Although his fight didn't make the cut to be on HBO's Superfly 2 card, Artem Dalakian wasn't going to let anything get in his way of winning his first world title.
Dalakian captured the vacant WBA flyweight title by beating former unified WBA/WBO flyweight world champion Brian Viloria with a wide unanimous decision victory (118-109, 118-109, 118-109). The fight headlined the Superfly 2 prelim card at The Forum in Inglewood, California, which was streamed live on Ring TV.
After the fight, Dalakian said he is elated to be a world champion in just his 16th professional boxing fight and is ready to take on the rest of the division's best boxers.
"I am very proud to be a new world champion for Ukraine, home of many world champions. I was in control the whole fight. I knew I was hurting him. I want to stay at this weight and fight as many other titleholders as possible. I love fighting here in America...I can't wait to fight here [in Los Angeles] again," Dalakian said.
Dalakian dominated the bout from start to finish, with the only controversy in the fight being Dalakian's repeated attempts to push Viloria's head down. It got bad to the point where Dalakian was deducted a point in the ninth round and was warned by the referee in subsequent rounds. Dalakian now joins Daigo Higa (WBC), Donnie Nietes (IBF) and Sho Kimura (WBO) as boxing's world champions at 112 pounds.
For Viloria, questions surrounding a potential retirement have risen. Viloria, who turned 37 years old last November, has lost his last three world title fights and has not held a world title since 2012.