Sunday, August 30, 2009

50,000 Dollar Baby

It's hard to imagine punching out someone named Jesus, but last night Hawaii's own Brian Viloria duked it out with Mexico's Jesus Iribe and won the IBF light flyweight world title.

Over 3,000 showed up at the Neil Blaisdell Arena to watch Brian and Jesus go at it, Hawaiian style. Viloria entered the ring, the Hawaii Five-O theme song blasting, with a line of hula dancers and supporters carrying both the Hawaiian and Philippine flags.

Viloria stated in the Honolulu Advertiser, "Jesus came to fight, man...he was no walkover. He brought his A game. Luckily, I brought my A game and we got to put on a great show."

So why would a girl like me be so excited about a boxing match like this? It's in my blood...literally. Out of the six uncles on my mom's side, four of them were competitive boxers, one being my beloved uncle Ben Avilla (below), who put up his dukes to cancer but sadly lost the match in 05. No doubt he would have been there last night. Uncle Splint (also a boxer) is the last living of the 14 Avillas. I need to call him this week to see if he was there. I'm betting that if he was, his imagination would have put him in the ring, glove to glove with Jesus.

Viloria received $50,000 for the bout. Iribe received $10,000. Less than they deserve, that's for sure, but it's never about the money, is it?

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