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    Sabillo out to impress in first WBO title defense

    Jun 4, 2013
    Merlito Sabillo, left, will defend his WBO minimumweight title against challenger Jorle Estrada of Colombia while compatriot Arthur Villanueva, right, goes up against Mexican Arturo Badillo on July 13. Jerome Ascano

    UNBEATEN Merlito Sabillo is looking to score an impressive win against challenger Jorle Estrada when he makes the first defense of his World Boxing Organization (WBO) minimumweight title on July 13 at the Solaire Hotel and Leisure Park in Pasay City.

    Aware that the 24-year-old Colombian doesn’t engage that much inside the ring, Sabillo believes he can knock Estrada out once he lands a big one in their 12-round match that serves as the main event of ALA Promotions’ Pinoy Pride 21: When World Collides.

    “Ang style niya takbo ng takbo," said Sabillo of his opponent when he graced the weekly PSA Forum Tuesday at Shakey’s Malate. “Mahirap (style) kung hindi mo pag-aaralan. Pero anytime na makakuha ng tama, sigurado yun (knockout).”

    Sabillo does have power in his fists as proven by the 11 KOs he scored among his 21 victories. In winning the WBO title belt last March, he scored an eighth-round technical knockout over another Colombian in Luis Dela Rosa in Cerete, Colombia.

    In contrast, Jorle sports a 16-6 record, including six KOs, and is ranked No. 6 by the WBO.

    “Makita ko lang na puwedeng tapusin, tatapusin ko na,” said the champion.

    Another undefeated fighter from the ALA boxing stable, Arthur Villanueva, will also be seeing action in the undercard against tough Mexican Arturo Badillo.

    Villanueva (21-0, 11 KOs) was also at the Forum accompanied by ALA Promotions vice-president Dennis Canete.  

    “Walang gaanong depensa,” he said of Badillo whose record stands an impressive 20-1, with 18 KOs. “So kung tamaan mas madaling babagsak.”

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    Following his sensational win over Dela Rosa, Sabillo has gotten the attention of WBO officials, who believe the Filipino has what it takes to be a great champion in the 105-lbs. division.

    Still, Canete has warned the champion not to be complacent against his Colombian opponent.

    “Iba kasi pag lumalaban ka sa world championship, especially for a challenger. Usually nothing to lose ang mga yan. So everything changes pag world title fight,” he said.

    The boxing promotions also serves as the comeback fight for AJ `Bazooka’ Banal following his failed attempt to win the WBO bantamweight title last year after a ninth-round technical knockout at the hands of Pungluang Sor Singyu of Thailand.

    `Bazooka’ will be up against Mexican Ramon Masas.

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    Merlito Sabillo, left, will defend his WBO minimumweight title against challenger Jorle Estrada of Colombia while compatriot Arthur Villanueva, right, goes up against Mexican Arturo Badillo on July 13. Jerome Ascano
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