Philippines, 28 Jan 2022
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WBO DECLARES MERLITO SABILLO AS THE NEW MINI-FLYWEIGHT CHAMPION


PhilBoxing.com




DAVAO CITY ? The World Boxing Organization (WBO) has declared Interim Mini-Flyweight (Minimumweight, 105 lbs) Champion Merlito Sabillo of the Philippines as the regular champion of the division according to its latest rankings released on the WBO website. Former WBO Mini-Flyweight Champion Moises Fuentes of Mexico is now the No. 1 contender of the Junior Flyweight (108 lbs) division the champion of which is Donnie Nietes of the Philippines.

Sabillo (21-0-0, 11KO) who was then ranked No. 2 in the division, fought No. 1 ranked Luis de la Rosa (21-1-1) of Columbia at De La Rosa's hometown last March 9 for the Interim Title and won via 8th round TKO. The Interim Title was put on the line because Moises Fuentes was about to leave the division and challenged Nietes's title last March 2 in Cebu. After the Nietes-Fuentes title fight ended in a draw, there were some uncertainty whether or not Fuentes will vacate his Mini-Flyweight title. The WBO declaration to elevate Sabillo as the regular champion and put Fuentes as Nietes's No. 1 contender has put everything in order.

?That is actually the plan,? WBO Vice-President Leon Panoncillo Jr, who is in Davao for the Bautista-Ramirez regional title fight Saturday, told Philboxing.com. ?Actually Fuentes can no longer make weight as a mini-flyweight so he is forced to go to a higher division. I therefore congratulate the ALA Gym and the Philippines for producing another world champion,? added Panoncillo.

?We are very pleased with this development and we are actually expecting this,? ALA Promotions President Michael Aldeguer said. ?Sabillo is a very exciting fighter and he deserves this. By winning the Interim Title at his opponent's backyard, he deserves this title. I'm very happy with this development because it came during a time when Philippine boxing is down with the recent loses of Brian Viloria and Nonito Donaire. We're happy to add another world champion for the Philippines.?

Asked what are his plans for Sabillo, Aldeguer said ?We want to let him fight abroad one more time and then bring him here to defend his title here. But let's see because everything has not yet been set.?

Recent loses by Manny Pacquiao, Brian Viloria and Nonito Donaire had reduced the Philippines' world champions to two but Sabillo's feat has made it back to three in addition to Donnie Nietes and Johnriel Casimero.


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