Roman Gonzalez to defend against Brian Viloria on Golovkin-Lemieux undercard
WBC Flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez (43-0, 37 KOs) will defend his title against former two-division world champion Brian Viloria (36-4, 22 KOs) on October 17 on the undercard of the middleweight title unification bout between Gennady Golovkin (33-0, 30 KOs) and David Lemieux (34-2, 31 KOs) at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Gonzalez, of Nicaragua, will make his third title defence against the American veteran, announced on Tuesday by K2 Promotions and Teiken Promotions, in one of the best fights that can be made in the smaller weight divisions.
"I know Brian Viloria is a great champion and it will be a hard fight, but I am ready for the challenge," said Gonzalez. "I have faith that God will give me the strength to keep training and be able to give all my fans my best fight ever."
The 28-year-old Gonzalez, who has won world titles at light flyweight and strawweight, is one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world and is coming off destroying Edgar Sosa in two rounds, the first fight at 112 pounds or below on American television network HBO since the mid 1990s, on the undercard of Golovkin's title defence against Willie Monroe in May. Gonzalez’s ninth straight stoppage victory.
“We’re thrilled to welcome back Roman Gonzalez as the co-feature once again to one of Gennady’s fight, his performance at the Forum in May was extraordinary and made for a terrific pairing,” said Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions.
“With Roman defending his title against former world champion Brian Viloria, one of the best flyweights in the world, fans in the arena and those watching on HBO Pay-Per-View will see an outstanding battle as the lead-in to Golovkin vs. Lemieux.”
Viloria, 34, who previously held world titles at light flyweight, lost his WBA and WBO flyweight belts on points to Juan Francisco Estrada, who Gonzalez outpointed in 2012. But Viloria has rebounded since that defeat in March 2013, winning four fights in a row, including stopping former world title challenger Omar Soto in the first round in July in his last outing.
"I've fought and won on the world's biggest stages against the best of the best," said Viloria. "I've prepared my whole life to win at every level of competition from world amateur titles to the Olympic Games to professional world titles. And this fight against Roman Gonzalez is likely to be my biggest challenge yet. But it's Roman's biggest challenge too. This is the realization of my dreams and I will make the most of it on fight night.
"I applaud Roman for accepting this fight. Together we will give boxing fans something special, something they can talk about for a very long time."
In the main event of the card, WBA and interim WBC middleweight champion Golovkin fights IBF titlist David Lemieux in a match-up between two explosive punchers.
"On October 17th, fight fans are going to be treated to a tremendous night of action headlined by not only the spectacular Golovkin-Lemieux main event, but also a terrific co-feature starring Chocolatito Gonzalez and Brian Viloria," said HBO Sports senior vice president Mark Taffet. "Chocolatito was spectacular in his HBO debut last May and Brian is the essence of an intense competitor. The co-promoters of this event are determined to deliver tremendous value to boxing fans on October 17 at Madison Square Garden."