Roman Gonzalez validated his new status as boxing’s pound-for-pound king with a ninth-round TKO of Waipahu’s Brian Viloria on Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The fight was televised on HBO pay-per-view.
Viloria (36-5) was dropped with a short right hand in the third round for the first time in his career both as a professional and an amateur.
The referee stopped the fight at 2 minutes, 53 seconds of the ninth round with Viloria taking shots on the ropes from Gonzalez, who improved to 44-0 overall with 38 knockouts.
Gonzalez retained his WBC flyweight title.
When Floyd Mayweather retired following his win over Andre Berto in September, Gonzalez took over as the No. 1-ranked pound-for-pound fighter by ESPN, Yahoo Sports and Ring Magazine.
Viloria called Gonzalez the best fighter he’s faced in his career.
"He’s number one for a reason," Viloria said. "He’s very strong, very precise with his punches."
Star-Advertiser boxing writer Billy Hull had Gonzalez ahead 79-72 after eight rounds with Viloria winning the first round.
Gonzalez was temporarily stunned by a body shot in the ninth round and didn’t throw a punch for roughly 20 seconds before opening up with a serious of combinations that led to the end.
"Truthfully, all of (Viloria’s) punches hurt, but when you have very good physical conditioning, you can withstand all of those punches," Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez landed 335 of 805 total punches and 315 of 571 power punches. Viloria landed 186 of his 594 punches thrown and 161 of 460 power shots.