In one corner, there is WBA titleholder Marquez (34-2, 25 knockouts), a 24-year-old southpaw from Empalme, Mexico, who has won his past seven fights, five of them by knockout, since being stopped in the eighth round by Nonito Donaire in July of 2010.
In the other corner is WBO beltholder Viloria (31-3, 18 KOs), a 31-year-old Filipino-American and winner of three major titles in two divisions.
Considered a boxer-puncher, Viloria has scored knockouts in three of his past five victories, including the last two, since falling by 12th-round stoppage to Carlos Tamara in an IBF 108-pound title bout just six months prior to Marquez’s loss to Donaire.
The fact that Marquez is in his first bout under trainer Robert Garcia offers an interesting intangible, in that Garcia trained Viloria from 2008 to early 2010.
Marquez is a rugged go-getter, so it is not unrealistic to anticipate a fight similar to the one contested against Luis Concepcion in April — an 11th-round stoppage victory that could be a Fight of the Year candidate.
Viloria’s recent history is comprised of a WBO flyweight title-winning decision over Julio Cesar Miranda last July, an eighth-round stoppage of former RING 108-pound champ Giovani Segura last December, and a ninth-round TKO of former beltholder Omar Nino Romero, which avenged one of his three losses.
For the answer to who wins Saturday night’s matchup, to be broadcast on WealthTV in the United States and on www.wealthtv.com beginning at 9 p.m. Eastern Time, RingTV.com asked 15 boxing insders for their views.
Brian Viloria KO Tyson Marquez: It should be a great fight, and I expect neither guy to take a backward step. Tyson Marquez can really punch.
But Brian Viloria is the far superior boxer. I expect Viloria to get the better of exchanges and counter Marquez with his left hook often. Look for Viloria to stop him late.
Tyson Marquez TKO 10 Brian Viloria: It’s a close fight, tough to pick because it’s hard to know which Brian Viloria will show up.
If he is the fighter who has won five straight, including an impressive eight-round stoppage of Giovani Segura, Viloria wins a narrow decision.
If he suffers through another bout of the inconsistency that has plagued him throughout his career, the more powerful Tyson Marquez wins a late-round stoppage.
History says the inconsistency will be back and stop Viloria’s quest to become a giant alongside the game’s best little guys.
Tyson Marquez W 12 Brian Viloria: At 24, Tyson Marquez is seven years younger than Briian Viloria, who has rebounded admirably from his TKO loss to Carlos Tamara nearly three years ago. Marquez’s last two fights were over-the-weight bouts that went the distance, and his last bout was a majority decision victory.
That shouldn’t be a major concern here because this fight will be at 112, where Marquez has scored three consecutive knockouts.
Because the fight is at the Los Angeles Sports Arena Marquez will have the edge in crowd support, which is always helpful in career-defining fights such as these. The guess here is that Marquez will win over the judges with superior power punching.
Brian Viloria KO 10 Tyson Marquez: I like Brian Viloria to beat Tyson Marquez in a war. Both fighters will bring it but I have to go with Viloria to win by KO in the 10. It wont go the distance.
Brian Viloria SD 12 Tyson Marquez: Brian Viloria seemingly has enough championship-level boxing left in his 31-year-old body to fend off a strong challenge from Tyson Marquez, who’s younger and an above-average puncher.
There should be some tense moments in the fight for Viloria, though, and he might need to pull it out in the championship rounds.
Brian Viloria W 12 Tyson Marquez: Tyson Marquez and Brian Viloria is difficult because I don’t know anything about Marquez. So I am going to go with my friend from the amateurs, Viloria, on the strength of me knowing him.
Brian Viloria SD12 Tyson Marquez: This fight has the potential to be a Fight of the Year candidate, given Tyson Marquez’s aggressive style and Brian Viloria’s own, wicked punching power.
Considering the ebbs and flows in Viloria’s career, I don’t think conditioning will be a question this time around based on his last three performances. I see Viloria barely out-slugging Marquez to the very end on points.
Brian Viloria UD 12 Tyson Marquez: This should be a fun fight, the outcome of which will be determined by which Brian Viloria shows up. In his professional history, it has been the case just when you thought Brian had it all together, that he would throw in a clinker.
If that happens, he’ll be in trouble because he’s got a determined, improving foe in front of him. However, Viloria has improved his consistency over the last couple of years, so I think he will continue to fight at the high level.
With his skills, that should be enough for him to outfox Tyson Marquez, who has been know to have problems with thinkers in the ring. I look for Marquez to press forward, but for Viloria be able to offset that pressure with overall ring generalship and strategy.
Tyson Marquez TKO 11 Brian Viloria: I am taking Mexican warrior, Tyson Marquez, to win this unification showdown. I’m banking on him having the stamina and punching power to finally take out Brian Viloria in the latter stages.
Tyson Marquez W 12 Brian Viloria: Tyson Marquez-Brian Viloria is a tough one for me to call. I caught Marquez training for a few days at Robert Garcia’s gym in Oxnard. He seems at peace in that environment and appears to be in great shape.
Viloria has turned his career around and shouldn’t be discounted after his recent performances. It’s very hard to pick a winner, but I feel that Marquez will take over the fight late and pull out a decision.
Tyson Marquez KO Brian Viloria: I think this is going to be a corker, the first flyweight unification contest since before Muhammad Ali refused the draft. Tyson Marquez is younger and a little more consistent with his offense.
Brian Viloria is on a roll, but he still waits too much and that should favor Marquez. I think he’ll pull away late and might be able to stop Viloria, but he’ll eat some nasty hooks before he gets there.
However, Brian Viloria, with consecutive KOs of Giovani Segura and Omar Nino, is at the top of his game. He will prove to be a little better and little tougher and will win a clear decision.
Brian Viloria KO 6 Tyson Marquez: Every time Brian Viloria fights, it’s fun. He’s the most exciting little fighter in the world today, and I don’t see Tyson Marquez being able to withstand Viloria’s power. I just wouldn’t be surprised if both fighters endure a knockdown or two before the final outcome arrives.
Brian Viloria W 12 Tyson Marquez: I’m going with Brian Viloria on an extremely tough decision over 12. He may hit some really rocky patches, lose some rounds clearly to Tyson Marquez, but at the end of it all, I still think he gets enough body work and clean hooks in to capture the decision.
Brian Viloria KO 10 Tyson Marquez: I’m picking Brian Viloria by knockout in 10. He’s the better boxer and is quicker. I think he will time Tyson Marquez’s lunges and catch him.
By a slim number, 10-5, the experts favor Brian Viloria to be victorious, adding Tyson Marquez’s WBA flyweight title to the WBO belt he already owns.
Photo by Chris Cozzone, Fightwireimages.com
Photo by Jay Directo, AFP/Gettyimages
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org