At the start of 2014 Merlito Sabillo (23-2-1, 12) was an unbeaten world champion holding the WBO Minimumweight title. He was a fighter who was looking at unification bouts and interesting assignments through 2014. Sadly he has ended the year with his career in tatters and a very hard decision left to make about his future following his second loss of the year.
Sabillo's first loss came in March when he met the fast rising Francisco Rodriguez Jr in Mexico. Rodriguez Jr essentially came out of no where and dominated Sabillo before eventually scoring a 10th round stoppage of Sabillo. The Filipino took some time out of the ring and returned earlier today on "Pinoy Pride 28" and left the ring a bloody mess after suffering a huge shock defeat at the hands of Indonesian journeyman Faris Nenggo (9-6-3, 3).
The fight began like a back street brawl with both throwing the boxing textbook out of the window in exchange for a fight. It didn't take long however for Nenngo to realise that wasn't going to work for him and he quickly assumed the role of counter puncher. As soon as Nenggo changed tactics the fight began to change with Sabillo relentless coming forward but beginning to look very predictable. Sadly for the Filipino that left openings for the under-dog who managed to catch the former world champion with some clean counter shots, one of which literally ripped the right eye lid of Sabillo.
The cut was a bad one, instantly it threatened the end of the fight. Sabillo could have been stopped there and then but instead the doctor said the fight could go on. Being given a brief reprieve drove on Sabillo to seek the knockout despite blood pouring from his face.
Sadly the brief reprieve for Sabillo wasn't enough and he was stopped soon afterwards with the cut becoming worse and his face really resembling something that had gone through a meat grinder.
For Nenggo it was a freak winner but it was still a huge one and could propel him into some big money fights. For Sabillo it's going to be back to the drawing board, and maybe even retirement.
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