Wednesday, November 25, 2015         


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Miranda tightens his belt

The WBO champion loses 2 pounds in 2 hours and will defend his strap

By Billy Hull


Julio Cesar Miranda and Brian Viloria weighed in at identical 111.6 pounds for tonight's WBO flyweight title fight.

But while Viloria made it with ease, Miranda nearly was forced to forfeit his title.

With less than an hour to make weight, Miranda, who was more than 2 pounds over when he first took the scale at the Queen Kapiolani Hotel, sucked every ounce out of his body to make the 112-pound limit.

Visibly tired from a stressful weight-cutting session of roughly 3 hours, an overjoyed Miranda skipped off the scale after making weight on his second "official" try.


7 p.m. today, Blaisdell Arena:
» Julio Cesar Miranda (35-5-1, 28 KOs) vs. Brian Viloria (28-3, 16 KOs)
» Michael Farenas (31-3-3, 26 KOs) vs. Fernando Beltran Jr. (35-5-1, 19 KOs)
» Denver Cuello (26-4-6, 16 KOs) vs. Omar Soto (15-7-1, 6 KOs)
» Michael Balasi (9-1, 7 KOs) vs. Van Oscar Penovaroff (6-0-1, 4 KOs)
» Ku’ulei Kupihea (6-1, 2 KOs) vs. Tiffany Junot (9-2-1, 6 KOs)

It was the final hurdle to clear for tonight's 12-round title fight that headlines Island Assault 2 at the Blaisdell Arena.

The five-bout card will be available on Oceanic PPV to the neighbor islands only beginning at 7 p.m.

While Viloria hydrated and rested comfortably outside the ballroom, Miranda was downstairs at the hotel working out, trying to sweat out the final 2 pounds.

While Miranda stressed over those final precious ounces, a relaxed Viloria indulged in a chicken plate lunch hoping his opponent would eventually get it done.

"As a world champion you have to know how important making weight is," Viloria said. "I know what he's going through, but at the same time, I can't feel sorry for him.

"I did what I had to do and I'm feeling good right now."

How much the cut affects Miranda remains to be seen, but the champion looked drained as he sat in a chair and drank a bottle of Gatorade after his successful weigh-in.

Had Miranda not made weight, the fight would have still gone on as scheduled. A win would have still made Viloria the champion, but Miranda would have been stripped of the title even with a victory.

Miranda had 2 hours after his initial weigh-in to make weight.

Viloria (28-3, 16 knockouts) is trying to become the sixth Filipino to hold world titles in boxing in multiple weight classes.

The former IBF and WBC light flyweight champion is getting his first crack at a world title in the flyweight division, where he has competed for most of his career.

Viloria has won nine of his last 10 fights, losing only to Carlos Tamara last year in the only fight he's lost that didn't go the distance.

Refereeing the fight is Joe Cortez, who has worked notable world title fights including George Foreman against Michael Moorer and Oscar De La Hoya against Julio Cesar Chavez.

Tickets ranging from $55 to $225 are still available.

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