Merlito “The Tiger” Sabillo and the rest of his fellow Filipino boxers scored vicious knockouts in Pinoy Pride XXI fight card “When Worlds Collide” Saturday night at the Solaire Resort and Casino in Paranaque City.
Sabillo retained his World Boxing Organization (WBO) minimum weight belt with a ninth-round knockout over Colombian challenger Jorle Estrada, who stayed down after being hit with a crushing upper cut in his abdomen.
Referee Caiz Jr. stopped the fight after Estrada grimaced in pain and failed to beat the count.
“He fought and moved so quick but I focused on his weak body part which is his abdomen,” said Sabillo, 29, who remains unbeaten in 23 fights with 12 knockouts. “I told myself that I will try to knock him out in the ninth and tenth round. I’m very happy I did it.”
Sabillo connected with strong punches to Estrada’s face. But in middle rounds, Sabillo’s corner instructed the former street fighter from Bacolod City to switch to body punches.
Estrada, 21, will go home in Colombia with 16-7 win-loss record with six knockouts.
In the co-main event, King Arthur Villanueva stopped Mexican Arturo “The Knockout Artist” Badillo via technical knockout in fourth round to bag the WBO Asia-Pacific super flyweight crown. Filipino referee Danrex Tapdasan halted the bout at 2:03.
Villanueva stays unbeaten in 23 fights with 13 knockouts.
AJ “Bazooka” Banal redeemed himself with a technical knockout win against Mexican Abraham Gomez , who decided not to continue after the second round. Banal improved to 29-2-1 win-loss-draw card with 21 knockouts.
Junior bantamweight prospect Albert Pagara (17-0 card, 11 KOs), the younger brother of unbeaten middleweight Jason Pagara, knocked out the overmatched Khunkhiri Wor Wisaruth of Thailand (9-5-1, 5 KOs) at 2:29 of Round 2.