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WBO orders Melvin Jerusalem vs. Oscar Collazo mandatory strawweight title defense

Newly crowned WBO strawweight titleholder Melvin Jerusalem will be making a mandatory defense in his next fight.

The Philippines’ lone world titleholder has been ordered to face Oscar Collazo in a mandatory title defense, the World Boxing Organization announced on Monday. Both parties will have 15 days to negotiate and reach an agreement, before a purse bid will be ordered.

The minimum acceptable bid for a WBO 105-pound title fight is $80,000.

Jerusalem (20-2, 12 knockouts) of Bukidnon, Philippines is rated no. 3 by The Ring, while Collazo (6-0, 4 KOs) of Villalba, Puerto Rico is rated no. 10.

The 28-year-old Jerusalem made good in his second world title opportunity, stopping Masataka Taniguchi in two rounds on January 6 to win the belt he now carries. Taniguchi, like Collazo, is a southpaw.

Collazo, 26, is fresh off winning his title eliminator this past Saturday, knocking out Yudel Reyes in five rounds on the Rocha-Ashie undercard in Inglewood, Calif. Collazo is a five-time national amateur champion who won a gold medal at the 2019 Pan American Games.

Collazo has been moved quickly as a professional, turning pro in six rounders and skipping the 8-round level before facing former world titleholder Vic Saludar in his fifth bout.

Collazo is promoted by Miguel Cotto Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions, while Jerusalem is promoted by ZIP Sanman Boxing.

Ryan Songalia has written for ESPN, the New York Daily News, Rappler and The Guardian, and is part of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism Class of 2020. He can be reached at [email protected].


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