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Melvin Jerusalem faces Toto Landero on July 16 with eyes on WBC titleholder Panya

Strawweight contender Melvin Jerusalem (right) lands a right hand to the jaw of Florante Condes in February of 2016. Photo by Arvee Eco.
04
Jul

Filipino strawweight contender Melvin Jerusalem hopes to take a step closer to another world title shot when he faces Toto Landero on July 16 in Talisay, Cebu, Philippines.

The 12-round bout will be for the vacant OPBF strawweight title, which promoter Jim Claude Manangquil says will put the winner on course for a shot at WBC 105-pound titleholder Panya Pradabsri (36-1, 23 KOs).

“If Melvin wins we hope to get the WBC champ,” said Manangquil, CEO of Sanman Promotions, who is co-promoting the show with ZIP Boxing Promotions.

Jerusalem (16-2, 10 KOs) and Landero (11-5-2, 2 KOs) fought once before, with Jerusalem winning a unanimous decision in 2018.

Landero, 25, challenged for a world title in 2018, pushing WBA 105-pound titleholder Knockout CP Freshmart in a unanimous decision loss, but has lost four of his last five bouts. Jerusalem, who is rated in the top 4 by three of the major sanctioning bodies, including no. 2 by the WBC, has won five straight.

Also on the card, flyweight prospect Dave Apolinario (14-0, 9 KOs) will face Charlie Malupangue (9-4-3, 6 KOs)  for the WBA Asia flyweight title, while KJ Cataraja (12-0, 10 KOs) faces Cris Alfante (17-8-1, 9 KOs) in an eight round junior bantamweight fight.

Other bouts include former title challenger Jeo Santisima (20-3, 17 KOs) against Allan Alberca (11-4, 6 KOs) in an eight round featherweight bout, and Criztian Pitt Laurente (6-0, 3 KOs) against Kim Lindog (5-10-1, 4 KOs) in an eight round junior lightweight bout.

The show will be closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions, but will be live-streamed over Facebook. There have been over 25,000 deaths related to the coronavirus pandemic in the Philippines. Just 2.5 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, and 68 percent of respondents to a Social Weather Stations poll said they were either hesitant or unwilling to get vaccinated.

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