Filipino boxers

Jerusalem resurrects PH boxing for the 2nd time

Roy Luarca

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Jerusalem resurrects PH boxing for the 2nd time

CHAMPION. Melvin Jerusalem (middle) captures the WBC minimumweight belt.

Sanman Boxing Facebook page

Melvin Jerusalem stands as the only reigning Filipino world champion as he captures the WBC minimumweight belt

MANILA, Philippines – Melvin Jerusalem saved Philippine boxing from winding up without a world champion in January 2023, when he stopped Japanese Masataka Taniguchi in two rounds to clinch the World Boxing Organization mini-flyweight crown in Osaka.

On March 31, Jerusalem repeated the feat, resurrecting the country’s fading ring hopes with a split decision win over Japanese Yudai Shigeoka that made him the World Boxing Council minimumweight champion in Nagoya.

The 30-year-old pride of Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon stands as the only reigning Filipino world champion so far.

Having lost his first world crown in just four months, Jerusalem swore he would give all his powers to keep it longer this time.

“The WBC belt is the most beautiful among the four belts because it has all the flags of the nations of the world represented here,” said Jerusalem, clutching a replica of the WBC strap he won less than a day earlier in Japan, told a throng of Manila media on Monday, April 1.

“I will do my best to keep this title for a long time,” added Jerusalem, who was accompanied by his promoter and Sanman Promotions head JC Manangquil and chief trainer Michael Domingo.

“We borrowed it (belt) from another former WBC champion,” said Manangquil, adding it would take some time before the Mexico-based WBC could deliver Jerusalem’s real belt.

According to Manangquil, Jerusalem is mandated to make two title defenses before being allowed to choose his next championship opponent.

For Jerusalem, however, it hardly mattered as he’s prepared to defend it against whoever is picked to challenge him.

Manangquil agreed and said he’s giving Jerusalem and Domingo the time to celebrate first before charting their next moves. –

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