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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, May 16, 2002

They're juggling careers in search of title shots

By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer

Eric Alexander and Teddy Limoz Jr. are professional boxers.

Good ones, too. Alexander is 17-7-1 and a former National Boxing Association world welterweight champion. Limoz is 8-1 after a stunning victory over a Canadian champion last year.

They also happen to be husbands, fathers and full-time construction workers.

"There's usually not enough hours in a day to take care of all the business," Alexander said.

The two Hawai'i boxers will be all business tomorrow.

Alexander, who trains at Kaka'ako Gym, will face Jerry Balagbagan of the Philippines in a scheduled six-round junior middleweight bout. Limoz, who trains at Kalihi Valley Gym, is scheduled to fight Roger Flores of Nicaragua in a six-round welterweight bout.

Both fights are part of the undercard to the main event featuring Waipahu's Brian Viloria against Sandro Oviedo of Argentina. Preliminaries will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Blaisdell Center Arena.

Alexander and Limoz are both hoping to capitalize on a rare opportunity to box in front of their families and friends.

Alexander, 31, will be fighting for the first time since March of 1999. Five months after winning the National Boxing Association title, he got married.

While caring for the five children he and his wife share, Alexander put boxing on hold and was stripped of his title because of inactivity.

"I have no regrets," he said. "I wasn't about to give up my family for boxing."

His chance to return came a few months ago while his wife was pregnant. "We needed some extra money, so I figured I might as well try to fight again," he said.

With his desire renewed and his family intact, Alexander is hoping for a successful return.

"I'm not coming back to start fighting in the local smokers again," he said. "I want to see if I can pick up where I left off and get back to the top again."

Limoz, 33, is near the top himself. In his last fight in November, he upset Ian MacKillop in a third-round technical knockout before a sold-out MGM Grand in Las Vegas. It was MacKillop's first loss.

"It was a great experience, and I pulled it off," Limoz said. "But it's like I've been having a hard time finding guys to fight ever since."

Flores, for example, was not named as Limoz's opponent until Tuesday. In any case, a victory by Limoz could earn him a shot at the WBO Asia-Pacific championship next month.

"That's what we were promised," said Peter Jhun, Limoz' trainer. "So he needs to win."

Limoz has been training twice a day. He, too, has the security of his family support.

Most times, his wife and their 7-year-old daughter accompany him to the gym.

"For a guy at my age with my record, this is a big opportunity," Limoz said. "And I want my family there to share it."