‘The Hawaiian Punch’ is still in the fight game ― as a trainer
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Brian Viloria first strapped on boxing gloves when he was just a kid in Waipahu. He dreamed that someday he would fight in the Olympic Games.
“I wanted to be there. I wanted to experience that whole thing,” he said.
After mowing down amateurs and winning a championship, Viloria made Team USA in 2000.
He didn’t medal but he remembers the Opening Ceremony as a golden moment.
“All of a sudden you hear this roar of people, just screaming and clapping. The bright lights were just in your face. I did a 360 in the arena. I was like, ‘Whoa!’” he said.
As a professional, Viloria was a knockout artist ― 23 of his 38 wins were by KO. During a storied career he captured four world titles, one from each of pro boxing’s sanctioning bodies.
“My career has been amazing,” he said.
Viloria retired from the ring in 2018, but he’s still involved in the fight game. He trains pro boxers and personal clients at North Hollywood’s Brickhouse Boxing Club.
“Now I don’t compete. I don’t get punched in the face. But I help guide fighters. And if you just want to work out, hey, I’m there for you,” he said.
Hanging up the gloves has given him more time to spend with his wife and their two young children, and to devote to other important things.
“It’s a bit more freedom on doing the life thing, being with family and friends and doing the things that normal people do,” he said.
While Viloria lives in Los Angeles, he returns to Hawaii often. His brother recently opened a gym in Waipio.
“It’s called 94 Box. They cater a lot to the kids, giving back to the community and just trying to get kids off the streets,” he said.
Viloria, now 40, says he’s very satisfied with what he accomplished in and out of the ring and how he handled his star-studded boxing business.
“I sum it up as the wildest roller coaster you could ever ride on,” he said.
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