CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Bukidnon province may soon produce a world boxing champion after Manolo Fortich-pride Melvin Jerusalem has been ranked No.1 challenger in the World Boxing Organization’s minimumweight division.
The 27-year-old Jerusalem, who used to sparely train in Cagayan de Oro, was a former world title contender, and is now also rated No. 2 contender by the World Boxing Council (WBC), No. 3 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF), and No. 6 by the World Boxing Association (WBA).
Sanman Boxing Promotions, which is now handling the career of ALA Boxing Gym’s former protege, announced that Jerusalem is not sitting down on his dreams to become world champion someday.
In the much-awaited “Sanman Bubble VIII” set on February 26 in General Santos City, Jerusalem will be among the featured fighters, ensuring he remains busy and in good shape while waiting for the right time.
“Daghan ga-ampo nga mo-champion kining bataa kay gawas nga talented maayo kaayo’g batasan,” said Jay Buot, one of Jerusalem’s avid followers in Cagayan de Oro.
(Many are praying for the success of Jerusalem who has the talent and good character.)
In the Gensan bubble, the Orient Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) ruler Jerusalem will face Ramel Antaran for eight rounds in the 105-pound class.
It will serve as the main supporting bout of the 10-round flyweight tussle between the rising Esneth Domingo (15-1) and former WBO Oriental light flyweight champion Jesse Espinas (20-4).
Also in the undercards are the KJ Cataraja-Romshane Sarguilla bout, Kenny Demecillo’s comeback fight against Eric Pulgo, Jhun Rick Carcedo versus Ryan Sermona, and the Michael Casama-Jaime Barcelona tussle.
Jerusalem fell short in his first world title fight in 2017 against Wanheng Menayothin of Thailand for the WBC world minimumweight belt, losing via unanimous decision.
That followed with another defeat at the hands of fellow Filipino Joey Canoy.
But Jerusalem eventually recovered, stringing six straight wins, including his OPBF title conquest of Toto Landero in their rematch last July.
In statement to the press, Jerusalem said his newfound aggressiveness and developed punching power will be the key if he will be given the chance for the big break, probably within this year. – Rappler.com