Sabillo to defend title vs. Mexican foe today
Lemuel P. Maglinte (The Freeman) - March 23, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Merlito ‘Tiger’ Sabillo of the ALA Boxing Gym hopes to return to the country with his belt as he stakes his WBO minimumweight crown for the third time against tough Mexican challenger Francisco ‘Chihuas’ Rodriguez today at the Arena Monterrey in Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

The 30-year-old Sabillo, who sports a perfect 23-0 win-loss record spiked with 12 KOs, will go up against Rodriguez who has 13 wins, nine of it from knockouts with two losses.

Sabillo faces daunting task as he defends for the first time in Mexico, but he is confident that he can score a convincing win to keep his WBO title.

The pride of Toboso, Negros Occidental did not have a problem making weight as he tipped the scales at 104.5 lbs, while Rodriguez came in at 105 lbs. 

“I want to win impressively. I trust the judges but I want a convincing win,” said Sabillo. “I will go aggressive on him (Rodriguez) until I can connect with a solid punch and hopefully score a knockout.”

Sabillo, who hails from Toboso, Negros Occidental, captured the vacant WBO belt with a masterful eight round TKO win over Colombian Luis De La Rosa on March 9 last year at the Coliseo San Vicente in Colombia.

He also defended his title two times last year, first against Colombian Jorle Estrada on July 13 at the Solaire Resort and Casino via TKO followed by a close split draw decision against Nicaraguan Carlos Buitrago on November 30 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“I am confident with Merlito. He trained hard for this fight and I know he will defend his title no matter what,” said ALA chief trainer Edito Villamor. “Sabillo has a heart of a champion and that is his edge against his opponent.”

Sabillo is one of the two boxing world champions of the fabled ALA Stable next to his fellow Negrense in WBO light flyweight title-holder Donnie ‘Ahas’ Nietes.  (FREEMAN)

ARENA MONTERREY BOXING GYM COLISEO SAN VICENTE COLOMBIAN JORLE ESTRADA COLOMBIAN LUIS DE LA ROSA EDITO VILLAMOR MERLITO NEGROS OCCIDENTAL NICARAGUAN CARLOS BUITRAGO SABILLO
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