WBC Assures Viloria, Rubillar of Light-Fly Title Shot

By Rey Danseco


WBC Assures Viloria, Rubillar of Light-Fly Title Shot

The Mexico-based World Boxing Council (WBC) assured southpaw Juanito Rubillar of the Philippines of another title shot.

WBC President Jose Sulaiman confirmed in his letter dated February 22 to the third ranked Rubillar that he fights for the WBC light-flyweight title.

But the fighter of top Filipino promoter Gabriel “Bebot” Elorde Jr. will wait before the new champion determines and after he makes a first title defense or another new titlist emerge.

Sulaiman revealed that 2nd ranked Jose Antonio Aguirre (33-2-1, 20 KOs) and No. 4 contender and current Central American Boxing Federation (FECARBOX) champion Eric Ortiz (23-4-1, 15 KOs), both of Mexico, fight for the vacant 108-pound crown. The bout is set on March 11 at Salón 21 in Polanco, Mexico.

The winner between Ortiz and Aguirre, the WBC minimumweight champ from Feb. 2000 to Jan. 2004, will oblige to put the title on the line against current WBC No. 1 flyweight contender and North American Boxing Federation (NABF) flyweight champ Brian Viloria (16-0, 10 KOs), a Hawaii-raised American Olympian whose parents are Filipinos from Ilocos province in the Philippines.

“The winner of that fight must fight mandatorily with Juanito Rubillar, from the Philippines, to cover in this way the vacancy of the light flyweight division,” stated Sulaiman in his letter that also address to Viloria and with a copy furnished to his American manager Gary Gittlesohn, Elorde, WBC Board of Governors, Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) and Games and Amusement Board (GAB) of the Philippines.

Last January 27, Elorde offered WBC to pit the 28-year old Rubillar against Aguirre for the vacant title in his scheduled card on March 8 at the Mandaluyong City’s Gymnasium in the Philippines after he learned that the No. 1 contender Roberto “The Spider” Vasquez (18-1, 15 KOs) of Panama refused to fight the Mexican for the vacant belt. Vasquez opted to fight for the version of vacant title in WBA against Beibis Mendoza of Colombia on March 29 in Panama City.

Elorde tendered $30,000 to Aguirre plus round trip Mexico-Manila-Mexico tickets for four. But the WBC never made any reply until Sulaiman informed the concerned parties regarding their nationalistic decision.

Rubillar stays in high-ranking position despite his unanimous decision defeat to outgoing WBC light-flyweight champ Jorge Armando Arce last Sept. 2004 in Tijuana, Mexico as the official weigh-in process and the verdict found controversial.

The WBC controversially dropped Rubillar’s ranking last December to No. 4 and improved Ortiz to No. 3. But the irked Elorde protested, saying Rubillar fought four times (with 2-1-1 win-loss-draw) in 2004 and close the year with an impressive 1st round knockout win against Thai champ Samransak Singmanassak last November.

While Ortiz split his two bouts last year, losing by TKO to virtually nobody Luis “Chapito” Valdez, a right-handed who only fought four times with 1-2-1, 1 KOs before their bout in March.

In a non-title bout under the Rubillar-Arce rumble, Ortiz was beaten black and blue and blooded by the punches of another Filipino Wyndel Janiola. But still, he took a technical decision victory, courtesy of his compatriot judges at ringside, Alejandro Rochin, José de la Mora and Benjamin Rendon.

To his shame, Sulaiman fulfilled his promise to Elorde and newly appointed GAB chairman Eric Buhain to re-install Rubillar to No. 3 for January ratings.

Sulaiman also changed his mind and didn’t push for his proposed Ortiz-Rubillar elimination bout after Elorde made his offer to Aguirre.

Sulaiman simply wanted to retain the WBC light-fly title in Mexico or other Latino country, while ignoring the much deserving contenders from Asia like currently No. 6 ranked and WBC International champ Wandee Singwangcha (Thailand), No. 7 and OPBF boss Shingo Yamaguchi (Japan) or No. 9 and ABCO/Youth champ Sarikalek O. Eakarin (Thailand) as well as the very able Will Grigsby of the USA.

On the other hand, despite Sulaiman’s claim that Viloria is from the USA, the 24-year old former Olympian that was born and raised Hawaii is a full-blooded Filipino and loves being classified as Filipino-American, like what Oscar De La Hoya feels being Mexican-American.

Rubillar, a two-time WBC International champion, once fought for IBF minimuweight title against African Zolani Pethelo in Dec. 1999 and WBC light-flyweight interim title also against Arce in Oct. 2001.


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