Brian Viloria's buildup for the defense of his unified world flyweight title has taken a huge step.
Holed up at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood almost the past two months, Viloria has racked up more than 30 rounds of sparring courtesy of Chinese Olympic legend Zou Shiming, who makes his professional debut on April 6 at the Venetian Hotel in Macau, the same night Viloria meets Mexican Juan Francisco Estrada.
"He's been a great help in training camp," said Viloria after another tough day at the Wild Card, referring to the quality minutes Shiming has shown the past few weeks.
While Shiming, best remembered as the tormentor of the finest Filipino amateurs, doesn't pose of a threat in the power-punching department, Viloria said his awkward and amateur style and quick reflexes are a big plus to his preparation.
Shiming also trains at the Wild Card under Freddie Roach after Top Rank chief Bob Arum signed him up during a recent visit to Beijing.
Arum is showcasing Shiming's talent in Macau and hopes to cash in on his sparkling credentials.
The Macau show will also feature a number of Filipino punchers such as the celebrated Dave and Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr. and Cebu hotshot Milan Melindo of the ALA Boxing Club.
Viloria is aching to get back into the ring to follow up on his unforgettable knockout victory over the fearsome Hernan 'Tyson' Marquez of Mexico last year in Los Angeles to become not only the World Boxing Organization champion but the World Boxing Association titleholder as well.
Viloria, born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, to parents from Ilocos Sur, is one of four reigning Filipino world champions.
Although heavily favored against Estrada, Viloria is preparing as though he is the underdog.
"After winning against Marquez, I have realized that it would be wrong to go into a fight not in top shape," said Viloria.
"Everytime I fight, my opponent is going to try his best to beat me. So I see Estrada as a big threat," added Viloria.