MANILA, Philippines—Colombian challenger Jorle Estrada fired a warning shot to Filipino champion Merlito “Tiger” Sabillo just days ahead of their world title fight in the main event of Pinoy Pride XXI: When Worlds Collide at the Solaire Resort and Casino, Grand Ballroom in Parañaque City.
Estrada (16-6, 5 KOs), rated no.6 at the minimumweight division by the WBO, seemed undaunted by Sabillo’s caliber, who boasts an unbeaten record (21-0, 11 KOs), after making a bold statement Tuesday in front of Filipino reporters at the PSA Forum.
“I think I will win by knockout in the seventh round,” Estrada, who trained hard for three months, said through an interpreter.
“I’m very happy to represent Colombia in the fight. It doesn’t matter if the fight is here or in Colombia. I’m here to win,” Estrada, a native of a small town San Pelayo, added.
Estrada is known as a counter puncher unlike the 29-year-old ALA Gym mainstay Sabillo, who has a more aggressive approach.
Sabillo won the 108-pound title after knocking out Estrada’s compatriot Luis dela Rosa in the eighth round in Colombia last March.
In the co-featured bout on Saturday, Filipino bet “King” Arthur Villanueva (21-0, 11 KOs) looks to continue his undefeated run when he tangles with Mexican Arturo “Fuerte” Badillo for the WBO Asia Pacific superflyweight belt.
“I know his (Villanueva) style and I’ve seen a lot of it. I have fought against that style in Mexico. I’m really prepared,” Badillo said through an interpreter.
Badillo also said that he is conditioned enough to go the distance and that if a knockout arises, “then it will come.”
Meanwhile, fan-favorite AJ “Bazooka” Banal (28-2-1, 20 KOs) aims to put his stunning loss to Thai Pongluang Sor Singyu behind when he returns to the ring against Mexican Abraham “Cholo” Gomez (19-7-2, 11 KOs) in a 10-rounder at the 124-pound class.
The 24-year-old Banal absorbed a ninth round TKO setback in October of last year at the Mall of Asia Arena.