July 20, 2011

Brian Viloria wins in unanimous decision

By Mike Cherry

Honolulu (HawaiiNewsNow) – Despite sporting a 2-inch cut above his right eye that swelled by the second, Brian Viloria (29-3) couldn't have been happier Saturday night. The Waipahu native defeated Julio Cesar Miranda by unanimous decision for the WBO Flyweight championship in a fight that went the full 12 round distance.

Roughly 90-seconds into round one, Viloria struck the first resounding blow, sending Miranda to the canvas in what would be the fight's only knock down of the night. As it turned out, it set the tone for the "Hawaiian Punch" as well.

"That felt great," admitted Viloria.

"I didn't expect it to happen. But, you know, I didn't want to get myself overly confident. That's how you have to take a look at it, and be like, alright I got this and give yourself enough time to lay back just a little bit."

Viloria did anything but relax.

Unlike his last championship bout versus Carlos Tamara (a fight that saw Viloria unable to answer the 12th round bell, thus forfeiting his IBF light flyweight title, despite leading in the judge's score card), Viloria was determined to go the distance.

And he did with the help of a raucous crowd who chanted his name in every round.

"I needed to dig down deep in those last couple of rounds and just hearing everyone's chant took me over that. Those are the type of fights that just energizes you. The people out here...I love them."

When the final bell sounded Viloria's hand was raised in victory as he claimed the WBO flyweight championship, the 3rd title of his pro career. And maybe the best of them all.

"I think it was more proving to myself," said Viloria. "Proving to myself that I still belong on the world caliber stage. Losing the title the way I did in Manila, it sets you back a little bit. This is...I think....sweeter than my first two world titles."

Emma Watson Landing New Role

Having just wrapped up a modern day fantasy of epic proportions, Emma Watson is reportedly eyeing a more classic land of make believe for one of her next projects.

"Crazy, Stupid, Love.," producer Denise Di Novi told ComingSoon.net that Watson is lined up to star in director Guillermo Del Toro's new adaptation of "Beauty and the Beast," which Di Novi is developing. It'd be the first undisputed lead role for Watson; she's due to star in the ensemble of the teen drama adaptation, "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," and has a supporting role in the Michelle Williams-starring "My Week With Marilyn."

What it means for Brown's studies -- she plans on going to Oxford this fall -- remains to be seen.

Watson told Vogue in June that she identified so deeply with her Hermione Granger character that, "I'm literally rediscovering what it means to be an actress.

- Jordan Zakarin

Azkals travel to Kuwait reeling from two defeats


THE Philippine Azkals left Bahrain yesterday for Kuwait and the opening leg of their Asian World Cup qualifiers on Saturday at the 20,000-capacity Mohammad Al Hamad Stadium in the commercial district of Hawally.

The Filipinos will go into the match smarting from two defeats inflicted by Bahrain’s Under-23 Olympic team, including a 1-3 loss in front of a capacity crowd at the Muharraq Club Stadium in Manama on Monday night, according to the Bahrain-based Gulf Daily News reported posted on its website yesterday.

In a related development, Philippine Football Federation chief Mariano Araneta Jr. said yesterday he was still hopeful the Asian Football Confederation would lift the suspension slapped on team captain and key defender Aly Borromeo and Fil-German midfielder Stefan Schrock, who were banned one game each for earning two yellow cards in the first-round series against Sri Lanka.

"We sent another formal letter to the AFC today appealing the suspensions of Borromeo and Schrock," Araneta said.

The International Football Federation, the sport’s world governing body, had earlier referred a PFF appeal on the issue back to the AFC, which had ruled the penalties of both players be carried into the next round.

Araneta added that Fil-Dutch midfielder Paul Mulders might still be able to play in Kuwait if his injured left foot heals on time.

"We hope Mulders would still be able to play since his presence will help greatly in our match against Kuwait in the away leg," Araneta said.

Although more comfortable as an attacking midfielder, Mulders was reverted to left back by national coach Michael Weiss in the series against Sri Lanka, but is expected to be back at his old post with Fil-Icelander Ray Jonsson.

As in their previous 1-2 loss to the Bahraini booters last Saturday, diminutive co-skipper Chieffy Caligdong scored the lone goal for the Azkals, a header that caught Bahraini goalie Ashraf Al Sebaie off guard, on a cross by Manuel Ott near the end of the first half, the report said.