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Melvin Jerusalem Dethrones Yudai Shigeoka For WBC Gold; Ginjiro Shigeoka Turns Away Jake Amparo


Melvin Jerusalem once again left Japan with a major title around his waist.

Two knockdowns paved the way for an upset split decision win over previously unbeaten titlist Yudai Shigeoka. Judge Malcolm Bulner (114-113) had Shigeoka ahead after twelve rounds. His card was overruled by judges Jae Bong Kim (114-112) and Barry Lindenman (114-112) for Jerusalem as the WBC strawweight title changed hands Sunday in Nagoya, Japan.

The Easter Sunday headliner saw Jerusalem (22-3, 12 knockouts) outmuscle Shigeoka (8-1, 5 KOs), No. 2 at 105. The visiting former WBO titlist from Manolo Fortich, Philippines was able to untrack his offense early in the fight. Shigeoka was dropped in rounds three and six, both times courtesy of counter right hands.

A valiant second half surge by the defending titlist was not enough to overcome the early scorecard deficit. As a result, Shigeoka’s WBC title reign ends inside of six months. The 26-year-old southpaw claimed the belt in a twelve-round decision over Thailand’s Panya Pradabsri last October in Tokyo. The win came on the same night that saw younger brother Ginjiro dethrone IBF titlist Daniel Valladares.

Jerusalem previously won the WBO title in a second-round knockout of Masataki Taniguchi last January in Osaka, Japan. His brief ended in a seventh-round stoppage defeat to unbeaten Oscar Collazo (9-0, 7 KOs), No. 4 at 105, last May 27 in Indio, California. Sunday’s road upset sees the 30-year-old become a two-time titlist and will improve on his current No. 6 Ring strawweight rating.

The night was not lost for the Shigeoka family.

Ginjiro Shigeoka (11-0, 9 KOs) retained his IBF 105-pound title with a second-round knockout of the Philippines’ Jake Amparo.

The bout was put together on very short notice. Amparo (14-6-1, 3 KOs) was a late replacement for countryman ArAr Andales, who withdrew due to an undisclosed medical issue.

Shigeoka, No. 3 at 105, made the most of the situation and effortlessly defended his title for the first time. The 24-year-old southpaw sprinted out to a quick start and ended the fight in the blink of an eye. A left hook to the midsection put Amparo down for the full ten count at 1:15 of round two.

The evening’s developments along with the inactivity of The Ring No. 1-rated WBA titlist Thammanoon Niyomtrong (24-0, 9 KOs) will see a major shakeup from this week’s ratings review.

Also on the show, former WBO bantamweight titlist Tomoki Kameda returned to the win column. The chance to avenge his most recent defeat was derailed, however, as he instead dismantled late substitute Kevin Villanueva after five rounds.

The show was originally designed for the youngest Kameda to rematch Lerato Dlamini, who scored an upset win last October 15 in Tokyo. Dlamini withdrew from the show, however, due to an exit clause in the contract. Event promoter Kameda Promotions was unable to secure the bout as a final IBF 126-pound title eliminator.

As previously reported by The Ring, Dlamini was ordered by the IBF to enter talks with Arnold Khegai.

The development left Kameda (41-4, 23 KOs) to face Villanueva, who was never competitive in their featherweight bout. Kameda won every round on all three scorecards through five rounds, after which point Villanueva’s corner informed referee Masahiro Noda that their charge was done for the night.

All three bouts aired live on ABEMA-TV in Japan.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for The Ring and vice president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Follow @JakeNDaBox

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