By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Undefeated ALA Gym fighter Merlito Sabillo has scored a sensational 8th round TKO over No.1 ranked Colombian Luis De La Rosa to win the WBO minimum weight interim title at at the Coliseo Mario De Leon Cerete in Cordoba, Colombia on Sunday, Manila Time.
In an action-packed battle from the opening bell, Sabillo went after De La Rosa and opened up a cut in the first round but the Colombian ripped into Sabillo with a series of big shots that rocked the courageous Filipino who fought back tenaciously.
The fight turned in favor of Sabillo in the eighth round when he dropped De La Rosa with a cracking right and although the Colombian beat the count he was in deep trouble.
Sabillo didn’t waste time and went after De La Rosa and dropped him for a second time with a vicious left straight and although the Colombian beat the count for the second time he looked groggy and in no position to continue forcing the referee to call a halt at 2:58 of the 8th round.
With the win Sabillo who used to earn money in bare-knuckled street fights on which people bet, improved to 21-0 with 11 knockouts.
Boxing writer Lee Bates who watched the fight said in a text message to ALA Promotions patron Tony Aldeguer, “Congratulations for a job well done. Excellent win by Sabillo. They gave him a standing ovation in Colombia and welcomed him back in July to fight again.”
Bates noted that Sabillo was “really well prepared and impressed many, including me by winning by TKO.”
The local Mayor invited Sabillo to comeback and fight another world-rated Colombian in the summer.