Boxing takes over Waipahu

January 19th, 2010

SPT x1 05

Photo: Jamm Aquino, Star-Bulletin

Brian Viloria, who defends his IBF light flyweight title against Carlos Tamara on Saturday in the Philippines (Friday night, Hawaii time), brought a lot of exposure back to the sport of boxing when he defended his title here last August against Jesus Iribe.

On Sunday, X-1 held a boxing and MMA event at Waipahu H.S. that featured the pro boxing debuts of many former full-time MMA fighters, including Ronald Jhun, Harris Sarmiento and Brandon Pieper.

The MMA fighters had mixed results in their boxing debuts. Jhun lost by TKO in the second round to Chris Cisneros while Sarmiento picked up a unanimous decision win (4 rounds) over Yancey Cuellar of Minnesota. Team MMAD’s Justin Mercado TKO’d Pieper in the first round and Hilo’s Chris Willems won a four-round unanimous decision over Ian Dela Cuesta.

Two of the biggest boxing prospects in Hawaii, Isaac Arasato and Mike Balasi, easily picked up first-round TKO wins. Arasato improved to 6-0 with 5 KOs while Balasi, who scored the knockout of the night on the Viloria card last August, improved to 9-1 with 7 KOs.

The event symbolized the rising interest in boxing once again, as all five of the main card fights were pro boxing. X-1 featured plenty of MMA fights on the undercard, but the clear headliners were the boxers.

Does this show a shift in interest from MMA to boxing? Maybe locally. Boxing has clearly used the interest in MMA to promote its own sport, and events that feature both styles of fighting are clearly becoming more popular.

With the possibility of Viloria coming back to fight in Hawaii as part of a two-fight tournament with Ivan Calderon, as discussed in this article, keep the names Balasi and Arasato fresh in your minds, because they could be the next big thing in boxing to come out of Hawaii.


Main Card – Pro Boxing
135-Isaac Arasato def. Daniel Schilenz by first-round TKO
147-Mike Balasi def. John Hoffman by first-round TKO170-Chris Cisneros def. Ron Jhun by second-round TKO
155-Harris Sarmiento def. Yancey Cuellar by unanimous decision
147-Justin Mercado def. Brandon Pieper by first-round TKO
147-Chris Willems def. Ian Dela Cuesta by unanimous decision
Undercard – Mixed Bouts
170-Dirty Curly def. Luis Santiago by first-round submission
170-Tommy Lawhorn def. Palema Amone by first-round TKO
145-Shawn Burroughs def. Petey Vital by first-round submission
150-Lani Fauhiva def. Jessica Tauala by first-round submission
160-Gaylord Balasi def. Tyrone O’Neil by third-round TKO
165-Jairus Munoz def. Matt Myers by decision
135-Travis Costa def. Chris Mattos by decision
135-Ola Lum def. Carlos Lave by decision
115-Marina Chong def. Sally Tolentino by second-round KO
100-Sonja Soon def. Sivada Koulthasen by first-round submission
155-Royal Kaua def. John Giron by decision

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