Sabillo falters in title defense. ALA fighter falls to Mexican foe, loses WBO minimumweight belt
Lemuel P. Maglinte (The Freeman) - March 24, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Merlito ‘Tiger’ Sabillo was stripped of his WBO minimumweight title after suffering a heartbreaking 10th round TKO loss against Mexican Francisco ‘Chihuas’ Rodriguez Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at the Arena Monterrey in Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

The younger Rodriguez proved to be too aggressive for Sabillo as the Mexican launched an assault against the ALA Boxing Gym stalwart in the opening bell.

Rodriguez scored a knockdown in the dying seconds of the first round as he decked Sabillo after solid combinations to the head and body of the Filipino warrior.

The Mexican never let go on Sabillo and continued his onslaught throughout the fight as he pushed the pace landing a flurry of vicious combinations forcing Sabillo to hang on the ropes.

The Toboso, Negros Occidental absorbed a lot of punishment as fight goes on, while Rodriguez poured all he got in the tenth round.

Sabillo was unable to answer on the Mexican’s barrage forcing ALA trainer Edito Villamor to halt the carnage. Referee Eddie Claudio immediately jump on Sabillo to stop the fight at the 1:50 mark of the round.

“His (Sabillo) health is my concern. Merlito is taking too much that’s why I decided to call a stop,” said Villamor. “I give credit to the challenger. He is one tough fighter.”

Rodriguez improved his record to 13-2, 10KOs, while the 30-year-old Sabillo suffered his first career loss in 24 fights.

For his part, ALA Promotions CEO and President Michael Aldeguer commend Rodriguez for his performance, but revealed that there is a possibility that they will push through with a rematch.

“You got to give it to Rodriguez. He fought hard to win,” said Aldeguer. “Merlito came prepared but he lost and it is something we have to accept.”

“I will talk to Merlito once he comes back and it depends on him if we will go for a rematch to try to claim the title back.” (FREEMAN)

ARENA MONTERREY BOXING GYM EDITO VILLAMOR MERLITO MEXICAN FRANCISCO NEGROS OCCIDENTAL NUEVO LEON PRESIDENT MICHAEL ALDEGUER REFEREE EDDIE CLAUDIO SABILLO
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