Salud set to steal
local showdown

By Nick Abramo

Jesus Salud is a "special attraction" and not the main course in tonight's boxing card at Blaisdell Arena.

But for many Hawaii boxing fans, Salud is and always will be "the main man."

Salud fights International Boxing Federation junior featherweight champion Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines in a three-round exhibition match.

Two title fights, being billed as "Showdown in Honolulu," head the card, which starts at 7:30 p.m.

Pacquiao (34-2-1, 25 KOs) was on the undercard of the Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson bout on June 8, and he impressively defended his title by knocking out Jorge Julio in the second round.

Salud (63-13, 39 KOs), a former world champion, last fought in April, losing a 10-rounder by unanimous decision to William Abelyan of Armenia in Oklahoma City, Okla.

"He's a world champ," the 39-year-old Salud said of Pacquiao. "So we'll go in and put on a good show for the people. It's an exhibition, but we'll go in and inflict pain on each other and intimidate each other and show our skills. It won't be your ordinary exhibition."

Both fighters will wear headgear and larger gloves.

"He's a lefty, rangy with long arms, and his favorite punches are the straight lefts and the straight rights," Salud said of tonight's opponent. "And he likes to mix it up and that's what I like. He's the kind of guy who won't take a step back."

Salud, who is living in Kapolei and training at Kakaako Boxing Gym, said talk of his retirement is premature.

"I'm feeling good and I'm continuously training, I love to train," the fit and trim Salud said. "A lot of the younger guys at the gym say I don't look my age. They say I'm still fast and I still have my smarts and they can't believe I'm capable of doing what I'm doing."

Salud doesn't have any future fights solidified, but he's gotten some calls for possible undercard bouts, including one on Showtime.

Salud has also been busy as the director of community relations for the Hawaiian Islanders arenafootball2 team.

Tonight's co-main events are 12-rounders. WBC International super flyweight champion Gerry Penalosa (44-4-2, 28 KOs) of the Philippines defends his title against Seiji Tanaka (11-4-3, 2 KOs) of Japan.

Kalihi's Teddy Limoz Jr. (7-1, 6 KOs) fights for the vacant WBO Asia-Pacific welterweight championship against Thailand's Pratuang Chaniuang (38-7-2, 20 KOs).

In a nontitle 10-round bout tonight, WBC International light flyweight champion Juanito Rubillar (26-8-6, 9 KOs) of the Philippines takes on Japan's Takayuki Korogi (9-2-2, 3 KOs).

Tickets are $25 general admission, with ringside seats ranging from $35 to $50.

For more information, call 526-4400.

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