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Viloria home bout set for Blaisdell


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POSTED: Saturday, July 25, 2009

Brian Viloria is returning home for his first title defense.

The Waipahu native boasts a record of 25-2 (15 KOs) and will defend his International Boxing Federation light flyweight championship against Jesus Iribe (15-5, 9 KOs) of Mexico in the main event on Aug. 29 at the Blaisdell Arena.

The card will be titled “;Island Assault”; and will be televised in the Philippines.

It's the first boxing event at the Blaisdell in nearly four years and Viloria's first fight in Hawaii since stopping Valentin Leon at the Sheraton Hotel in Waikiki in 2003.

“;I'm so stoked,”; Viloria said. “;It's something I've wanted to do for a long time and when I got the phone call it was happening, I just screamed on the phone.”;

Viloria won the belt with a knockout of Ulises Solis in Manila in April.

Since losing a majority decision to Edgar Sosa in April of 2007, “;The Hawaiian Punch”; has reeled off six straight wins, including three by knockout.

Iribe has won three of his last four bouts and has not been stopped since falling by TKO to Raul Garcia in 2007.

Iribe's last loss is also to Sosa by unanimous decision early last year.

“;I've watched some tape already and he's definitely a step up from the guy I was going to fight,”; Viloria said. “;Holding onto a world title is a lot harder than winning one and I know it's going to be a tough fight.”;

Viloria was originally scheduled to fight Luis Alberto Lazarte on Aug. 29 in the Philippines before Lazarte pulled out of the fight.

The rest of the card is still being formulated, but Filipino fighter AJ “;Bazooka”; Banal (19-1-1, 16 KOs) is expected to compete in a co-feature bout. Viloria's manager, Gary Gittelsohn, hopes to fill the card with local fighters and plenty of fighters from the Philippines.

Twenty-eight-year-old Michael Balasi (7-1, 5 KOs), of Kalihi, said earlier this week he has been asked to fight on the undercard as well.

“;If we get the crowd we are hoping for it will allow us to bring other champions to Hawaii,”; Gittelsohn said. “;Brian is so jazzed, there is nothing that pleases him more than fighting in Hawaii.”;

“;This is long overdue,”; Viloria added. “;(Mixed martial arts) filled the void for a little bit but, hopefully, this brings boxing back to where it used to be.”;