‘Gringo’ gets ‘chance of a lifetime’
His career is off to a soaring start and this early, a “chance of a lifetime” has already arrived for Melvin “Gringo” Jerusalem.
The 22-year-old unbeaten fighter of the ALA Boxing Gym is set to take on his toughest assignment yet when he challenges reigning World Boxing Council (WBC) world minimum weight champion Wanheng Menayothin of Thailand on January 25 at the latter’s territory in Phitsanuloke Province in Thailand.
Winning his first 11 fights, seven of them by knockouts, Jerusalem fought thrice last year.
He won over former world champion Florante “Little Pacquiao” Condes by majority decision then defeated WBC International light flyweight champion Jonathan Refugio in a lopsided unanimous decision in Mandaue City.
He ended 2016 with a victory over Fabio Marfa last November at the Cebu Coliseum, also by unanimous decision.
“It will be definitely a tough fight for Melvin but this is a chance of a lifetime for him to fight for a world title,” said Jerusalem’s promoter Michael P. Aldeguer, CEO of ALA Promotions International.
“He wanted this fight. We believe that we need to take a chance to let him fight for a world title,” added Aldeguer.
Winning in Thailand has always been tough for Filipino boxers that the only way to escape with a victory is to score a knockout.
Incidentally, Marlon Tapales snatched the WBO world bantamweight champion by knocking out defending champion Pongluang Sor Singyu in Thailand.
Jerusalem has been training since December for the all-important assignment.
A successful outing will allow Jerusalem to join current Filipino world champions Manny Pacquiao, Tapales, Johnriel Casimero, Jerwin Ancajas and Milan Melindo.
The 31-year-old Menayothin sports a menacing record as he has yet to lose in 44 fights. The veteran fighter has 17 knockout victories.
Menayothin won his first title in 2007 when copped the WBC Youth World minimumweight belt. He defended the title eight times then bagged the WBC Interim minimumweight title in 2009.
Menayothin added another title to his trophy case when he won the WBC international silver minimumweight title.
The Thailander pocketed the WBC minimum weight world title by beating Mexican Oswaldo Novoa last 2014 and defended it five times with all the fights happening in Thailand.
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