FOLLOWING a gritty victory over Toto Landero, highly ranked minimumweight Melvin Jerusalem is willing to face any of the current world champions if given the opportunity.
“If given the chance, I’m willing to fight any of the champions. I’ll prepare hard and do my best,” Jerusalem told SunStar Cebu.
The 27-year-old Jerusalem is highly rated in the World Boxing Council (WBC), International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Organization (WBO). He’s No. 2 in the WBC, No. 3 in the WBO and No. 4 in the IBF.
Thai Panya Pradabsri is the WBC champion, Filipino Rene Mark Cuarto is the IBF titleholder, and Puerto Rican Wilfredo Mendez is the WBO titlist.
“I think we want the WBC (belt), but we’ll take any, which one comes first,” said Sanman Promotions CEO JC Manangquil, Jerusalem’s promoter. “I think anyone (is winnable). Melvin is ready for them.”
The 30-year-old Pradabsri won the WBC belt after beating longtime champion Wanheng Menayothin by unanimous decision in 2020. He has a record of 36-1 with 23 knockouts.
Cuarto, on the other hand, just recently won the IBF belt after dethroning fellow Pinoy Pedro Taduran by unanimous decision on Feb. 27, 2021 in General Santos City. The 24-year-old Cuarto is 19-2-2 with 11 knockouts.
Meanwhile, Mendez won the WBO belt in 2019 after beating Vic Saludar by unanimous decision in Puerto Rico. He has defended his belt two times with a technical decision win over Axel Vega and a ninth round technical knockout of Gabriel Mendoza. Mendez, 24, is 16-1 with six knockouts.
Jerusalem outclassed tough Landero in an action-packed rematch to win the Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) minimumweight belt on July 16, 2021 at the Tabunok Sports Complex in Talisay City.
Jerusalem, 17-2 with 10 knockouts, is poised to become the mandatory contender of Pradabsri following his win and that if Menayothin, the WBC No. 1 ranked minimumweight, decides to call it a career. (EKA)