IT WAS Saturday night of knockouts at the Solaire Resort and Casino in Parañaque City as Merlito “The Tiger” Sabillo and the rest of his fellow Filipino boxers scored knockout victories in Pinoy Pride XXI fight card “When Worlds Collide.”
Sabillo retained his World Boxing Organization (WBO) minimum weight belt by nailing a ninth-round knockout over Colombian challenger Jorle Estrada, who failed to stand up after being hit with a solid upper cut with a minute and nine seconds left.
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 improved to 23-0 win-loss card 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.”
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 fourth-round technical knockout to bag the WBO Asia-Pacific super flyweight crown.
Filipino referee Danrex Tapdasan halted the bout at 2:03 after the Mexican suffered a series of punches from Villanueva.
Villanueva remained unbeaten in 23 fights with 13 knockouts.
AJ “Bazooka” Banal redeemed himself by posting an impressive 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 Khunkhiri Wor Wisaruth of Thailand (9-5-1, 5 KOs) at 2:29 of Round 2.