CEBU CITY – Melvin “Gringo” Jerusalem solidified his status as a top contender to Thai WBC World Champion Panay Pradabsri after winning the vacant Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) Minimum-weight title following a unanimous decision victory over Toto Landero after an action-packed 12 rounds in the main event of the Zip Boxing & Sanman Promotions spectacle on Friday evening at the Tabunok Sports Complex in Talisay City.
Jerusalem (17-2, 10KOs) and Landero (11-6-2, 2KOs) proved their toughness as they gamely engaged in a close-quarter battle from the start to the end, a seemingly the same result of their first meeting in Minglanilla in November 2018. Ringside judges Noel Flores and Edgar Olalo saw the game at 118-100 and Edwin Barrientos tallied 116-112 all for Jerusalem.
Jerusalem put his high ratings as the WB No. 3, IBF No. 4 and WBO No. 3 contenders at stake on that fight but he proved to be the busier and more accurate puncher as he came down with the newly-minted OPBF 105lb belt strapped on his waist.
Meanwhile, Dave Apolinario earned his share of the limelight as he scored a fourth-round TKO win against Charlie Malupangue to win the vacant WBA Asia Flyweight title in the co-featured main event.
Apolinario’s superior skills and punching prowess were evident from the opening round. Surprisingly, Malupangue withstood beatings until he was tagged heavily at the onset of the fourth round.
A wicked uppercut sent Malupangue’s mouth guard flying that prompted Apolinario to unleash a barrage of combinations on the staggering opponent. Notably, Malupangue was able to overcome the punishments, only to refuse to continue the fight after referee Tony Pesons put the action on hold to retrieve the mouth guard.
The action was officially stopped at 1:31 of the fourth round making Apolinario remain unbeaten Apolinario after 15 bouts and was credited for his 10th KOs while Malupangue dropped to 9-5-3, 6KOs.
In the undercards, Jeo Santisima (21-3, 18KOs) put up a short show as he scored a first-round knockout over Allan Alberca (11-5, 6KOs) in a scheduled 10-rounds bout under the featherweight division.
A wicked shot to the body put Alberca on his knees. The Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte puncher was able to beat the count but was floored anew by a hook to the head as he sat on the canvass unable to respond to the 10 counts as the referee waved off Alberca at the 1:41 mark.
KJ Cataraja (13-0, 11KOs) on the other hand practiced patience when his opponent Cris Alfante (17-9-1, 9KOs) showed toughness in the early going.
However, the power of the 26-year old former ALA Boy could not be denied as he floored Alfante with a right hook to the head.
The fight was shortly stopped at the 2:23 mark of the 7th round after Alfante shook his head after the mandatory eight counts. RCM
The results of the other bouts:
Esneth Domingo wins by UD over Roland Jay Biendima (98-92, 99-91, 99-91).
Christian Araneta wins by TKO vs. Richard Claveras at 1:51 of the 1st Round.
Christian Pitt Laurente wins by KO vs. Kim Lindog at 2:59 of the 3rd round.
Judy Flores wins by TKO vs. Isagani Saludar at the 1:23 of the 3rd round
Alex Santisima wins by TKO vs.Jay-R Arnates at the 1:03 mark of the 2nd round.
Promoter: JC Manangquil
OPBF Championship Supervisor: Arnie Najera
WBA Asia Championship supervisor: Jimmy Donton
GAB representatives: Jimmy Donton, Rolando Mendoza, Alfredo Beldemiza