For those unaware Kano has got his eyes on a special achievement later this year, becoming Japan's youngest ever world champion. For a chance to achieve that he will have to over-come Sabillo and claim the OPBF crown.
For those who haven't seen the 18 year old in action he's a very high capable boxer-mover. He lacks power, though in fairness is just a kid, but has a very smart boxing brain, lovely speed and a genuine youthful energy. He perhaps lacks the limitless tank seen in some of his countrymen but has previously gone 12 rounds, shutting out Madit Sada in the harsh conditions of Thailand back in December 2014. Although he has gone 12 rounds his last few bouts have been over a shorter distance and his most notable win, last December, saw him easily out point Pigmy Kokietgym in Japan.
For Kano the bout is a big step up. Beating Pigmy in his 10th bout is impressive but Sabillo is a different kettle of fish to the Thai and Pigmy was 34 and just 2 fights removed from an unexpected stoppage loss to Jaysever Abcede, just 4 months earlier.
Aged 32 Sabillo is at the opposite end of his career to Kano, he's coming to the end and another loss is likely to see his career fade into relative obscurity. Unfortunately it's been a massive downhill for Sabillo who won the WBO Minimumweight title in 2013 and now, just over 3 years later appears to be looking down the barrel. Since winning that title he has gone a very disappointing 3-2-1, with a very controversial draw against Carlos Buitrago stopping it from being a 3-3 record.
At his best Sabillo was a crude, tough and aggressive fighter. He was fun to watch but a bit limited and somewhat lucky to face the limited Luis de la Rosa for the WBO “interim” title. He was also lucky, as mentioned, in the draw against Buitrago but was unlucky to face the then relatively unknown Francisco Rodriguez Jr, a man who simply battered Sabillo to a stoppage. An unlucky stoppage to Ellias Nggenggo followed 8 months later and since then he has been matched softly, in an attempt to let him rebuild his confidence.
Coming in to this the big questions are “what does Sabillo have left?” and “can Kano step up this high this quickly?” If we're being honest we don't think Sabillo has much left, maybe 1 more good performance we're not sure however if Kano can do it. His team are confident in it, but it's a big step up and one that will see him need to be at his best to succeed. If Kano has got that skill and ability that his team believes he has, he will win a very controlled decision, if not this could be a real dent in his dreams of becoming Japan's youngest world champion, especially with Sabillo's under-rated power.
At the time of writing this bout is officially for the OPBF “interim” title, it is however likely that the title will be upgraded, either before the fight or in the weeks that follow.