Oscar Collazo (7-0, 6 KOs) became Puerto Rico’s latest world champion with a victory over Melvin Jerusalem (20-3, 12 KOs) in only his seventh professional bout. Following the conclusion of round seven, Jerusalem’s indicated that he would not continue with the bout. The fight was part of the undercard of Alexis Rocha-Anthony Young presented by Golden Boy Promotions in Indio, California.
Collazo now holds the record for fewest fights to win a world title by a Puerto Rican. The record was previously held by Alex “El Nene” Sanchez, who won the exact same title in 1993 having only 11 professional bouts to his name. Nearly 20 years later, Collazo now holds that claim.
The first couple of rounds saw limited action as not a lot of punches were thrown or landed. However, the few that did land swung the rounds in Jerusalem’s favour. In round three, both men started to land a combination of hooks and shots to the body. After the end of this round, the fight’s momentum shifted significantly.
Collazo started to walk down Jerusalem in round four, keeping him on the backfoot. Jerusalem struggled to deal with the aggression as Collazo slowly began to break him down. In round six, Jerusalem appeared to be stunned momentarily as he ate heavy shots from Collazo.
Round seven was no better for Jerusalem as he continued to get battered by Collazo. The body shots of Collazo had a visible impact on Jerusalem as nothing he did could slow down the Puerto Rican challenger. Jerusalem did not get up for the eighth round, granting Collazo the victory.
Road To Title
Jerusalem became world champion in January of this year. He defeated Masataka Taniguchi by second round in Osaka, Japan to become the WBO minimum weight titleholder. It was his second world title shot, the first being a failed attempt in Thailand against Chayaphon Moonsri to whom he lost a unanimous decision. He also lost his following fight in which he was knocked down and deducted a point. Jerusalem then went on an eight fight win streak that led him to the title fight against Taniguchi. This defense of that title was also his first fight in the United States.
Collazo is promoted by none other than Hall-of-Famer Miguel Cotto. Born in Newark, New Jersey, he currently resides in Villalba, Puerto Rico. Despite only having six professional bouts to his name, Collazo’s team considered him ready for a title shot. Having begun his career with three fights in San Juan, he then fought for the WBO Latino minimumweight title in Panama, winning by third round stoppage.
Collazo made his mainland debut in July last year, going the distance for the first time in his career. In January of this year, he fought in a title eliminator, winning by fifth round stoppage. Collazo is now a titleholder and Puerto Rico can now claim yet another world champion.