Brian Viloria vs Jose Alfredo Zuniga Preview July 19
Brian ‘The Hawaiian Punch’ Viloria will be stepping back into the ring this Saturday, July 19 when he takes on Jose Alfredo Zuniga of Mexico in a 10-round flyweight bout at the Cotai Arena in Macau, China. Viloria is a former world junior flyweight and flyweight champion who is now in the twilight of his career. However, he hopes to land at least one more crown to his collection before he’s through. His last title defense came last year when he lost his WBO and WBA belts to Juan Francisco Estrada by a split decision.
Even though Zuniga’s record of 11-5 with 5 Kos may not suggest it, the 33-year-old Viloria’s going to have his hands full with his dangerous 25-year-old opponent as he’s hoping to make a name for himself with an upset here. Viloria of Waipahu, Hawaii, will enter the ring with a mark of 33-4 with 19 Kos to his name and has the edge in experience since he’s fought 301 rounds as a pro compared to just 116 by Zuniga. Viloria’s last bout was a 10-round unanimous decision over Juan Herrera back on March 29 while Zuniga’s last contest was a 12-round majority decision loss to Alberto Rossel last September.
Viloria enjoyed a fine amateur career as he represented the U.S. at the 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia, even though he didn’t win a medal. He’s held four world titles since turning pro in 2001, but ‘s can’t afford another loss on his record if he hopes to earn another shot at a world champion. Zuniga is eight years younger than his opponent and he’s gunning for Viloria as a way to elevate himself in the rankings. His best wins have come over Luis Ceja and Ganigan Lopez and his loss to Rossel was quite close.
Viloria’s been in the ring with some top opposition over the years, so he shouldn’t see anything new in the ring against Zuniga, but he can’t afford to look past him either. Viloria possesses good skills and hand speed and knows how to deal with adversity and adapt in the ring. He’s got pretty good power for a lighter weight division and also owns a decent chin, being stopped just once. He should be motivated for this outing since it could lead to a big-money bout against Zou Shiming, the two-time Olympic gold medalist from China.
Zuniga turned pro back in 2009 and is quite a durable fighter. He has a somewhat awkward style which makes him dangerous, but doesn’t really have much in the way of power. He owns a solid jab and also likes to go to the body, which may be his best plan of attack against the aging Viloria. As for Viloria’s weaknesses, he sometimes becomes lazy during fights and misses too many of his punches. He needs to throw accurate shots and make sure he doesn’t allow Zuniga to outpunch and outwork him.
Zuniga needs to make sure he doesn’t leave himself open since Viloria will may him pay for it if he does. He has a habit of lunging with his punches and this could cost him if Viloria’s able to time him coming in. Zuniga’s chin isn’t anywhere near the best in the business since he’s been stopped three times already in his young career.
Viloria has to win this fight if he hopes to land another world title shot and that should motivate him. He’s experienced and still has enough power in his fists to end a fight suddenly. Zuniga is taking a big step up in class and could pose a problem for the first few rounds by outworking his opponent. But Viloria should eventually figure him out and either stop him in the second half of the fight or take the contest by a closer-than-expected decision.
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