Melvin Jerusalem: “I Want To Fight The Other Champions”

Might Melvin Jerusalem Get a Crack At Both Shigeoka Brothers?

Melvin Jerusalem could soon unify with Ginjiro Shigeoka
Ginjiro Shigeoka is a solid unification target for Melvin Jerusalem (credit: Kyodo News)

Ginjiro Shigeoka Is a Logical Target for Melvin Jerusalem


Filipino Melvin “Gringo” Jerusalem (22-3-1, 12 KOs) is once again a minimumweight world champion. A potential fight in the future for him could be a unification matchup with IBF 105-pound champion Ginjiro Shigeoka (11-0, 9 KOs).

Jerusalem is coming off a twelve-round decision victory over Yudai Shigeoka to win the WBC minimumweight crown on March 31 in Nagoya, Japan. Knocking down Shigeoka twice during the contest, the result surprised many serious observers of boxing’s lower-weight divisions.

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During an exclusive interview with Ring Magazine, the newly crowned champion said the most satisfying aspect of the win over Shigeoka was shutting up the cynics, and showing that he’s a fighter of substance. When asked what he wanted to accomplish long-term, Gringo said he wants the best the division has to offer.

“I want to fight the other champions. I want to unify the belts. I hope they give me a chance.”

With that being Jerusalem’s desire, a fight with the WBC champion could be very plausible. The younger brother of Yudai, Ginjiro, defended the IBF title with a second-round knockout over Jake Amparo on the undercard of Jerusalem’s victory over Yudai.

Ginjiro aspires to clean out the division. One would think he would take a fight against Gringo without any hesitation. For Ginjiro, a unification battle with Melvin Jerusalem would be an opportunity to gain a measure of vengeance for his big brother.

Japan is the financial epicenter of the division. If the camp of the IBF champion can summon up the money, Jerusalem is likely return to Japan for a match with Ginjiro Shigeoka. Given the championship glory and the financial incentive, it’s a fight that makes all the sense in the world and could occur later this year or at some point in 2025.

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About Mike W.1989 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.