by Ronnie Nathanielsz
The president of the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines or ABAP, Ricky Vargas, was impressed with the performance of WBO minimum weight champion Merlito "Tiger" Sabillo in his successful first title defense against Colombia's No. 6 world ranked contender Jorlie Estrada in "Pinoy Pride XXI" at the plush Solaire Resort and Casino last Saturday.
Vargas who watched the ABS-CBN telecast of the fights on Sunday told the Manila Standard he liked the aggressive stance of Sabillo "who kept chasing his opponent who was scared and kept running."
Vargas said the crunching left hook to the ribs that dropped Estrada who went down grimacing in pain and was counted out by referee Raul Caiz Jr in the 9th round was "a perfect punch. It was devastating."
Vargas believes Sabillo has a good future in the pro ranks.
The WBO champion is likely to defend his title in Dubai this October if ALA Promotions is unable to schedule a title defense for WBO light flyweight champion Donnie Nietes in Dubai in September.
ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer told us "the priority is Donnie. He needs to fight. We are trying to move heaven and earth to get a fight in Dubai but if it can't be done in Septemberi we'll have to do it here, possibly in Davao City where the last "Pinoy Pride XX" was very well received.
Aldeguer also said he too was impressed with the showing of Sabillo who "made a fight out of it" against a back-pedaling Estrada. Sabillo cut the ring off well and scored with vicious body shots before eventually knocking out Estrada.