Saturday, 30 November 2013

Merlito Sabillo v Carlos Buitrago

It seems incredibly rare now a days for the judges to actually get things right. They do occasionally. but the key word there is occasionally. Thankfully today saw one of those fights as the judges rightly scored a draw and saw Merlito Sabillo (23-0-1, 12) retain his WBO Minimumweight title against fellow unbeaten fighter Carlos Buitrago (27-0-1-1, 16).

The fight, at one point, looked like the title was going to change hands. After 3 rounds it was very hard to make a case for Sabillo winning. Buitrago was too quick, too skilled and too talented for Sabillo to continue to box with. The idea to box was a good one though one that failed to work in his favour.

Knowing he was behind Sabillo changed tactics in round 4 and started to try and cut the distance off to get to Buitrago. This began to work and although the champion may have lost round 4 he began to come back in to the fight over the following rounds, cutting the distance and unloading with sheer volume. This saw Sabillo turning the fight in his favour as he started to crawl back the rounds that he had lost early on.

Although Sabillo was coming back in to the fight in a big way, Buitrago was holding his own with the champion and seemed on the verge of a knockdown before Sabillo's street fighter mentality kicked in and he refused to go down instead fighting with more tenacity than ever.

By the time we got to the final bell it was obvious the fight was close and many had already began calls for a rematch. It had been competitive from the first round to the last and although both men had their clear rounds there was enough debate to see either man as the winner. This close and competitive nature was reflected perfectly in the score cards which were 115-113, 114-114 and 113-115.

I'll admit I've joined the chorus of people calling for a rematch and hopefully we'll get one sooner rather than later, something however tells me we could have these two in several bouts together and no one would come out as a clear winner barring a freak shot either way.

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