By James Goyder

Unbeaten Filipino Merlito Sabillo (20-0) travels to Colombia this week to fight Luis de La Rosa (21-1-1) for the Interim WBO Minimumweight Title. The fight is set to take place at Coliseo Mario de León on Saturday March 9th.

De La Rosa came close to winning the WBO 105 lbs belt in 2010, suffering the sole loss of his career to date in a split decision defeat to Raul Garcia. Sabillo has held the OPBF Minimumweight Title since 2011 but this will be his first time fighting outside of the Philippines and he admitted to feeling some trepidation about the trip to South America,

“I am excited and have prepared myself mentally, physically and emotionally. The fact that we have to travel halfway across the globe for this fight is quite overwhelming but if that’s what it takes, we will be ready,” he said.

The WBO Minimumweight Title is currently held by Moises Fuentes who moved up in weight to challenge Sabillo's ALA Gym team mate Donnie Nietes in Cebu last

Saturday. That fight ended in a majority draw and with both camps sounding positive about the prospects of a rematch the Mexican is likely to continue campaigning at 108 lbs for the time being.