Archive for August, 2009

Good show, Brian

August 29th, 2009

Boxing purists will say it was a stupid risk. Fight fans love it. In the final round, with the decision in the bag, Brian Viloria put his world title on the line to make sure his hometown got a good show. Viloria hasn’t lived here and hadn’t  fought in Hawaii in a long time, but no one can ever doubt his loyalty. What a homecoming!

Viloria and Jesus Iribe banged away in the 12th and final round. Viloria was way ahead on the judges’ cards and knew it. He could’ve just danced around for 3 minutes and won. But he decided to give the fans something to remember. This is what boxing in Hawaii needed.

–By Dave Reardon

A blow to UH’s D-line depth?

August 27th, 2009

Senior defensive lineman Chris Leatigaga was carted off the Aloha Stadium field at Thursday night’s practice with an apparent knee injury, Jason Kaneshiro reports. Leatigaga, who was slowed by a knee injury last year, is expected to provide depth on the defensive front.

-By Dave Reardon

Unification bout here?

August 26th, 2009

First things first, of course. Brian Viloria must take care of business against Jesus Iribe on Saturday and successfully defend his IBF junior flyweight world title. But assuming that is done and Ivan Calderon stays on course and wins his fight next month, there could be a unification bout between Viloria and Calderon — here in Hawaii. This is also of course contingent on a good crowd Saturday. “Bob Arum and a lot of other people will be watching that closely,” Viloria’s manager, Gary Gittelsohn told me Monday.

>> Viloria says on Twitter today that he has already made weight for Friday’s weigh-in.

>> Latest word is that Manny Pacquiao is still trying to find his way here to watch his friend, Viloria, in action. Billy Hull reports that Pacquiao is filming a movie in the Philippines, but may be able to break away on Saturday.

-By Dave Reardon

Scrimmage report

August 21st, 2009

The defense dominated as Hawaii scrimmaged today t the grass practice field. Starting quarterback Greg Alexander sat out as UH looks to make a decision on No. 2. Walk-on sophomore transfer Bryant Moniz took a big step forward by directing the offense’s only touchdown drive, hitting Kealoha Pilares on a post route for a 19-yard score.

One highlight came before the scrimmage, when Blaze Soares intercepted a pass and collided with fellow linebacker Jake Heun, who was also going for the ball. Big crash, but both came out of it unscathed.

Safety Kenny Estes ended the practice on crutches. The initial diagnosis is that it is a wrenched knee, but with no ligament damage. An MRI will be taken.

The kicking game was disappointing. Short field goal attempts were missed punts averaged under 40 yards and one was blocked.

“We need Chad Ocho Cinco,” mused an observer, referring to the Bengals receiver who kicked an extra point in an NFL preseason game last night.

-By Dave Reardon

Viloria card approved

August 20th, 2009

The state boxing commission today approved the Aug. 29 “Island Assault” fight card featuring Waipahu’s Brian Viloria in defense of his IBF  light flyweight world championship title against Jesus Iribe of Mexico. It will be  a 12-round bout.

There will be seven other fights.

Viloria is scheduled to arrive in Hawaii on Monday, promoter Tom Moffatt said.

Is there still a core of boxing fans in Hawaii, where the sport once reigned supreme? We’ll find out a week from  Saturday.

-By Dave Reardon