Jerusalem hopes trip to Japan ends in 2nd title

Jerusalem hopes trip to Japan ends in 2nd title
Boxing SunStar File photo

LOSING his world title last year was a bitter pill to swallow for Melvin Jerusalem.

But Jerusalem believes that it was a good learning experience for him to become a better fighter.

“I’ve learned a lot from that loss. We’re doing a lot of improvements. That’s what coach Mike (Domingo) and I are working on,” Jerusalem told Sun.Star Cebu. “We’ll show that inside the ring on fight night.”

The 30-year-old Jerusalem has a chance to become a two-time world champion as he’s set to challenge World Boxing Council (WBC) minimumweight king Yudai Shigeoka on March 31, 2024 at the International Conference Hall in Nagoya, Japan.

“My opponent is good but I believe I can beat him. I’ll do my best to win that belt,” said Jerusalem, who’s training at the ZIP Boxing and Wellness Center in Banawa.

Jerusalem has logged close to a hundred rounds of sparring against different boxers from different gyms in Cebu.

Jerusalem did six rounds of sparring with world-rated Mark Vicelles and another six rounds with his ZIP Sanman teammate Kiyoto Narukami last Tuesday at the Omega Boxing Gym. He’s also sparred with Yeroge Gura at the ARQ Gym.

“My conditioning is good. I’m about 90 percent in fighting shape,” he said.

Jerusalem became a world champion in 2023 after dethroning Masataka Taniguchi by a second-round technical knockout to claim the World Boxing Organization (WBO) minimumweight strap in Japan. He, however, lost his belt in his first title defense later that year after a seventh-round stoppage in the hands of Oscar Collazo in the US.

Meanwhile, Shigeoka is one of the top names in the division. He also won his world title after defeating Panya Pradabsri by unanimous decision in Japan.

The 26-year-old Shigeoka earned his shot at Pradabsri after winning the interim WBC minimumweight belt with seventh round knockout of Wilfredo Mendez in Japan also last year.

Jerusalem is 21-3 with 12 knockouts, while Shigeoka is 8-0 with five knockouts. / EKA


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