Former boxing world champion Brian Viloria is out to add another title to his collection as he takes on Artem Dalakian for the WBA flyweight title at The Forum in Inglewood, California tomorrow for Superfly 2.
The 37-year-old Viloria holds a record of 38 wins against five losses with 23 wins coming via knockout. His opponent is much younger than him as Dalakian is only 30 years old who's undefeated in 15 fights with 11 stoppages.
Experience will be Viloria's main advantage against Dalakian said his head trainer Marvin Somodio.
"It will be Dalakian's first time to fight outside of Ukraine and I also think that Brian is far better than anyone Dalakian has ever fought before so it's a significant leap in the level of opponents," Somodio said in an exclusive interview with ESPN5.
"We know Dalakian will be prepared because it's his world title shot but we're also ready for it," he added.
Viloria's last world title fight occurred in 2015 where he lost via technical knockout to Roman Gonzales. In that fight, Viloria had the Nicaraguan in trouble in the early rounds. He went for the kill but Gonzales survived, tiring the Filipino-American. Learning from this result, Somodio explained that stamina was the main focus of their training.
"We're expecting Dalakian to try and use the ring by moving to stay away from Viloria's power," Somodio said. "They think Brian will be tired in the latter rounds but this won't be the case as we plan to be more economical with the punch output. We'll make sure we'll win the early rounds but his work rate will go up in the latter rounds."
Somodio added that it's important for Viloria to make Dalakian feel his power early.
"It doesn't matter if Dalakian blocks the punches," he said. "Brian should hit him hard in the opening round anywhere he can: shoulders, gloves, it doesn't matter where just as long as he feels Brian's power early."
Viloria held the WBA flyweight title back in 2012 by defeating Hernan Marquez via technical knockout in a title unification bout with the Hawaiian Punch's WBO belt. He was not able to keep the titles for long as he lost his next match to Juan Francisco Estrada, who incidentally will be headlining the same fight card as he challenges WBC champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai of Thailand.
Viloria will not be the only Filipino fighting on the card as IBF champion Donnie Nietes will also defend his title against Juan Carlos Reveco of Argentina.
Somodio isn't looking past the upcoming fight against Dalakian but he also understands that a win could set Viloria up for bigger fights in the future.
"Maybe it could even lead to a title unification fight between Brian and Donnie. It could be a first the Philippine boxing history."
The Viloria-Dalakian fight will be shown live at 9 a.m. on Sunday, February 25 on ESPN5 and via livestream on ESPN5.com.