Jerusalem, Taniguchi make weight, WBO title duel in Japan a go
CEBU CITY, Philippines — It’s all set for the much-awaited World Boxing Organization (WBO) world minimumweight title duel between the defending champion Masataka Taniguchi and Filipino Melvin Jerusalem in Osaka, Japan.
This was after, both boxers passed the pre-fight weigh-in on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Osaka Japan.
The 28-year-old Jerusalem tipped the weighing scales two pounds lighter, 103-pounds, which is ligther than the 105 lbs contracted weight.
Meanwhile, Taniguchi weighed in exactly at 105 lbs to make their world title duel happen tomorrow evening, Jan. 6, at the Edion Arena in Osaka, Japan.
Jerusalem arrived in Osaka, Japan last Tuesday after months of rigid preparation in Cebu.
This will be his second crack for a world title following his 2017 WBC world minimumweight showdown against Wanheng Menayothin of Thailand. Jerusalem lost to Menayothin in a fight that happened in Thailand via unanimous decision.
The Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon native sports a record of 19 wins with 11 knockouts and 2 defeats. Taniguchi holds a record of 16-3 (win-loss) card with 11 knockouts.
Before Taniguchi clinched the the WBO world minimumweight title last year, two Filipinos in Merlito Sabillo and four-division world champion Donnie Nietes previously held the title at some point of their respective careers.
Sabillo won the title in 2013 against Jorle Eestrada via a ninth round knockout, but eventually lost it to Francisco Rodriguez Jr. in 2014.
Meanwhile, Nietes held the title from 2007 to 2010 before he moved up to the light flyweight division. Nietes defended the title four times.
On the other hand, Jerusalem serves as the first Filipino boxer who will attempt to end the world title dry spell for the Philippines this year.
The others next in line are Jade Bornea and Marvin Tapales who are mandatory world title challengers in their respective weight divisions.
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