The first time Brian Viloria battled Omar Soto, he was coming off a TKO loss to Carlos Tamara and barely scraped by the Mexican journeyman via split decision. This time was a little more decisive, as "Hawaiian Punch" dropped Soto three times in two minutes to secure a first-round stoppage.
Viloria (36-4, 22 KO), once considered the best flyweight in the world after brutal stoppages of Giovani Segura and "Tyson" Marquez, has been on something of a rehab tour since a 2013 upset loss to Juan Francisco Estrada. He's won four straight against low-level competition, but he tells The Ring that he's ready to re-enter the world stage in a big way.
"I know I have what it takes to defeat a fighter like Gonzalez," he said. "He's been dodging me the last couple of years."
"We've been wanting to get a match against him but his people have been saying he's not ready yet, or he doesn't want to commence in talks to get us together."
His managed, Gary Gittelsohn, is every bit as confident as his charge, saying that he "do[es]n't think Gonzalez can last with the Brian that fought [Saturday]."
Gonzalez (43-0, 37 KO), who is slated to appear on October 17th's "Golovkin vs. Lemieux" card, has been on nothing short of a warpath through the lower divisions, stopping thirteen of his last fourteen opponents. He made his HBO debut earlier this year, trouncing top-10-ranked Edgar Sosa in just two rounds. The 28-year-old, who has earned titles at 105, 108, and 112 pounds, is currently ranked #2 pound-for-pound by The Ring.
Viloria might have the raw talent, but it'll take a lot more than that to dethrone Gonzalez. Still, it ought to be a damn good fight if it does go down.