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SABILLO AND NIETES STEP UP THEIR TRAINING IN THE U.S.


PhilBoxing.com




The two world champs of the ALA Gym, Merlito "Tiger" Sabillo (23W-0L-1D, 12 KO's) and Donnie "Ahas" Nietes (32W-1L-4D, 18KO's) are in the thick of preparations for their upcoming title defenses. The duo are past their second week in San Diego,California with trainer Michael Domingo.

ALA Gym chief trainer Edito Villamor has joined up with the group last March 2 and informed philboxing that after two weeks sparring in San Diego they will also train in Redondo and undergo physical conditioning training under the guidance of Nick Curson.

Sabillo, a southpaw from Negros Occidental turned 30 last January. He is penned to defend his WBO minimumweight title on March 22 against Mexican Francisco Rodriguez (13-2, 9KO's) in Arena Monterrey, Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico.

Rodriguez, who is 20 years old, is ranked number nine in the February ratings of the WBO. The name boxer on his resume is former two division champ Roman Gonzales of Nicaragua; Rodriguez lost to Gonzales by TKO in the 7th.

Villamor stated that "Sabillo now is in great shape. Ang suntok niya malakas, mabilis. Malaki po ang improvement nya ngayon."

They spend their mornings jogging in Redondo Beach. "He also sparred at the Wild Card gym with Ricardo Rodriguez and Donnie Nietes. Before they left for the U.S., Sabillo sparred in Cebu with Jerson Mancio and Kim Galon." Villamor added, " We train also in Ponce de Leon's gym so they can experience and observe the difference in training here in the States."

Daniel Ponce De Leon is remembered by Filipino fans for his first round TKO win against Rey Bautista in Sacramento. Domingo was part of the Philippine squad that beat Mexico 5-1 in head to head match-ups in that fight card in 2007.

Last November, Sabillo retained his WBO minimumweight title with a split draw at the Araneta Coliseum against Carlos Buitrago of Nicaragua while Nietes had an impressive TKO win against Sammy Gutierez of Mexico.

Nietes' career as a two division champion has been defined by his three successful title defenses in Mexico. This is a path Sabillo hopes to follow.

Nietes, also from Negros Occidental, is the reigning WBO light flyweight champion. He is slated for a rematch against Mexico's Moises Fuentes this May 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena. They fought to a majority draw in Cebu last year. Fuentes (19-1-1,10KO's), a former WBO minimumweight champ, captured the interim light flyweight title by stopping Luis dela Rosa of Colombia last September in one round.

Photo (L-R): Merlito Sabillo, Daniel Ponce de Leon with baby, Michael Domingo, Donnie Nietes and trainer Edito Villamor.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Rene Bonsubre, Jr..


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