Melvin Jerusalem Stops WBO Champion Masataka Taniguchi!
It only took six days into the new year to have a new champion crowned at EDION Arena in Osaka, Japan as Filipino Melvin Jerusalem (20-2, 11KOs) scored a shocking second-round stoppage over Masataka Taniguchi (16-4, 11 KOs) to win the WBO minimumweight championship.
Usually a slow starter, Taniguchi had an excellent first round. The defending champ found success in landing punches to the head and body of the challenger. Taniguchi looked to continue the momentum but hit a wall fifty-four seconds into round two. Jerusalem struck with a straight right that put the champ on his back. Taniguchi got up but was on very unsteady legs. Clearly hurt, the referee stepped in and correctly called a halt to the bout.
After ending 2022 without a single world champion from The Philippines, Jerusalem’s victory is a needed boost for his nation. Up next for the new champ could be a defense against one-time WBO minimumweight champion Wilfredo Mendez who is ranked first by the sanctioning body at 105.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.