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PH now has world champ again as Melvin Jerusalem edges Yudai Shigeoka for WBC minimumweight belt

Melvin Jerusalem is a world champion again. From Jerusalem's Facebook page
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--The Philippines is back on the list of countries with an active world boxing champion.

Melvin Jerusalem stunned home country favorite Yudai Shigeoka to become the new WBC minimumweight champion on Easter Sunday night at the Nagoya International Conference Hall.

Two knockdowns virtually decided the outcome as Jerusalem got the better of Shigeoka in a split decision.

Jerusalem first sent Shigeoka to the canvas in the third round before downing him again in the sixth, but Shigeoka remained resilient until the end, which impressed Malcolm Bulner enough to give him a 114-113 win in his card.

However, both Kim Jae-Bong and Barry Linderman scored the bout 114-112 in favor of Jerusalem, who is now 22-3 in his career while giving Shigeoka his first career loss after an 8-0 start.

Jerusalem is now a two-time champion in the mini flyweight category after he won the WBO title belt on Jan. 6, 2023, also beating a Japanese opponent, Masataka Taniguchi, in the process.

Although he quickly relinquished the belt to Oscar Collazo four months later, Jerusalem's championship was enough to earn him Boxer of the Year honors during the Pacquiao-Elorde Awards Night last week.

Jerusalem was not able to receive the award personally as he concentrated on his training camp in Japan.

Jerusalem avenged his compatriot Jake Amparo's loss to Shigeoka's brother Ginjiro in the other world title bout for the day.

Ginjiro Shigeoka stayed as the IBF champ in the 105-pound division after knocking Amparo out with a solid body shot in the second round.

Amparo came on as a late replacement as Shigeoka's original opponent, ArAr Andales, begged off due to medical issues.

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