Viloria enjoys ‘Rocky’ road
Three months after winning his first world title, Brian Viloria had his "Rocky" moment.
World Boxing Council light flyweight champion Brian Viloria returned to Hawaii this weekend and capped the visit with a brisk walk through Honolulu yesterday morning. Like the movie character, the champion was accompanied by 5,000 others.
"It took a lot longer than it should have," Viloria said. "A lot more people notice me now, so I had to sign a few autographs."
Viloria was the star of the show for the marathon's supporting cast, leading walkers through the Honolulu Marathon Race Day Walk. The event is held during the marathon and gives people an opportunity to run or walk the first 10 kilometers of the course before dropping out at Kapiolani Park. The walk is more than 75 percent Japanese and made up mostly of the spouses of people in town to complete the entire marathon.
The entire weekend played to Viloria's strengths outside the ring. A film student at UCLA, Viloria was followed home by a camera and crew from Liquid Soul Productions.
The company is making a documentary on fighters from the Wild Card Gym and has been following Viloria's nearly every move for the past six months. The company plans on having the project completed in 18 months.
"You get used to it," Viloria said. "You just be your normal self. I don't even notice them any more."
Even though Viloria was the star in his segment of the marathon yesterday morning, he was very much the fan in the days leading up to it. Viloria spent his first day back home rushing from the airport to attend the marathon luau featuring local musician Jake Shimabukuro. Viloria, who plays ukulele, piano and other instruments, got in a quick jam session with Shimabukuro backstage.
"Jake is amazing," Viloria said. "I first met him five years ago and am just as amazed every time I see him play. It was an awesome concert."
Viloria spent the next day signing autographs for 2 hours at the Marathon Expo and chatting with "Lost" stars Naveen Andrews and Evangeline Lilly. But his days as a fan are just about over, as Viloria has to prepare for his first world title defense.
Viloria (18-0, 12 KOs) will rush back to Los Angeles today to resume training for that fight, which will be against former world champion Jose Antonio Aguirre (30-4-1, 20 KOs) of Mexico on Feb. 18 in Las Vegas.
Viloria's first defense at the Aladdin Resort and Casino will be televised on pay-per-view and he will share billing with WBO welterweight champion Antonio Margarito.
It will be Viloria's first fight in Sin City -- he has had previous bouts there canceled shortly before he was to climb into the ring -- and he hopes the next will include a show in Hawaii. He hasn't fought in Hawaii since April 2003.
"It is not easy to get a fight here in front of my hometown fans," Viloria said. "But hopefully after I prove myself as a champion with a defense, I will have more pull about where my fights will be."