By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News North America
March 21, 2013
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Brian “The Hawaiian Punch” Viloria is ready to spend his Holy Week in the gambling capital of Asia.
Days before their departure, Viloria and two-time Olympic gold-medalist Zou Shiming of China put on a media workout for their upcoming April 6 bouts, which will take place in Macau.
“I feel great. I’ve been training really hard for this fight,” said Viloria. “I’ve been given an opportunity to fight on a big stage like this, so all I can do is train really hard for this, prepare myself for this, and show up for another great fight like I have been for the past couple years.”
Viloria will defend his WBO and WBA flyweight championships against top Mexican contender Juan Estrada.
To prepare, Viloria has been sparring with Shiming, who signed with Top Rank after turning professional. The Chinese boxer will make his debut on the same card as Viloria.
“We are both learning something, and then it’s always bringing our ‘A’ game into the ring,” Viloria said. “At the same time, I was just helping him get adjusted to the pro style.”
“It took me a while to get out of the amateur style, and turn into a pro, so I know how hard it is,” he added.
While Viloria and Zou have the chance to introduce world class boxing to Macau, the April 6 event may also serve as a test run for an even bigger fight in the near future. With the high tax rates in the United States, Macau has been seen as a possible destination for the next Manny Pacquiao fight.
“Either in Macau or Singapore, because our partner, the Venetian, has casinos both in Macau and Singapore,” Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said.
As far as opponents and a timetable, Arum said Pacquiao still has not talked boxing with him as the “Pacman” is focused on his wife Jinkee’s campaign for vice-governor of Sarangani.
But Arum said there are several fighters in the welterweight division who are in the mix for Pacquiao.
Both Pacquiao and Mexican champion Juan Manuel Marquez have told Arum they plan to attend the fight card in Macau.
Contact Steve Angeles at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.