MANILA, Philippines - Merlito Sabillo, the latest in the long parade of Filipino world champions, installed himself the new WBO minimum weight champion last year to join the year’s top boxers who will receive pro boxing’s highest honor during the Elorde Memorial Awards slated March 25 at the Sofitel Hotel Tent City.
Sabillo, 24, assumed the interim title in the minimum weight class, the lowest weight category in professional boxing, with an eighth round stoppage ofLuis dela Rosa of Colombia on March 9 in Cerete, Colombia.
The native of Tobosa, Negros Occidental retained the title via a ninth round TKO of Jorie Estrada also of Colombia on July 13 and a split decision over Carlos Buitrago of Nicaragua on Nov. 9 at the Araneta Coliseum.
His early rise to world prominence earned him a seat in the Elorde Banquet of Champions where he will join 2013 most outstanding boxers featherweight Nonito Donaire, IBF light flyweight Johnriel Casimero and WBO light flyweight Donnie Nietes.
Manny Pacquiao, the only Filipino to win world titles in eight different divisions, has already etched a place in the Elorde Boxing Hall of Fame, having received the best boxer award for seven consecutive years.
Also to be awarded are Filipino international and Philippine champions. Special awards will be given to the best referee, promoter, matchmaker, judge, trainer, most promising fighter and best fight
of the year, while citations will be given to individuals and entities that contributed to professional boxing in 2013. Posthumous awards will also be bestowed to outstanding boxing personalities who passed away last year.
Laura Elorde, wife of The Flash, will present the awards in behalf of the Elorde family.
The event, staged by the Johnny Elorde International Management, is sponsored by Cobra Energy Drink, Rotary Club Manila 101, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Pagcor and Elorde Sports Center. Details: Tel 8250625; 8264463 and 09162423657 (ask for Beth or Peter).