MELVIN Jerusalem ended the country’s boxing championship drought by knocking out Japanese champion Masataka Taniguchi in the second round to capture the WBO Minimumweight World Championship.
Jerusalem is now W20 KO12 L2.
Taniguchi was explosive in the opening round and tagged Jerusalem with a good counter but the Filipino stood his ground and returned the favor with some good shots of his own.
Jerusalem gained confidence knowing he can take the power of his foe.
In the opening bell of the second round, the Filipino warrior showed no respect for Taniguchi and went for the kill hitting the Japanese with a crisp jab right straight combination to the face.
Taniguchi crashed to the canvass convulsing but tried to get up. He was so groggy and fell another time before managing to approach the referee.
Seeing enough damage, the referee waved off the fight thus giving the victory to the ecstatic Jerusalem.
It was joyful festivities for all the Filipinos in the audience.
Golden confetti rained on the ring and the two warriors hugged it out as sign of respect and sportsmanship.
Team Zip-Sanman led by Jim Claude Manangquil, Mhavic Kamiyama and Nobuyuki Matsuira and head coach Michael Domingo climbed to the ring to join the celebration.
Jerusalem was tearful as he thanked everyone who supported him.
“This victory is for the Philippines and for my family. This also goes out to my Zip-Sanman team. Of course I am thankful to my coach Michael Domingo who worked hard with me during training camp. I will not stop training hard after this. Jerusalem said.