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Jerusalem sizes up Puerto Rican rival

World boxing champion Melvin Jerusalem already knows what to do with the chunk of his next paycheck.

Assured of pocketing $114,000 (P6.3 million) when he makes a mandatory defense of the World Boxing Organization minimumweight title on 27 May, Jerusalem told Daily Tribune that his hefty share on the purse will be used to build a house for his mother Miraluna in Bukidnon.

“I would also like her to just go into business,” Jerusalem said from his training camp in Cebu.

Jerusalem’s mother works at a pineapple plantation in Manolo Fortich and her days as a worker are about to end, the country’s only reigning world champion said.

“She’s the only one I have because my father is no longer around,” said Jerusalem, who battles Puerto Rican Oscar Collazo next.

Jerusalem’s father Bienvenido passed away about seven years ago.

To get ready for the first defense of the WBO 105-lb crown he won early this year by knocking out Masataka Taniguchi in Osaka, Japan, Jerusalem will spend the whole of March in Nagoya before returning to the Philippines for the middle part of the buildup.

Based on the timetable being laid out by his handlers, the last four weeks will be spent in the United States where the Collazo fight is probably going to take place.

Los Angeles and Dallas have been mentioned as possible sites but the Filipino might end up even traveling to the lion’s den.

There is also a plan to hold the fight in San Juan, Puerto Rico given that Collazo’s promoters hold the rights to the bout.

But regardless of the venue, Jerusalem has vowed to push himself harder and harder in the coming days and weeks as he attempts to prove that his conquest of Taniguchi was not a fluke.

In fact, as soon as the WBO made the announcement that Collazo, a southpaw, will be next in line, Jerusalem went online to size up his next opponent.

“He fights amateur-style,” he said.

“He moves a lot and we need to be in top shape,” Jerusalem added, referring to Collazo’s vast amateur experience that netted him a gold medal in the 2019 Pan American Games.

Collazo, who has only fought six times, winning four by knockout, earned the right to meet Jerusalem on the strength of his demolition of Yudel Reyes of Mexico in a title elimination clash.

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