Melvin Jerusalem beats Japanese foe by TKO to nab WBO title
MANILA, Philippines — Melvin Jerusalem stopped Japanese foe Masataka Taniguchi in the second round to become the WBO world minimumweight champion on Friday at Edion Stadium in Osaka, Japan.
He brought back a world championship to the Philippines after several Filipino world champions got dethroned in 2022.
The 28-year-old Filipino boxer landed a solid straight to the face of the erstwhile champion in the 1:04 mark of the second round to win by technical knockout.
Taniguchi tried to get up but he fell again, prompting the referee to deem the Japanese boxer unfit to continue.
Jerusalem of San Man Promotions won his 10th straight match, improving his record to 20-2 with 12 knockouts.
Before Jerusalem’s title conquest, the country’s last boxing champion was Mark Magsayo before he yielded the WBC featherweight belt to Mexico’s Rey Vargas.
The last time Jerusalem, a Bukidnon native, experienced defeat was in 2017 when he lost to Wanheng Menayothin of Thailand for the WBC strawweight title by unanimous decision and Joey Canoy.
Tanaguchi failed in his second title defense with Jerusalem ending his 25-month reign and five-match win streak, sliding to a 16-4 record (11 KOs) in his home country.