Fellow champions believe Sabillo can defend his title

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

NEGRENSE international boxing titlists WBO Inter-Continental Super Bantamweight champion Genesis "Azukal" Servania and WBO International Super Flyweight champion "King" Arthur Villanueva believe that reigning WBO minimumweight champion Merlito "Tiger" Sabillo can defend his crown on March 22.

The Toboso town-born Sabillo, who grew up in Barangay Singcang-Airport in Bacolod City, will put his title at stake against young Mexican challenger Francisco "Chihuas" Rodriguez Jr.

“Tiger” is currently training in San Diego, California for his first fight this year. His unblemished record of 23 wins and a draw with 12 victories on knockouts is something for his 20-year-old challenger to worry about. "Chihuas" is impressive with a 13-2 win-loss card, nine in knockouts.


The Filipino champion has a successful career last year after winning via split decision over tough Carlos Buitrago of Nicaragua in his November 9 title defense at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Sabillo said he hopes and pray that he will be blessed again with another win in his second international stint following his March 9, 2013 fight in Coliseo Mario de Leon in Cerete, Colombia. It is where he stopped hometown hero Luis de la Rosa in eighth round of a scheduled 12-round.

Confirming Sabillo's successful career, the Toboso hero is set to receive the highest honor for professional boxing in the Elorde Memorial Awards slated March 25 at the Sofitel Hotel Tent City.

Last January, Rodriguez got a technical draw against fellow Mexican Ernesto Guerrero in Sonora, Mexico and has a unanimous decision victory over another Mexican Moises Calleros.

Rodriguez suffered a huge upset in his career with a seventh round TKO from Nicaraguan Roman Gonzalez.

"We know Sabillo very well. He can defend his title because he is brave and a great champion. There's a big chance he can defend it," Servania said.

Villanueva's message to Sabillo: "Just keep praying and stay focused."

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 19, 2014.


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