By Dennis Principe
There are two objectives world light flyweight Brian Viloria aim to chase in his title defense today and one of them is his Mexican foe Jesus Iribe. Interviewed by Fightnews, Viloria believes he will be literally hunting Iribe inside the ring as the Mexican challenger is known for his ring generalship in establishing a fairly impressive record of 15-5-5, with 9 knockouts. “I don’t think he’s gonna stay in there with me and exchange with me in the middle. He’s just going to box his way around and use his reach to keep me at bay“ said Viloria “But I’m ready and come fight night I’ll just go in there and do my thing.”
During the official weigh-in the two-time world champion Viloria came in at 107 ½ lbs. while Iribe had to sweat it out for nearly two hours to shed off half pound of excess poundage before officially tallying 108. Iribe also had to strip naked to make the weight.
Viloria will make his first defense of his International Boxing Federation (IBF) light flyweight crown in a 12-round battle against Iribe that will headline the card entitled “Island Assault” to be staged at the Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Another significant goal Viloria wants to pursue is to bring boxing back to life in Hawaii.
“Hawaii now is all about Mixed Martial Arts but with what I recently =0
Asaw while promoting the fight is just awesome. I expect people to come out and support the sport for a long time after this card,” said Viloria.
In the golden years of Hawaii boxing in the ’80s and ’90s, the likes of Jesus Salud, Ben Villaflor and Andy Ganigan, who all trace their roots to the Philippines, routinely filled some 5,000 seats of the 8,000-seater Blaisdell Center.
The last time Hawaii staged a world title fight was when Villaflor defended his world super featherweight crown with a 15-round draw against Puerto Rican Samuel Serrano on April 13, 1976 also at the Blaisdell Center.
A former World Boxing Council ruler, the 28-year-old Viloria won his IBF crown by stopping Mexican Ulisses Solis in the 11th round last April at the Araneta Coliseum in the Philippines.
Expected to stir up the budding Philippines vs. Mexico rivaly are bouts featuring Filipinos AJ Banal and Dennis Laurente. They are to battle Mexicans Jose Angel Beranza and Zaid Zavaleta, respectively, in the undercard.
Banal (19-1-1, 16 KO’s) weighed in at 118.7 while Beranza (32-15-2, 25 KO’s) came in at 118.2. Laurente (31-3-5, 16 KO’s) meanwhile registered 142 while Zavaleta (18-5-2, 11 KO‘s) , 141 ½.