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Former world minimumweight champion Merlito Sabillo lost in his bid for the Oriental 105lb crown via unanimous decision versus second-ranked contender Ryuya Yamanaka yesterday in Kobe, Japan.
Scores of the bout were 119-109, 118-110 and 117-111 all for Yamanaka who improves his record to 13-2 with three stoppages.
The 32-year-old Bacolod native Sabillo (25-4-1, 12 KOs) reigned as WBO minimumweight titleholder in 2013 until he lost the crown to Mexican Francisco Rodriguez last March 2014 in Mexico.
It has been downhill since then for Sabillo, a former ALA Promotions protege, who could only score two wins in five outings.
Before losing to Yamanaka, Sabillo lost in his attempt for the interim OPBF crown to Riku Kano last June in Japan.