Jerusalem, Collazo promise entertaining WBO title matchup on Sunday
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Reigning WBO World minimumweight champion Melvin “Gringo” Jerusalem and his challenger, Oscar Collazo of Puerto Rico faced each other for the first time two days before their world title duel at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California.
The Cebu-based Jerusalem of ZIP Sanman Boxing Team and Collazo attended the pre-fight press conference with legendary boxer Oscar Dela Hoya hosting the event under his promotional outfit, Golden Boy Promotions.
While both boxers didn’t say anything negative against each other, they promised boxing fans of a great fight on Saturday night (Sunday, Manila Time, May 28).
“I’m very grateful to the Lord for giving me this opportunity. I’m also grateful to Golden Boy Promotions for giving me this fight, I’m happy to see my opponent. Let’s see on Saturday night,” said Jerusalem during the presser.
Jerusalem arrived in the United States last week along with his trainer Michael Domingo and stablemate Kevin Jake Cataraja to wrap up their training at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, Collazo also thanked for the opportunity to challenge Jerusalem, but he vowed to dethrone the latter and become the world’s fastest world champion.
“I’m very thankful for this opportunity to make history for Puerto Rico, to be the fastest world champion,” said Collazo who has an unblemished record of six wins with four knockouts.
Jerusalem is the more experienced fighter with 20 wins, 12 by knockout, and two defeats. He earned the WBO world minimumweight title by scoring a second-round technical knockout of Masataka Taniguchi in Osaka, Japan last January.
Despite his advantage and experience, Jerusalem emerged as the underdog in this world title bout.
Collazo guns to become the first boxer in history to become a world champion with the least number of fights.
“I’m feeling very good, I’m feeling very confident, I earned this and you’ll gonna see this on Saturday night,” added the 26-year-old U.S based Puerto Rican.
Dela Hoya, himself is excited to see Jerusalem and Collazo trade leathers, but he warned the latter about the Filipino’s determination and ferocity in the ring.
“I can’t wait for this fight, which is the minimum title, WBO title, Melvin Jerusalem, we all know fighters from the Philippines, I know that first hand, getting beat up by Manny Pacquiao, these guys come to fight, they come with everything,” said Dela Hoya.
“It’s going to be a really really good fight. If he wins the world title, he will be the youngest and the earliest with the least fights to become a world champion. Obviously, he has a tough Filipino in front of him, it’s going to be a really great fight.”
After Dela Hoya’s speech, Collazo then shouted “and the new!” signifying his confidence in winning the world title on Saturday evening. /rcg
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