On this night it was New York City but it could have been Managua, Nicaragua as the Chocolatito train of WBC flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez came rolling through and over former world champion Brian Viloria on Saturday.
The newest Pound for Pound champion Gonzalez retained the WBC flyweight world title before a sold out audience of 20,000 fans at Madison Square Garden who clearly was a crowd favorite. Fans cheered loudly and clamored “Cho-co-la-te!” throughout the fight. Viloria battled hard.
Viloria fired off at least two dozen blows before Gonzalez fired back. The Nicaraguan analyzed the Hawaiian fighters speed and combinations before finally unleashing his own combinations in the first round.
Gonzalez decided in the second round to exchange with Viloria who attacked the body. Gonzalez countered with accurate combinations to the body and head including a strafing right uppercut near the end of the round.
A laser right cross dropped Viloria in the third round and Gonzalez followed it up with six razor sharp follow up blows. Viloria tried to battle through but Chocolatito was just too accurate.
Viloria stormed back in the fourth round with a blistering six-punch combination. But all it did was force Gonzalez to back off. During an exchange both landed blows but with little effect.
Chocolatito poured on the combinations with some silky smooth blows to the body and head. A warning by the referee for a suspected low blow didn’t stop Gonzalez a second from continuing the onslaught.
Viloria began tiring in the fifth and sixth rounds. Gonzalez simply continued to pummel the head and body with those lethal smooth shots as Viloria tried to avoid the big blows.
After the sixth round Viloria was in survival mode with occasional powered up shots delivered in an attempt for a knockout. It was only the former US Olympian’s strength that kept him upright through most of the fight. But barely.
Chocolatito poured on the combinations like a silky smooth fighting machine. He fired to the head and body with precision and power. Viloria tried to battle back with roundhouse blows and shots to the body, but for every blow landed he took a half dozen in return.
Finally, in the ninth round, Chocolatito could sense the Viloria was ripe for a knockout especially with the crowd whistling bird whistles as if asking for the end. Gonzalez delivered with striking speed as Viloria’s chin absorbed punishing blows. He would not go down. But the referee could sense that Viloria was unable to fire back and after another onslaught, referee Benjy Estevez stopped the world title match at 2:53 of the ninth round. Gonzalez and his new legion of fans got their wish.
The Nicaraguan proved little guys can indeed attract a large audience with his second U.S. appearance within the year. Each time his following seems to grow.
Cuba’s Luis “King Kong” Ortiz (23-0, 20 Kos) knocked out Argentina’s Matias Vidondo (20-2- 1, 18 Kos) at 17 seconds of round three to win the vacant WBA heavyweight title. An overhand left delivered Vidondo to the floor for the second and final time. Ortiz now becomes the challenger to WBA world titlist Wladimir Klitschko.
Tureano Johnson (19-1, 13 Kos) of Bahamas floored Ireland’s Eamonn O’Kane (17-2-1, 5 Kos) twice in the first round but found each round tougher and tougher as the fight continued. However, the gritty O’Kane just couldn’t muster enough power to change the momentum. All three judges scored the middleweight fight in favor of Johnson 118-108, 117-109, 119-107. Johnson could be a world title challenger in his next fight.
Ruslan Madiev (6-1) floored Sean Gee (2-3) in the first round in their fierce welterweight four- round battle. Two judges scored it 40-35 and one saw it 39-36 for Madiev who is managed by Golovkin and trained by Abel Sanchez.
Lamont Roach (9-0, 3 Kos) defeated Mexico City’s Jose Bustos (7-6-3) after six rounds by unanimous decision in a lightweight contest. The judges scored the fight 59-55 for Roach.
“Bustos came to fight. He was not backing down throughout the fight but I did not feel threatened by him. I feel like I dominated the fight and was giving him my all. I wanted to end the fight impressively via knock out but he has a strong jaw,” said Roach.
Maurice Hooker (19-0-2, 14 Kos) used his distance to control the first half of the fight with Canada’s Ghislain Maduma (17-2, 11 Kos) including a fourth round knockdown with a right cross. The second half mostly belonged to the Canadian who staggered Hooker with a left in the sixth round. But after 10 rounds Hooker pulled out a split decision win in the welterweight clash.