REIGNING World Boxing Organization (WBO) champion Merlito “The Tiger” Sabillo said he wants to fight International Boxing Federation (IBF) minimumweight titleholder Katsunari Takayama of Japan.
“As long as I got the permission from my manager, Michael Aldeguer of ALA Promotion, there is no problem I will fight anyone including him [Takayama],” Sabillo, 29, told The Manila Times.
Sabillo successfully defended his belt recently via ninth round knockout of Colombian Jorle Estrada. The victory improved his record to 23-0 with 12 knockouts.
Takayama, who watched Sabillo’s fight in Solaire, also expressed his desire to fight the former Bacolod City street fighter. “I want him next. IBF champion versus WBO champion,” the 30-year-old Japanese, who holds 25-6-1 win-loss-draw slate with 10 knockouts, told boxing website philboxing.com.
But ALA Promotion overall coach Edito Villamor said Sabillo must take a few months rest before going back to training in Cebu. “Sabillo can fight anyone but right now he needs to rest and wait for the decision of our promoter,” he said.