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Jerusalem wants to become undisputed

Melvin Jerusalem and promoter JC Mananquil have a lot on their plates following the Filipino fighter’s recent world title fight victory on Japanese soil. | photograph by Joey Sanchez Mendoza for the Daily Tribune @tribunephl_joey

Melvin Jerusalem doesn’t only want a lengthy reign.

The newly-crowned World Boxing Council minimumweight champion, the country’s only world boxing titleholder at the moment, even wants to unify all four major belts.

“If given the chance, I would like to win the other belts, a unification because every boxer (champion) dreams about winning all four titles,” Jerusalem said during Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex conference hall.

Last Sunday, Jerusalem pulled off the trick by upsetting Yudai Shigeoka in Nagoya.

The 30-year-old Bukidnon native was awarded a 12-round split decision after dropping Shigeoka twice — once each in the third and sixth stanzas — to defy the odds.

“What I heard was that Jerusalem was listed as +500,” JC Mananquil, who promotes the Philippines’ newest ring hero, said.

Based on Mananquil’s revelation, those who forked out $100 in favor of Jerusalem won $500.

Currently, the three other world titlists in the division are Knockout CP Smart of Thailand (World Boxing Association), Ginjiro Shigeoka of Japan (International Boxing Federation) and Oscar Collazo of Puerto Rico (World Boxing Organization).

Among them, it is Collazo who immediately expressed his desire to battle Jerusalem.

It was Collazo who beat Jerusalem to become the WBO champion last year when he won by knockout in California.

Jerusalem insists the Collazo defeat was freakish.

Making the first defense of the WBO crown, Jerusalem only arrived in the United States ten days before the Collazo clash and he was still jet-lagged when he went up the ring.

“That’s another option but Japanese promoters hold the rights to our next two fights so we’ll see,” Mananquil added.

But since Jerusalem had just made the Philippines proud by snapping the alarming losing streak of Filipinos in world title fights, Jerusalem isn’t even giving it much thought.

Meetings with bigwigs in the coming days are on tap and Mananquil says a clearer picture of what’s on the horizon should surface in two weeks.

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