Filipino boxer Melvin Jerusalem ended the country’s world championship drought after he dethroned WBO world minimumweight champion Japanese Masataka Taniguchi in a second-round stoppage victory at the Edion Stadium in Osaka, Japan Friday, January 6.
The 28-year-old Jerusalem, who hails from Manolo Fortich in Bukidnon, won by a technical knockout after unleashing a solid straight to Taniguchi’s face with only 1:04 left in the second round.
The former world champion attempted to get up but failed, which led the referee to decide that the Japanese pug was no longer fit to continue fighting.
At last, the Philippines has a new world boxing champion in Melvin Jerusalem who dethroned WBO world minimumweight champion Japanese Masataka Taniguchi in a second-round technical knockout stoppage victory at the Edion Stadium in Osaka, Japan Friday, January 6. SANMAN PROMOTIONS FACEBOOK PHOTOS
His victory came on the heels of a string of Filipinos’ world championship losses in 2022. Mark Magsayo was the last boxing world boxing champion of the Philippines before he lost his WBC featherweight belt to Mexican Rey Vargas.
From Osaka, Japan, he arrived in the country Sunday, January 8, to a hero’s welcome. He and Sanman Promotions executive JC Mananquil boarded a connecting flight from Manila to Cebu.
“The victory is for the Philippines and my family,” he said, also thanking Zip-Sanman team.
He said, “Of course, I am thankful to my coach Michael Domingo who worked hard with me during training camp.”
The new champion will take a much-needed break but his camp is awaiting WBO’s decision about Jerusalem’s taking on a mandatory or voluntary defense.
Jerusalem said, “I will not stop training hard after this.”
In a Kyodo News report, Taniguchi said, “I don’t remember how the bout went, but I got floored clean. I was naive receiving a punch like that.”
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, on his official Facebook account, congratulated Jerusalem saying,
“Binabati ko po ang ating world champion boxer Melvin Jerusalem dahil sa pagsungkit niya ng WBO world minimumweight title! Dahil sa pagkapanalo ni Jerusalem ay mayroon na naman pong boxing world champion na maipagmamalaki ang ating bansa (I congratulate our world champion boxer Melvin Jerusalem for winning the WBO world minimumweight title! Because of his victory, we now have a boxing world champion that our country can be proud of).”
Go is chair of the Senate Committee on Sports.
Senator Migz Zubiri also lauded his fellow Bukidnon native Jerusalem. “My sincerest congratulations to Melvin “Gringo” Jerusalem for honoring the country with a World Boxing Organization (WBO) world minimumweight title… Galing mo kapatid at taga Bukidnon pa siya! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!
Muli, congratulations Melvin at mabuhay ka (My sincerest congratulations to Melvin “Gringo” Jerusalem for honoring the country with a World Boxing Organization (WBO) world minimumweight title… He’s from your brother and he’s from Bukidnon! Long live the Philippines! Again, congratulations Melvin and long live)!”
Seasoned coach Edito Ala Villamor, meanwhile, thanked a certain Mhavic, Zip Sanman, promoter r JC Manangquil, and Melvin Jerusalem’s trainer
Michael Domingo, a former WBO champion, for choosing Villamor Boxing Gym as the training camp of their boxers, including the new world champion.