Brian Viloria fell short in his bid to win another world title after he dropped a unanimous decision to rugged Artem Dalakian of Ukraine in their battle for the vacant World Boxing Association flyweight belt at the Forum in Inglewood, California.
All three judges scored the bout 118-109 for the 30-year-old Dalakian, who was deducted a point in the ninth round for repeated low blows. The Ukrainian, fighting in just his 16th professional bout, had an awkward and rough style that made it difficult for the Hawaiian Punch to get going. He repeatedly pushed Viloria's head down and grabbed at every opportunity, but there was no denying he landed the bigger and more frequent blows.
A nasty cut opened on the forehead of Viloria in the 11th round from an inadvertent elbow by Dalakian which blurred the Filipino-American's vision for the rest of the round and all of the 12th, virtually sealing the deal as Viloria could barely see.
Viloria's best round was the seventh when he landed a solid right that staggered Dalakian and sent him reeling. But those moments were few and far between as Dalakian was simply the busier fighter and quicker to the draw.
Afterwards, Dalakian told the media he wanted to unify against other flyweight beltholders, while Viloria admitted he had a tough time getting inside. "It was a tough fight, real tough guy, (he) kept his distance."
Dalakian kept his unbeaten record and moves up to 16-0 with 10 knockouts. The 37-year-old Viloria, a former light flyweight and flyweight champion, fell to 38-6 with two no-contests. A US Olympian in 2000, this was probably his last shot at a major world title.