Earlier today saw various reports emerge from the Philippines that WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (43-0, 17) [วันเฮง ไก่ย่างห้าดาวยิม] will be returning to the ring on January 25th to defend his title against unbeaten Filipino slugger Melvin Jerusalem (11-0, 7) in Phitsanoluke Province in Thailand. The bout will be the first world title fight for in the Land of the Smiles in 2017 and will kick off the new year with Wanheng facing a genuine puncher.
For Wanheng the bout will serve as his 6th defense since winning the title back in January 2014, when he stopped Oswaldo Novoa, and see him looking to build on a busy 2015 that saw him score wins, including title defenses against Go Odaira and Saul Juarez. The Thai is one of the most under-rated fighters in the world at the moment, and a very hard guy to look good against, never mind really test, but has yet to really beat top fighters on a consistent basis, with his best wins being against the likes of Saul Juarez.
As for Jerusalem the bout will be his first title fight and see him build on a great run of reselts. He debuted back in July 2014 and has gone on to score notable wins over domestic foes like Mark Anthony Florida, Crison Omayao, Jonthan Refugio and former world champion Florante Condes. He's proven to be talented, quick, explosive and heavy handed, though has gone the distance in his last 3 fights, suggesting that he's not as much of a puncher as we first thought, when he was 8-0 (7).
At the moment the bout is said to have been confirmed by the team behind Jerusalem, with Rappler.com's Ryan Songalia confirming the bout with ALA promotions earlier today.
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