Filipino boxer Jerusalem to challenge Menayothin for WBC belt
MANILA, Philippines - Filipino prospect Melvin Jerusalem will try his hand at winning a world title when he faces Thailand’s Wanheng Menayothin for the WBC minimumweight title on January 25 at Phitsanuloke Province in Thailand.
The news was confirmed to Rappler by Jerusalem’s promoter ALA Promotions on Friday morning, January 6.
Jerusalem (11-0, 7 knockouts) of Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, Philippines has only been a pro for just over two years but took a significant step-up last year, outfighting former champ Florante Condes to a majority decision win.
The 22-year-old Jerusalem will try to inflict the first defeat on Menayothin (44-0, 17 knockouts), a 31-year-old who is currently the number one-rated fighter at 105 pounds by The Ring magazine.
Menayothin has been champion for almost as long as Jerusalem has been a professional, winning the title in November of 2014 with a ninth-round stoppage of Oswaldo Novoa and making 5 defenses of the title, including wins over Filipinos Jerry Tomogdan and Jeffrey Galero. Prior to boxing, Menayothin reportedly had 100 Muay Thai fights.
ALA president Michael Aldeguer says there are "no expectations" heading into the fight but hopes Jerusalem can elevate himself with his performance, win or lose.
"If he wins that will be great. But if he puts up a good fight and makes a good account of himself, that would be a boost for his career," Aldeguer tells Rappler.
"It's a 50-50 chance," says ALA head trainer Edito Villamor, adding "but Jerusalem trained hard for this fight: no holidays no vacations during Christmas and New Year's Eve. He is determined to win this fight.
"I can see his eyes during his training with [co-trainer] Michael Domingo."
Aldeguer says he is still negotiating to get the fight shown on delay on ABS-CBN, the network which broadcasts ALA Promotions' Pinoy Pride series.
The Philippines currently has 3 reigning world champions, including WBO bantamweight titleholder Marlon Tapales, WBO welterweight titleholder Manny Pacquiao and IBF junior bantamweight titleholder Jerwin Ancajas. – Rappler.com
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