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13 NOVEMBER 2018

Where am I? Home Columns Marc Livitz

Gonzalez And Viloria Ready To Steal The Show In NYC

By Marc Livitz: Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez is one the top fighters in the sport of boxing today, yet he also holds the distinction of flying for inexplicable lengths under the pugilistic radar. The unbeaten flyweight sensation from Managua, Nicaragua has torn a silent path through the pound for pound rankings in the game, yet he didn’t get much primetime exposure until earlier this year when he was presented to an American audience on HBO as part of a broadcast involving Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. Last May, “Chocolatito”(43-0, 37 KO’s) knocked out Edgar Sosa in two quick rounds at the legendary Forum in Los Angeles and on October 17th, he’ll once again share the stage with Golovkin.


This time, however he’ll do so inside “the world’s most famous arena”, Madison Square Garden in New York City. Now that Floyd Mayweather, Jr. has perhaps officially retired for good, the mythical “pound for pound” rankings within boxing have been shaken up just a bit. The universally recognized heavyweight champion of the world, Wladimir Klitschko has been placed by some upon the sport’s mountaintop in the wake of Mayweather’s retirement. It can certainly be argued that Roman Gonzalez should at the very least share part of the spoils.


The gracious, humble and soft spoken WBC flyweight champion took some time out of his training camp in Costa Rica and participated in an international media conference call to discuss his upcoming bout with Brian “Hawaiian Punch” Viloria (36-4, 22 KO’s), who also fielded questions from reporters today. The flyweight championship contest will take place as the co-headlining bout to the aforementioned Golovkin’s undisputed middleweight championship contest against David Lemieux (HBO PPV, Saturday, October 17th, 9PM ET/6PM PT).


Selected highlights listed below.


Tom Loeffler, K2 Promotions, Gonzalez’s Promoter: “We’re really excited about this event. There’s been a tremendous reaction from the media and fans. The ticket sales have been a good indicator of the anticipation for this large, international event. It will be broadcast in over 120 countries. It’s a strong, twelve round WBC flyweight championship. Roman was just announced as the best fighter, pound for pound in boxing. Brian Viloria is a tough fighter. These warriors will certainly show their skills in the ring.”



Opening Statements, Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez: “I’m very happy to be named the number one boxer. I give thanks to my team. It brings no pressure, just motivation. I would never have imagined this, but I take care of myself and I hope that I’ll be victorious on October 17th.”


On Being Named The Sport’s Top Fighter: “The ranking makes everything even more special. There’s a lot on the line here and this is a unification bout.”


“Alexis Arguello would be the happiest person for me, I believe. He’d be so glad that not only I’ve been chosen as the pound for pound best, but also a three time world champion.”




Gonzalez’s Thoughts on his Opponent: “Brian Viloria is an excellent fighter with a tremendous arsenal. Whoever is in the best condition will win the bout, but this will be a very difficult fight.”



On Fighting in New York City: “HBO has been very good to me. A lot of great champions have fought in Madison Square Garden, so I’m honored for the chance. I’d like to make a big impression so I continue to fight the best in my division.”


Gary Gittelsohn, Manager of Brian Viloria: “We feel very privileged to be part of this event. There’s no bigger platform than Madison Square Garden. The little giants of the sport will be on display. Typically, the lighter weights have the most exciting fighters and any of those guys could become a champion on any given day. There’s been a network bias for too many years.”


“After this fight, flyweights won’t have to beg the networks for premium air time. I’ve always known to not fall in love with any fighter because they’ll always break your heart. This is not the case with Brian Viloria. His sparring has been tremendous with great opponents. As a fan, I’ve never been more exited about a co-event.”


Opening Statements Brian Viloria: “I’ve never been so focused and this has been one of my best training camps. I’m facing the best fighter in the world and I don’t want to leave any stone unturned. Mentally and physically, I’ll be ready for this fight. There’s no better stage for me to showcase this than Madison Square Garden and HBO.”


On Studying Gonzalez’s Fights: “I’ve been endlessly watching tapes of him and he does a lot of things correctly. I just need to do what I have to do in the gym and be ready to go twelve rounds. I don’t think he’s ever fought anyone who hits as hard as me. There’s a bit of a challenge that I present and I’m ready to let my hands go.”


On Flyweights Getting TV Exposure: “It’s been a long time. I’ve had some fights that I think were worthy of big time TV. My fight with (Hernan) Marquez was a great one but we’re finally we’re able to give fans what they want to see. I’m excited to display my talent, but it takes two to tango. I think that some people have been missing out over the past few years by not seeing the lower weight classes.”


Viloria Reflecting on the 2000 Olympic Team: “I miss those guys. Jeff Lacy, Jermain Taylor and Rocky Juarez were all great talents. They’re not the same, but I’m still here. A lot of the credit goes to how I live outside of the ring. I stay in shape and try to live a straight and healthy lifestyle. My passion is boxing and I just feel like I have a lot more to give. I love doing this and I want to always compete.”




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September 29, 2015




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