With the current decade running down, we've decided to begin looking for who is the Asian Fighter of the Decade. As part of that we have come up with a list of honourable mentions, and will be posting these before we begin our count down to the top 10 later in the year, and very early next year (due to needing to wait for some fights at the very end of the decade to fully come to our ordering of the top 10).
For our Fighter of the Decade, we have tried to weigh up quality of wins, longevity at the top during the decade, and what they've achieved during the decade. Whilst we might refer to their work before January 1st 2010, we won't be considering that in their standing for the Fighter of the Decade.
With that in mind let us bring you the first of our honourable mentions, with more being posted in the coming weeks.
The "Hawaiian Punch" Brian Viloria (38-6-0-2, 23) was rarely known for his consistency. He blew hot and cold through much of his career, and when he was hot he was red hot, as he was for a small, but notable, run during decade. Sadly his overall body of work from the decade was under-whelming, but at one point over a 16 month span, he was one of the most under-rated fighters in the sport.
During the decade Viloria, an American-Filipino, went 12-4 (8). That's not an amazing record, by any stretch, but in terms of opposition few could compete with the fighters he faced. In fact on competition alone he would have been the clear #1...had he beaten them all. Sadly though in his biggest bouts he tended to come up short, and he went 4-4 in world title bouts during the decade.
The decade got off on the wrong foot for Viloria, as he lost just days into the decade to Carlos Tamara, suffering a final round TKO in a bout he was leading. It saw him losing the IBF Light Flyweight title. The following year however he became a world champion once again, out pointing the dangerous Julio Cesar Miranda for the WBO Flyweight title.
The win over Miranda was followed by successive stoppage wins over Giovani Segura, Omar Nino Romero and Hernan Marquez, to unify the WBO and WBA titles. Those 4 wins, coming in the space of just over 16 months, were brilliant. Sadly though they were about it for notable wins for Viloria.
The talented Viloria would lose in his next bout, to Juan Francisco Estrada. A short winning run over lesser competition followed before he was stopped by Roman Gonzalez in 2015 and he would later lose to Artem Dalakian.
Not many fighters in recent years can say they fought fighters on the level of Tamara, Miranda, Segura, Romero, Marquez, Estrada, Gonzalez and Dalakian. Had Viloria gone 8-0 against those, and done nothing else, he would have likely been #1, but going 4-4, whilst understandable, does drop him out of the top 10 and earns him only an honourable mention.
When we have some free time we're hoping to add a series of fun articles to the site. Hopefully these will be enjoyable little short features