JORLE Estrada of Colombia came over to Manila looking to accomplish one major goal - wrest the World Boxing Organization (WBO) minimumweight title from reigning Filipino champion Merlito Sabillo on Saturday night at the Solaire Casino and Resort Hotel.
And not only did the challenger vow to go home victorious, Estrada likewise said he’s going to knock out Sabillo right before his countrymen.
“Seven rounds,” he emphatically said during Tuesday’s weekly PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate through interpreter John Sheehan.
“It’s my first time here in the Philippines and I’m happy to represent Colombia. It doesn’t matter if I’m fighting here because I came here to win. I know his (Sabillo) style. I’ve observed him through the internet,” added the 24-year-old Estrada, holder of a 17-6 record including six KOs.
The challenger from San Pelayo, Colombia said he prepared three months for his first shot at a world title.
Sabillo is making the first title defense of the WBO 105-lb. belt he won with an eighth-round technical knockout of Luis De La Rosa last March.
The pride of Bacolod City is one of only three Filipino boxing champions today along with International Boxing Federation (IBF) light-flyweight champion Johnriel Casimero and WBO light-flyweight king Donnie Nietes.
The fight, which headlines Pinoy Pride XXI, will be the first boxing card to be staged in the county’s newest resort and casino. A press conference is set Thursday and the weigh-in is on Friday.
Also seeing action are King Arthur Villanueva of the Philippines and Arturo 'Fuerte' Badillo of Mexico for the WBO Asia Pacific super-flyweight title, AJ 'Bazooka' Banal in his comeback fight vs Abrahan 'Cholo' Gomez of Mexico, and Prince Albert Pagara vs Khunkhiri Wor Wisaruth of Thailand.
Four other bouts will spice up the card: Jessel Magsayo against Jamjam Ungon, Elmo Traya vs Diover Mangaya-ya, Vic Saludar vs Juanito Hundante, and Brian Lobitania vs Gilbert Donasales.
Like the Colombian, Badillo said he expects to fight a good fight. He said he flew 24 hours to get to the Philippines but is prepared for battle.
“I prepared for 12 rounds. But if a knockout comes, then it comes,” said Badillo.