By Carlos Costa
In an exciting battle of undefeated WBO champions, Filipino Merlito "Tiger" Sabillo (23-0, 12 KOs) will clash with tough Nicaraguan Carlos "Chocorroncito" Buitrago (27-0, 16 KO's) for the unification of the WBO minimunweight (105 lbs) world championship on Friday November 29 in Dubai, U.A.E.
The Merlito-Buitrago rumble was confirmed by the WBO during its recently concluded XXVI Annual Convention in Budapest, Hungary.
The 21 year-old Nicaraguan - 8 years younger than the Filipino - has just captured the WBO interim minimunweight title by defeating by unanimous decision then undefeated Mexican Julian "Artillery" Yedras (21-1, 13 KO's) last July in Merida, Yucatán, Mexico.
Also in July, Merlito "Tiger" Sabillo of Bacolod, Negros Occidental, defended for the first time his title by dismantling in nine round unheralded Colombian Jorle Estrada (17-7, 6 KO's).
The defeated Jorle Estrada is the only common opponent for Buitrago and Merlito. Merlito knocked out the weak Colombian in nine rounds. Buitrago destroyed him in six.
There are still about three months before fight night, but Carlos "Chocorroncito" Buitrago - handled by Nicaragua's PRODESA - has already began training under the guidance of veteran head coach Arnulfo Obando, who is also the trainer of hard-hitting Nicaraguan Jr. Flyweight Super Champion Román "Chocolatito" González (35-0, 29 KO's).
Meanwhile, world champ "Tiger" Sabillo - promoted by Cebu's ALA Promotions - will train for the toughest opponent of his career with experienced trainers Edito "ALA" Villamor and his younger brother Edmund Villamor, likely at the awesome ALA Boxing compound in Nasipit, Talamban, Cebu.
The fight in Dubai will be the most difficult assignment for both fighters, tough in a place like the U.A.E. - with a prominent expat community of OFW laboring there - a large number of enthusiastic Pinoy fans are expected to root for Sabillo, while likely no Nicaraguan at all will cheer for Buitrago.
Will the unbeaten 21 year-old Nicaraguan interim champ overcome the booing from the crowd to outmaneuver and dominate a skillful southpaw like Sabillo.... or will Merlito "Tiger" Sabillo use his southpaw stance, boxing skills and "eye of the tiger" to confuse and outsmart Buitrago?
The Merlito-Buitrago WBO minimumweight unification on November 29 in Dubai, U.A.E. is a production of ALA Boxing Promotions, a company of undisputed champion of Filipino promoters, Antonio L. Aldeguer.