Sabillo loses crown to tough Mexican challenger

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Sunday, March 23, 2014


SOMETIMES it is better to wave the white flag and fight another day.

That was what Merlito Sabillo’s corner did to save him from taking more damage from Mexican challenger Francisco Rodriguez in their World Boxing Organization mini-flyweight title bout yesterday in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

“Sabillo was in superb condition, that’s why he lasted before Edito (Villamor) told the referee to stop the fight. No excuses, Rodriguez was the better fighter and deserved to win,” ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer told Sun.Star Cebu.

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Sabillo was completely outclassed by the 20-year-old Rodriguez, whom Villamor described as “tough and strong.”

The 30-year-old Bacolod City native was dropped in the second round of the fight. After surviving the round, Sabillo took a beating by the hometown fighter but he never surrendered.

Villamor saw enough and threw in the towel in the 10th round to save Sabillo from taking more punishment or even permanent damage. The bout was stopped by referee Eddie Claudio in the 1:50 mark.

“Merlito was knocked down once in the second round, then we stopped the fight in the 10th round because our main priority is the health of our boxer. We saw that Merlito had no chance of winning by decision or by knockout. That’s why we stopped the fight because there is still a next time.

We also give credit to the challenger because he is a tough and strong fighter,” said Villamor.

Sabillo ended his reign after two title defenses. However, it is not the end just yet as he has a chance to avenge his loss to Rodriguez.

“No excuses, Rodriguez was the aggressor and he dominated the fight. We have two options with Zanfer (Promotions) regarding Rodriguez in case Sabillo lost,” said Aldeguer.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 24, 2014.

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