this fight. He landed it often and effectively throughout the contest. Solis is no slouch so look for him to be back soon, maybe looking for a rematch. Known for his big left hook, Vilora’s right proved equally dangerous when equally applied. Now, Hawaiian Punch comes in two flavors, Left hook and Right Cross..

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