MELVIN Jerusalem and Ar Ar Andales are challenging the Shigeoka brothers for their world titles next month in Japan.
Jerusalem takes on World Boxing Council (WBC) minimumweight titleholder Yudai Shigeoka, while Andales faces International Boxing Federation (IBF) minimumweight king Ginjiro Shigeoka on March 31, 2024 at the International Conference Hall in Nagoya.
Jerusalem gets his chance to become a two-time world champion if he dethrones Yudai.
The 29-year-old Jerusalem became a world champion last year after dethroning defending World Boxing Organization (WBO) minimumweight titleholder Masataka Taniguchi by a second round technical knockout in Japan. His reign was short and lost his belt to Oscar Collazo via a seventh round stoppage.
“I thank the Lord for giving me this opportunity to fight for a world title again,” Jerusalem told SunStar Cebu. “I also thank the people who made this fight happen.”
Jerusalem is the No. 6-rated minimumweight fighter.
Jerusalem fought for the same belt back in 2017 and lost to the WBC minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin by unanimous decision in Thailand.
“I’ll do my best to win this fight because this is my second time fighting for this belt. It’s been a long time since I fought for the title in Thailand,” he said.
The 26-year-old Yudai is defending the WBC belt for the first time since winning the title last year after beating Panya Pradabsri by unanimous decision in Japan.
Jerusalem is 21-3 with 12 knockouts, while Yudai is 8-0 with five knockouts.
Meanwhile, Andales, ranked No. 9 by the IBF, will have his second attempt at becoming a world champion. Andales challenged World Boxing Association (WBA) minimumweight king Thammanoon Niyomtrong in 2017 in Thailand. He lost by an eighth round technical decision.
The 24-year-old Andales is coming off a fourth round technical draw with former world champion Wilfredo Mendez last year.
Ginjiro, the younger Shigeoka sibling, became the interim IBF minimumweight champion after a ninth round knockout of former world titleholder Rene Mark Cuarto. He became the regular champion after dethroning Daniel Valladares in theire rematch last year in Japan.
Andales is 14-2-3 with six knockouts, while Ginjiro is 10-0 with eight knockouts.