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Viloria wins unanimous decision to claim WBO title

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:27 a.m. HST, Jul 17, 2011

Brian Viloria captured his third world championship by winning a unanimous decision over Julio Cesar Miranda of Mexico tonight at Blaisdell Arena.

The Waipahu product scored a knockdown in the first round, survived Miranda's assault and added the World Boxing Organization flyweight title to his resume while improving to 29-3.

The decision thrilled the crowd in Viloria's first appearance at Blaisdell Arena since Aug. 29, 2009, when he defeated Jesus Iribe in a defense of his IBF light flyweight title.

Miranda (32-6-1) had successfully defended the title three times prior to facing Viloria, all of those defenses coming in Mexico. He struggled to get down to 112 pounds at Friday's weigh in, dropping two pounds in 3 hours to make the limit. Although he appeared hurt at various points, Miranda (32-6-1) weathered some hard shots from Viloria to send the fight to the judges with the outcome still in doubt.

Judge Robert Hoyle scored it 117-110, Ruben Garcia had it 114-113 and Tamotsu Tomihara had it 115-113.

Viloria sent Miranda to the canvas with a solid right hook 1:04 into the first round.

Miranda controlled the early moments of the second round, but Viloria later battled back with hard shots to Miranda's body.

After slugging with Miranda for much of the next two rounds, Viloria spent most of the fifth on the move, scoring with jabs from the outside.

Viloria ended the sixth by pinning Miranda against the ropes and landed a left to the head just before the bell. Another body shot knocked Miranda into the ropes early in the seventh and Viloria connected on several combinations that appeared to have Miranda in trouble.

But Miranda battled back and Viloria showed some swelling above the right eye in the eighth.

Viloria excited the crowd by landing three solid rights in the ninth, but Miranda kept coming and both survived the 12th to send the decision to the judges with Viloria, bloodied but standing, winning on all three cards.


128: Michael Farenas (31-3-3, 26 KOs) vs. Fernando Beltran (35-5-1, 19 KOs)

-Farenas holds on for the decision win. The scores were read 78-74, 76-80 and 78-75 which would mean a split decision. We'll have to check on those scores. Farenas definitely won the first three rounds before Beltran started to find his rhythm. Would have been interesting if the fight went a couple more rounds.

108: Denver Cuello (26-4-6, 16 KOs) vs. Omar Soto (15-7-1, 6 KOs)

Cuello def. Soto by TKO (referee stoppage) at 0:56 of Round 2.

-Cuello scored a knockdown 40 seconds into the fight and was credited with another in the first round. He should have had about four, but at least two that were legit knockdowns were ruled slips. Cuello finishes the fight in the second round when the referee stops the fight 56 seconds into the round.

149: Michael Balasi (9-1, 7 KOs) vs. Van Oscar Penovaroff (6-0-1, 4 KOs)

-Kalihi's Balasi wins a majority decision (57-57, 58-57, 59-56) in an entertaining fight with both fighters trading power punches. Crowd came alive in the final round as the two traded power shots to end. Balasi had a little more energy in the final seconds of the fight. First professional loss for Kona's Penovaroff.

145 (welterweight): Kuu'lei Kupihea (6-1, 2 KOs) vs. Tiffany Junot (9-2-1, 6 KOs)

-Honolulu's Kupihea, now living in Kapolei, earns a unanimous decision win (60-54, 60-54, 60-55) over Junot to open the event.

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