REIGNING champion Merlito Sabillo stakes his World Boxing Organization (WBO) minimumweight title on Sunday (Manila time) when he faces challenger Francisco Rodriguez at Arena Monterrey in Mexico.
The pride of Toboso, Negro Occidental showed he’s prepared for the 12-round match as he easily made the limit on Saturday by coming in at 104.5 lbs. during the official weigh-in that was held open to the public.
Rodriguez, 20, meanwhile, came in at exactly 105 lbs.
Shortly after the weigh-in, the champion went back to his hotel and had some pasta, vegetable salad, and fruit juice.
The 30-year-old Sabillo will be making the third defense of his WBO title belt since last year, but is fighting outside of the Philippines for only the second time in a six-year pro career that saw the Filipino compile a ring record of 23-0-1 with 12 KOs.
He is coming off a split draw from his last title defense four months ago against Nicaraguan Carlos Buitrago at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Rodriguez has a record of 13-2, with 9 KOs, although he had to settle for a fifth-round technical draw versus Ernesto Guerrero in his last fight in January.
Third man on the ring will be Eddie Claudio, while the three judges scoring the fight are Adalaide Byrd, Glenn Feldman, and Victor Salomon.