Melvin Jerusalem wants unification fight after world title win

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Newly-minted WBC mini-flyweight world champion Melvin Jerusalem.–CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–Melvin Jerusalem, the country’s only current boxing world champion, has no plans of letting up.

Jerusalem on Sunday took home the WBC minimumweight title after beating Yudai Shigeoka of Japan by split decision at International Conference Hall in Nagoya, Japan.

The Bukidnon native’s stunning victory–highlighted by a knockdown in the third and sixth rounds—stopped a string of losses by Filipino fighters against the Japanese.

READ: Inoue knocks out Tapales, becomes undisputed champion anew

“If I’m given the chance, I want a unification fight right away,” said Jerusalem, now a two-time world champion after winning his first major crown last year, in Filipino during the PSA Forum on Tuesday.

“It’s every boxer’s dream to unify all the belts,” added Jerusalem, who was a plus-500 underdog against Shigeoka.

Melvin Jerusalem and JC Mananquil

Melvin Jerusalem and Sanman Promotions CEO JC Mananquil during the PSA Forum.–PSA PHOTO

READ: Melvin Jerusalem beats Japanese foe to nab WBO title

The 30-year-old Jerusalem has a lot of options for his next bout, including a bout against Shigeoka’s younger brother Ginjiro, who is the reigning IBF champion in the 105-pound division.

Ginjiro (11-0, 9KOs) made his first successful defense of his belt on Sunday when he knocked out Filipino Jake Amparo in the second round.

Another potential unification fight is a rematch against Puerto Rican Oscar Collazo, who stopped Jerusalem in the seventh round of their first meeting in May of last year to claim the WBO crown.

“I want to avenge that loss because I wasn’t able to defend my title back then,” Jerusalem said.

His promoter and Sanman Promotions CEO JC Mananquil said there’s also a plan to hold a title fight in Manila for Jerusalem.



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