By Rocky Morales at ringside
Photos: Sumio Yamada
Artem Dalakian (16-0, 11KO) captured the vacant WBA Flyweight title with an impressive performance over four-time world champion, Brian “Hawaiian Punch” Viloria (38-6, 22KO) on Saturday night at the Forum in Los Angeles. The younger, 30-year-old Dalakian outboxed Viloria the entire time and proved to be too quick and elusive for the 37-year-old to catch.
Dalakian really left no doubt as he not only proved hard to hit but also landed a number of hard power punches, as well. Dalakian hurt Viloria badly in the eleventh round and left him a bloody mess after opening a gash on his forehead with an elbow. By scores of 118-109 on all three scorecards, Dalakian wins the title vacated by Kazuto Ioka and shows himself a force to be reckoned with in the flyweight division and a potential opponent in a flyweight unification bout for the winner of the Nietes vs Reveco.
Dalakian stated, “I’m very proud to be the newest champion from Ukraine. I knew I was hurting him the whole fight. I want to unify with any of the other world champions. I loved fighting in the United States and I can’t want to come back and fight in Los Angeles.”
Viloria commented, “It was a tough fight, real tough guy, kept his distance. I could never get inside like I wanted to. The headbutt really made me woozy.”