By Nick Giongco
Solar Sports, a highly respected respected promotional outfit from the Philippines, will team up with big time concert producer Tom Moffatt in staging Filipino-American Brian Viloria’s first defense of the International Boxing Federation (IBF) light flyweight crown on Aug. 29 at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu. Solar Sports main man Peter Chanliong told fightnews and Manila Bulletin on Saturday night that Viloria, born in Hawaii to Ilocano parents, will stake the IBF 108-lb title against Mexican Jesus Iribe. Viloria had won the IBF championship with an eye-popping knockout win over Mexican Ulises Solis last April at the Araneta Coliseum in the Philippines.
“We are joining hands with a top concert producer in Tom Moffat and we are thrilled to have Brian Viloria as the headliner of this major event on Hawaiian soil,” said Chanliong.
Chanliong said it’s been quite a while since a major boxing card–where a world titles is on the line–has been staged on Hawaiian soil although the Aloha State has produced ring idols like Jesus Salud and Andy Ganigan and later became the home base and residence of ex-world junior lightweight king Ben Villaflor.
Salud was born in Sinait, Ilocos Sur, while Ganigan traces his roots to Cagayan province but is a proud native of Hawaii. Salud briefly held the WBA junior feather belt, while Ganigan is best known for knocking down the late Alexis Arguello in the first round of their WBC lightweight title encounter before losing by fifth round stoppage in 1981.
Solar Sports promoted Viloria’s title winning effort against Solis.
Moffatt, nicknamed ’Showman of the Pacific’, had also promoted Viloria years ago and he is best remembered for bringing to the island the likes of Elvis Presley, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Frank Sinatra, The Eagles and Earth, Wind and Fire.
Moffatt also had been involved in numerous successful sporting events like the Harlem Globetrotters and World Wrestling Entertainment.
The Blaisdell Arena can accommodate as much as 8,800 for boxing events.
Chanliong said ace super flyweight AJ Banal of the Tony Aldeguer stable of Cebu will see action in the undercard plus two other Filipino standouts to spice up the promotion.
Chanliong said Solar Sports is also asking assistance from the MP Promotions headed by Manny Pacquiao and Cebu boxing figure Wakee Salud in staging the Hawaii slug fest.
Despite the 18-hour difference between Manila and Honolulu, Chanliong said the event is expected to gain a large number of audience not only in the Philippines but in the US mainland as well.