Roman Gonzalez Seals His “Best In The World” Status Vs Brian Viloria

Roman Gonzalez stopped Brian Viloria on a night where Viloria was fighting as well as he possibly could, which is to say that we were talking about a pretty dangerous Viloria Saturday on HBO Pay-Per-View. Viloria even hurt Gonzalez in the same round Viloria hurt him with a body punch, freezing him for about a half-minute. But Gonzalez was that much better.

Something to keep in mind amid the buzz about Gonzalez as the best fighter in the world, pound-for-pound, post-Floyd Mayweather is that his best win to date might’ve been over Juan Francisco Estrada — a fighter who didn’t even peak until after he fought Gonzalez. He got another of his best Saturday, and he did it with a comprehensive beatdown.

The flyweight champ started slowly, and Viloria came out aggressive, eager to put Gonzalez on the defensive. Over the first two rounds, Viloria was winning by sticking and moving, stepping in and then around. But Gonzalez was heating up. Then in the 3rd Gonzalez landed a quick, flush right hand that put Viloria down for the first time in his life.

From there, Viloria only had sporadic success. Gonzalez was throwing such an incredible number and variety of punches, and they were all hurtful — the uppercuts were especially nasty-looking. There was some hint of a potential for stopping it, with Viloria bloodied and all the steam coming out of his legs and punches. But in the 9th, he rallied for a moment and it looked like he might dig his way back into the fight. Then Gonzalez took it to Viloria, strafing him along the ropes until the referee stopped it. Viloria notably did not protest.

If there was any doubt about who the best in the world was, Gonzalez put it to rest on the undercard of Gennady Golovkin vs David Lemieux. HBO is pretty clearly interested in seeing Gonzalez face Naoya Inoue, even though this writer and many others would prefer an Estrada rematch. Both would be excellent fights however, and the king has a chance to be the king for a while: He’s still just 28.

(Viloria, left, Gonzalez, right; via)

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About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.