Trip to jerusalem’s greatness
BY: EDRI K. AZNAR, SUNSTAR CEBU
ON IT. Aware of the fact that getting a chance to fight for a title early in his career is a rare opportunity, Melvin Jerusalem gets right on the job and trains for his upcoming fight.
WORLD championship opportunities don’t come by too often for a young hungry pug like Melvin Jerusalem. But after being handpicked by unbeaten World Boxing Council (WBC) minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin to be his opponent for his voluntary title defense on Jan. 25 in Phitsanulok, Thailand, the 22-year-old prospect won’t let this opportunity slip away.
“I’m very happy that I have been given a chance to fight for a world championship. I’m very thankful for the opportunity given to me. I won’t waste this chance. This is what I dreamed of,” Jersalem told SunStar Cebu.
Jerusalem, rated ninth in the WBC, was not expecting a world title shot this early in his career but he is thankful that the opportunity came by early for him.
“I knew that I was rated in the world. Then Coach Edito (Villamor) always tells me that I’m almost at the top and soon I will get my chance at a championship. I’m ready,” he said.
Jersulam turned some heads after an impressive campaign last year. He won the biggest test of his budding career with a majority decision win over former International Boxing Federation (IBF) minimumweight king Florante Condes. He followed up that win with an impressive lopsided unanimous decision over WBC No. 18 ranked minimumweight Jonathan Refugio before ending 2016 with unanimous verdict over journeyman Fabio Marfa.
The 31-year-old Menayothin is the No. 1 ranked 108-pounder. He has an impressive resume of 44 bouts that includes wins over the likes of Condes, Saul Juarez and former world champion Oswaldo Novoa.
Menayothin has successfully defended his crown five times, with his latest, a unanimous decision win over Juarez.
Jeruslam has seen a lot of tapes of Menayothin and believes that he has already figured him out.
“Our styles are not similar. I believe my style fits his, I know how he throws his punches and I will capitalize on that and go in and hit him,” he said. “His body is weak. He gets tired when he gets hit by body shots. That is my plan to go inside and target his body.”