Melvin Jerusalem and Oscar Collazo remain in a holding pattern.
A purse bid hearing to determine promotional rights for the WBO strawweight title fight ended in a default. Thursday’s session saw just one participant, Hector Soto on behalf of Promociones Miguel Cotto and Golden Boy Promotions—Collazo’s co-promoters. His attempted offer was invalidated for failure to comply with purse bid terms.
WBO rules stipulate that all purse bid participants are required to present two envelopes at the time of the hearing: one containing the bid itself and the second of which should include the proposed date(s) and location(s) for said event.
Soto only arrived with the bid envelope as did Kozi Shinozaki of Kameda Promotions, Jerusalem’s promoter who arrived as the session came to a close.
Both promoters were instructed by WBO president Francisco ‘Paco’ Valcarcel that the session was declared “deserted” as a result and will be rescheduled for Monday, February 27 at 12:00 p.m. local time (11:00 a.m. ET).
Jerusalem (20-2, 12KOs) claimed the WBO strawweight title in a second-round knockout of reigning champ Masataka Taniguchi on January 6 in Osaka, Japan. The 28-year-old from General Santos City, Philippines represented a voluntary defense for Taniguchi, for which Jerusalem agreed to options secured by Kameda Promotions headed by former three-division champion Koki Kameda.
The win left Jerusalem as lone reigning titleholder for the Philippines, who saw its five remaining major titleholders dethroned in a disastrous 2022 for the proud boxing nation.
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 on February 4 in New York City.
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 now canceled 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