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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, May 18, 2001

Other Sports
ESPN wants more of Viloria

Advertiser Staff

Calling Brian Viloria a potential "crown jewel" for future boxing shows, ESPN says it wants to showcase the former Olympian on upcoming cards here and on the Mainland.

"We were very happy with what happened in Hawai'i," said Dan Quinn, ESPN spokesman, of Viloria's unanimous decision victory in his professional debut Tuesday at the Hawai'i Convention Center.

"It was terrific and we're already contacting Viloria's people and the promoter (Tom Moffatt) about coming back," Quinn said.

He said Tuesday's card on ESPN2 reached approximately 513,000 homes, the largest of this year's Tuesday Night Fights series. "We were very happy with those numbers, especially going up against the NHL playoffs, which was on our network (ESPN), the NBA and, in sweeps week, NYPD Blue," Quinn said.

He said ESPN has contacted Viloria's camp about possible fights next month on the Mainland and in the fall here on its "Friday Night Fights" series.

For his next fight, Viloria's people have been looking at a June 9 appearance on the undercard of Oscar De La Hoya's WBC super welterweight title fight in Las Vegas for the Waipahu High graduate, but Gary Gittelsohn, Viloria's manager, said Tuesday's unanimous decision win over Ben Jun Escobia has opened the door to more options.

"It is really a plate of wonderful options; the kind of cornucopia you dream of," Gittelsohn said. He said the De La Hoya card, ESPN and Home Box Office are among the possibilities for Viloria's next bout.

Viloria will vacation here until Wednesday when he will return to Los Angeles to resume training.