Melvin Jerusalem-Oscar Collazo: Purse Bid Ordered For WBO Strawweight Title Fight

  • February 14, 2023

A title fight in boxing’s tiniest division is now subject to the highest bidder.

The 30-day negotiation period provided to Philippines’ Melvin Jerusalem and Puerto Rico’s Oscar Collazo has expired without a deal in place, which means their WBO strawweight title fight will head to a purse bid. The sanctioning body has scheduled the hearing for February 23, along with the Kazuto Ioka-Junto Nakatani WBO junior bantamweight title fight.

The session is available to all WBO-registered promoters, with participants required to submit a minimum $80,000 bid. Jerasulem is entitled the greater of a 75/25 split on the winning amount as the defending titlist.

will have to cut short their respective victory laps and begin talks for a head-on collision.

Jerusalem is represented by Kameda Promotions, while Golden Boy Promotions and Promociones Miguel Cotto co-promote Collazo.

The title fight was ordered by the WBO on January 30, just two days after Collazo advanced to the mandatory position following a fifth-round knockout of Monterrey, Mexico’s Yudel Reyes. Their sanctioned WBO strawweight title eliminator came just 22 days after Jerusalem dethroned Masataka Taniguchi in a stunning second-round knockout on January 6 in Osaka, Japan.

The title win for Jerusalem came in a voluntary defense for Taniguchi, for which the 28-year-old Filipino agreed to options secured by Kameda Promotions headed by former three-division champion Koki Kameda.

Jerusalem (20-2, 12KOs) earned his eighth straight win along with becoming the lone active titleholder from the Philippines, who saw its five remaining champions dethroned in a brutal 2022 for the proud fighting nation. The feat also came with an inherited mandatory title defense for the 28-year-old from General Santos City, Philippines.

Collazo hopes to add to Puerto Rico’s relatively low total, boasting just two reigning champs.

WBO junior flyweight titlist Jonathan ‘Bomba’ Gonzalez is the island’s only male titleholder and is set to face unified WBC/WBA 108-pouind king Kenshiro Terai on April 8 in Tokyo.  

Amanda Serrano (44-2-1, 30KOs) became Puerto Rico’s first-ever undisputed champion since the inception of the IBF more than 40 years ago, following a ten-round win over Mexico City’s Erika Cruz. Serrano claimed the WBA featherweight title and defended her lineal/WBC/IBF/WBO championship in the February 4 DAZN-aired main event from Madison Square Garden in New York City.

News of Monday’s purse bid for Jerasulem-Collazo came as the 34-year-old southpaw was being celebrated on the island for the historic feat.

Collazo (6-0, 4KOs) is poised to make history for his beloved island as well.

A win will see the 26-year-old southpaw claim a world title in the fewest amount of fights by a Puerto Rican fighter. He pursues this challenge in just his seventh pro fight, doing so after establishing himself as the mandatory challenger for the WBA and WBO in back-to-back fights.

Prior to the win over Reyes to become the WBO number-one contender, Collazo achieved the same status with the WBA following a twelve-round win over former WBO strawweight titlist Vic Saludar last July 16 in Los Angeles. He was prepared to wait out the winner of the March 1 Thammanoon Niyomtrong-Erick Rosa WBA title consolidation clash before receiving the opportunity to fight in a WBO title eliminator.

Collazo was previously due to face fellow Boricua and former WBO titlist Wifredo ‘Bimbito’ Mendez, who withdrew due to a back injury. The WBO approved Collazo to face Reyes in the title eliminator, stopping the Mexican in the fifth round of the opening bout of a January 28 DAZN show topped by welterweight contender Alexis Rocha.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

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