Jerusalem ends Philippine drought, claims WBC minimumweight title with split decision win

In a historic moment for Filipino boxing, Melvin "El Gringo" Jerusalem emerged victorious against Japanese opponent Yudai Shigeoka to clinch the World Boxing Council (WBC) minimumweight championship.

The thrilling showdown took place on March 31, 2024, at the International Conference Hall in Nagoya, Japan, marking Jerusalem's ascension to the pinnacle of the boxing world.

A New Filipino World Champion

Jerusalem's victory ended the Philippines' world championship drought in professional boxing, as he secured the title with a hard-fought split decision over Shigeoka.

With two judges scoring the bout 114-112 in favor of Jerusalem and the third judge tallying a score of 114-113 for Shigeoka, the match epitomized the intensity and competitiveness of elite-level boxing.

Throughout the bout, Jerusalem showcased his skill and determination, flooring Shigeoka twice with powerful right-hand punches in the third and sixth rounds. Despite facing a resilient opponent, Jerusalem's precision and tenacity ultimately earned him the coveted WBC minimumweight championship title.

With this triumph, the 30-year-old Filipino boxer bolstered his impressive professional record to 22 wins, 3 losses, and 0 draws, with 12 victories coming by way of knockout. Meanwhile, Shigeoka, previously undefeated, suffered his first career loss, bringing his record to 8 wins and 1 loss, with 5 knockouts.

Despite the closely contested nature of the match, Jerusalem's dominance in key moments solidified his status as the new WBC minimumweight champion. Notably, Jerusalem's victory also cements his position as the sole Filipino world champion in boxing, underscoring his significance in the global boxing landscape.