YOUNG Melvin Jerusalem is now in Thailand ready and all pumped up as he gets a crack at a first ever world championship five days from now.
The 22-year-old promising star of ALA Boxing likes his chance of wresting the World Boxing Council (WBC) minimumweight title despite up against reigning champion and hometown hero Chayaphon Moonsri.
The battle between the two unbeaten warriors is set for 12 rounds and takes place in the province of Phitsanulok, one of oldest cities in Thailand and about an hour’s flight from the capital of Bangkok.
Jerusalem arrived in Bangkok late Friday night together with trainer Michael Domingo. The two lost no time to get in training as the challenger held an early morning jog at the Petchyindee Muay Thai Academy Saturday.
ALA Boxing head trainer Edito Villamor admitted fighting the defending champion right at home could be a concern, but believes Jerusalem has got what it takes to dethrone the 31-year-old Thai.
“Fifty-fifty ang chance. Every boxer naman talaga may chance once umakyat ng ring,” said the former world title challenger, who worked the mitts with the native of Bukidnon during the course of his training against Moonsri.
Jerusalem only has 11 fights in his young pro career (7 by KOs), including a majority decision against former world champion Florante Condes in Cebu City last year.
But Villamor said Jerusalem has quickness and power in his arsenals that are capable to topple Moonsri, who will be defending his 105-lb. title for the sixth time.
“May lakas tsaka quickness din yung bata,” he stressed.
The champion has a 44-0 record with 17 KOs. He won the title with a knockout win over Filipino Jerry Tomogdan in June 2015.