Jerusalem Melvin Jerusalem and Sanman Promotions’ JC Mananquil.

Sky is the limit for Jerusalem

April 2, 2024 People's Tonight 166 views

SKY is the limit for newly-crowned WBC mini-flyweight champion Melvin Jerusalem.

A title defense at home, a reunification match, or a return bout with former champion Yudai Shigeoka are among the many options in line for the 30-year-old Jerusalem, who on Sunday became a two-time world title holder following a split decision win over Shigeoka at the International Conference Hall in Nagoya, Japan.

Sanman Promotions CEO JC Manangquil appeared with Jerusalem in Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum and bared out the possible plans in store for the country’s lone world champion in the coming months ahead.

“A plan is we can do a title fight here, but if we can have a shot at a unification, another option din yun. The bigger fights, the better for Melvin yun,” said Manangquil in the session presented by San Miguel Corporation, Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, MILO, PLDT/Smart, and the country’s leading sports entertainment gateway ArenaPlus.

There’s no rematch clause in Jerusalem’s 12-round fight with the 26-year-old Shigeoka, but the Japanese camp has an option to seek one if it deems so.

“May option yung promoter ng dating champion if they want a rematch,” said Manangquil.

Jerusalem twice knocked down Shigeoka with a pair of rights in the third and sixth rounds, respectively, giving him the leeway needed to eke out the close decision win.

But if the champion would have his way, Jerusalem wants a unification bout and win more belts at the 105lbs division.

“Kung bibigyan ako ng chance, gusto ko makakuha pa ng maraming belts, unification talaga. Kasi pangarap ng mga boxer talaga na makuha yung four major belts,” said Jerusalem of his bid to become a unified or even the undisputed champion in the mini-flyweight class.

Everything, of course, would depend on the plans of Manangquil and his Japanese managers Nobuyuki and Mhavic Matsuura.

At present, Knockout CP Freshmart of Thailand is the long-time WBA champion, Yudai’s younger brother Ginjero Shigeoka owns the IBF title, while the WBO belt belongs to Puerto Rican Oscar Collazo, who dethroned Jerusalem of the crown last year via a seventh round stoppage.

But while the future looks bright for the Filipino world champion, Manangquil said Jerusalem will have a well-deserved two-week break following a grueling training camp he did in preparation for the fight against Shigeoka with trainer Michael Domingo.

“Sa ngayon hayaan muna namin siyang mag-relax at mag-enjoy,” said the Sanman Promotions executive of his champion ward.

Jerusalem will be going to Cebu this weekend before proceeding to his native province Bukidnon.