Former Jr Lightweight Champ of World Appointed to Boxing Commission

April 23, 2012, 10:55 AM HST · Updated April 23, 10:56 AM
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Senate President Shan Tsutsui congratulates Ben Villaflor after he was confirmed as a member of the Boxing Commission. Photo Courtesy, Hawai'i State Senate Communications.

Posted by Maui Now Staff

Former Junior Lightweight Champion of the World, Bienvenido “Ben” Villaflor, was confirmed as a member of the State Boxing Commission of Hawaiʻi.

The Hawaii State Senate confirmed Villaflor and three other nominees to the commission on Wednesday after they were nominated by Gov. Abercrombie.

As a newly confirmed member, Villaflor said his vision for the future of boxing in Hawaii entails bringing the excitement and public awareness to the sport.

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“Teaching young people, the future generation of Hawaiʻi, the importance of physical fitness, proper nutrition, and good sportsmanship in boxing can be perpetuated in our schools. I feel that I can be a positive mentor for our youngsters of Hawaii,” said Villaflor.

Villaflor currently serves as the Hawaii State Senate Sergeant at Arms; but his career with the Senate has spanned through six Senate Presidents.

“We’re truly honored to have a boxing legend as part of our Senate family,” said Senate President Shan Tsutsui. “Ben does a wonderful job here at the State Capitol and I’m confident that he will serve the Boxing Commission well with his expertise and love for the sport,” he said.

“Boxing has always been a great passion for me because of the opportunities it has brought to my life,” said Villaflor.

Villaflor was born and raised in the Philippines, growing up in Zamboanga de Sur as one of 12 siblings.

He said boxing became a means of supporting his parents and family by putting food on the table and by providing financial support for health, medical and educational needs.

Villaflor began his career at the age of 13.  By excelling in the sport, he was able to come to Hawaii, where he earned the prestigious title of Junior Lightweight Champion of the World twice.

Last year, Villaflor made the top ten list of the Greatest Filipino Fighters of All Time by The Ring magazine.

He previously served on the Boxing Commission for two terms, from July 1988 through June 1996.

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