Monday, Dec. 4, 2023 |
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• Viloria fights for first time Viloria fights for first time
By Ken Peters – ASSOCIATED PRESS
LOS ANGELES — Hawaii’s Brian Viloria has invited a spe-cial guest ringside for his title bout.
Ruben Contreras, who had surgery for blood clots on the brain shortly after their May 28 fight, is expected to accept Viloria’s invitation.
The unbeaten Viloria fights WBC champion Eric Ortiz for the light flyweight title Satur-day. The Staples Center card also features Erik Morales against former Olympian Zahir Raheem, and Manny Pacquiao against Hector Velazquez.
Viloria has not seen Contreras since their fight, when Contre-ras quit in the sixth round, com-plaining of a headache. He had a seizure less than 10 minutes later and needed surgery at a nearby hospital to stop a hemor-rhage around his brain.
Comatose for weeks after surgery, the 32-year-old flyweight from Caudal Juarez, Mexico, has made significant progress. He met with reporters about a month ago, not completely steady on his feet, but speaking clearly and answering questions in his native Spanish.
“I want to see him, shake his hand,” said Viloria, a 24-year-old from Waipahu. “I am dedicating this fight to Ruben Contreras, who won the biggest fight of his life, literally a fight for his life.
“He’s a real inspiration. To see him will lift my spirits.”
Viloria said he wanted to visit Contreras while he was hospitalized, but honored the wishes of the Mexican fighter’s family to limit visitors.
After the fight, Viloria went through some rough times, even questioning whether he should continue his career.
“With the help of my family and my friends, they all talked to me, assured me that it wasn’t my fault,” he said. “It helped me get through the days.”
Gary Gittelsohn, Viloria’s manager, said, “Brian and his family are very religious, so there was a lot of support for Brian and a lot of praying for the injured fighter.”
Viloria thought often of Contreras.
“When I was in the gym training, it was always in the back of my mind. I was thinking about him until I was told that he was fully recovering,” he said. “When I got word that he was OK, it was finally totally out of my mind and I could focus on what I had to do.”
Looking back, Viloria said he was surprised when he heard after the fight that Contreras had collapsed and was having surgery. “It (their fight) was nothing out of the ordinary; he wasn’t taking too much of a beating or anything like that. There was nothing that would say it was going to end up in that type of situation,” he said.
UH Wahine sweeps CalState Northridge
HONOLULU — The University of Hawai’i defeated Cal State-Northridge 30-17, 30-22, 30-24 Friday night at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Challenge women’s volleyball tournament.
The Rainbow Wahine, ranked seventh in the CSTV/AVCA Women’s Volleyball Poll, were to meet No. 10 UCLA on Saturday night in the final match of the round-robin tournament.
The Bruins beat unranked Cincinnati 25-30, 32-30, 30-22, 27-30, 15-9 earlier Friday.
Jamie Houston led Hawaii (4-3) with a dozen kills. Juliana Sanders added 11 for the Rainbow Wahine, and teammate Victoria Prince had 10.
Darla Donaldson had 15 kills for the unranked Matadors (2-6)
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