• Sabillo vows memorable first title defense in Pinoy Pride XXI

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    Merlito “Tiger” Sabillo CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    World Boxing Organization (WBO) minimum weight champion Merlito “Tiger” Sabillo promised to make his first title defense against Colombian Jorle Estrada at the Solaire Resort and Casino in Parañaque City on Saturday a memorable one.

    “This is my first time to fight here in Manila so I wanted to make it a memorable first title defense. I’m also determined to stop our disappointments after some of our world champions have fallen in their respective title fights,” Sabillo, 29, told reporters during the Pinoy Pride XXI “When Worlds Collide” press conference on Thursday.

    Sabillo is pertaining to the recent defeats absorbed by his compatriots, former world champions Denver Cuello, Nonito Donaire Jr., Brian Villoria and Manny Pacquiao. The Philippines now only has three remaining world boxing champions—Sabillo, WBO light flyweight champion Donnie Nietes and International Boxing Federation light flyweight champion Johnriel Casimero.

    But the 21-year-old Estrada (16-6 win-loss card with five knockouts) declared that he came to the Philippines to take away Sabillo’s belt in only seven rounds.

    Sabillo, unbeaten in 21 fights with 11 knockouts, just ignored his Colombian challenger’s comment, saying: “Let’s just see if he can knock me out, otherwise I will be the one who will shut him down. I believe knocking him out is possible.”

    In the other scheduled matches, King Arthur Villanueva and Arturo “Fuerte” Badillo of Mexico will clash for the WBO Asia Pacific super-flyweight title, AJ “Bazooka” Banal in his comeback fight, will go against Abraham “Cholo” Gomez of Mexico, while Prince Albert Pagara takes on Khunkhiri Wor Wisaruth of Thailand.

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