Sabillo gets Villamor’s approval

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013


EVEN though Merlito Sabillo didn’t get the nod and just settled for a split draw with Carlos Buitrago last Saturday night, his trainer Edito Villamor was impressed by his ward’s gritty performance.

“Merlito’s performance was beyond our expectations. He showed the boxing fans that he didn’t want to let go of the belt that he was defending,” the ALA Gym head coach told Sun.Star Cebu.

Sabillo retained his World Boxing Organization mini-flyweight belt with the deadlock. Judge Levi Martinez scored the fight 115-113 for the 21-year-old Nicaraguan, Joerg Milke handed it to Sabillo with a score of 115-113, while Takeshi Shimakawa saw it even at 114-114.

The 29-year-old Sabillo started out slow but rallied in the later rounds by luring in Buitrago to a brawl, which was part of the game plan.

“No he didn’t have a difficult time in the first few rounds. He did a great job not to put pressure on Buitrago because he was still fresh and very dangerous. Then after four rounds that was the time that we adjusted and put on pressure until the 12th round. Buitrago is a distance fighter and looks good fighting from afar but if you put pressure on him and keep the distance close then he’ll have a hard time. If you look at the replay Merlito didn’t have a hard time. It was a close fight but it was either a win for Sabillo or a draw,” said Villamor.

Sabillo, however, admitted after the fight that there was a point in the bout that he was frustrated because Buitrago’s elusiveness.

“He was really hard to hit,” he said. “I lost my patience because I couldn’t hit him. However, I showed everybody that I did my best.”

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 04, 2013.

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