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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, April 19, 2001

Viloria's pro boxing debut May 15

 •  Ferd Lewis: It's time Isle boxing got off the deck

By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Writer

Olympic boxer Brian Viloria of Waipahu will have the best of both worlds in his professional debut next month — appearing in front of a home crowd at the Hawai'i Convention Center and receiving national exposure on ESPN.

Brian Viloria's professional boxing debut, at the Hawai'i Convention Center, will be part of ESPN's "2001 Tuesday Night Fights" series.

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Both Viloria and Nanakuli's Jesus Salud are scheduled to fight on a May 15 card that will be a two-hour segment of ESPN's new "2001Tuesday Night Fights" series, according to a network spokesman.

"To have him (Viloria) make his debut at home in Hawai'i where everybody could see him, that would be the best," said Ben Viloria, Brian's father.

Viloria, the world amateur light flyweight champion, was Hawai'i's first boxer to appear in the Olympics since 1956. He lost a controversial 6-4 decision to Brahim Asloum of France at 106 pounds in the second round of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Viloria, 20, is currently training in California and will attend college there in the fall, according to his father.

The May 15 card, produced by local promoter Tom Moffatt, will feature 30 rounds and may start at 3 p.m. to fit the prime time slot on the East Coast.

The card may also include Viloria's Olympic teammate, junior bantamweight Jose Navarro. Both Viloria, who is under a four-year contract, and Navarro are represented by Lou DiBella, who developed the Boxing After Dark series for the Home Box Office network.

Salud (62-10) is tentatively scheduled to fight Bobby Boy Velardez (16-4) in a possible super-bantamweight title bout. A women's title fight is also scheduled.

Moffatt, who promoted two boxing shows in 1994, said he is "still piecing things together" and hopes to announce details at an upcoming press conference.

All bouts are pending approval from the Hawai'i State Boxing Commission next month.