Jerusalem travels to Japan to intensify training as he prepares for first world title defense
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Melvin “Gringo” Jerusalem the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) world minimumweight champion travels to Japan to ramp up his training for his first title defense on May 27, at a still-to-be-announced venue.
Jerusalem told CDN Digital that he and his trainer, Michael Domingo, will fly to Japan tomorrow, March 8, and will spend the next month there to train and spar with top-caliber Japanese boxers to prepare for his title defense against Oscar Collazo of Puerto Rico.
READ: WBO minimumweight champ Jerusalem ready for any challenger
It can be recalled that Golden Boy and Cotto Promotions bagged the rights to promote Jerusalem’s first title defense against their prized ward in Collazo.
Golden Boy and Cotto Promotions are currently looking at three venues – Los Angeles, Dallas, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“Karong panahona busy na jud kaayo mi sa training ni coach Mike (Domingo) ug sa among team. Wala pa gi announce ang dula gipangandaman na ni namo daan,” said Jerusalem.
The 29-year-old, Manolo Fortich native said that Collazo mustn’t be taken lightly, even if he has a relatively young record. That’s why he has been training early for the fight which is actually less than a month after he bagged the world title.
He snatched the world crown following a second-round technical knockout demolition of erstwhile champion Masataka Taniguchi of Japan.
READ: Jerusalem is GAB’s ‘Boxer of the Month’
“Si Collazo bisan gamay pa siya ug record, dili lang jud kumpyansaan kay maayo pud na siya. Olympian na siya ug iyahang style pang amateur gyud. Pero nag gikan man sad ta pag ka amateur. Sa among training karon ni coach Mike, gi padayon lang namo among program pero amo pud gidugangan ug bag-o para sa pag pildi ni Collazo,” said Jerusalem, one of the banner boxers of Cebu-based ZIP Sanman Boxing Team.
Despite the odds that the fight won’t happen in the Philippines or Japan, where Jerusalem’s manager is based, he remains confident and optimistic about a successful title defense.
“Mas lamang ko ni Collazo sa experience pa lang daan. Usa pa, ako ang world champion ug dili ko ni ihatag niya kay dugay na kaayo ko ni gipangandoy makuha ni. Mag training pa jud ko ug maayo ug akong ibuhos ang tanan. Ako gihapon ibutang sa akong huna-huna nga usa gihapon ko ka challenger,” Jerusalem said.
“Kaya nako siya pildihon, pero kinahanglan triple gyud akong training ihatag para sigurado modaog ta, ug bisan asa pa dulaon, basta ang importante maningkamot ta nga mo daog. Nagsugod man ta nga dayo ra ta, padayunon nato ni. Salig ra ko sa training ni coach Mike ug labaw s tanan salig ko sa Ginuo.”
Jerusalem has a record of 20 wins with 12 knockouts and two defeats, while Collazo is unbeaten in six fights with four knockouts. /rcg
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