Putting his belt on the line for the sixth time, undefeated Wanheng Menayothin retained his World Boxing Council minimumweight title with a close decision win over Melvin Jerusalem in Thailand on Wednesday.
The 31 year-old, who had stopped 17 of his previous 44 opponents, edged out a dogged Jerusalem, who will rue a deducted point in the eighth round which could affect his chances of securing a rematch.
Had referee Celestino Ruiz not taken a point off for a low blow, Jerusalem would have at least earned a draw and put the first blemish on Wanheng’s now preserved perfect record.
At the end of a hard-fought twelve rounds, Menayothin came out on top via cards of 115-113 and more tellingly 114-113 (twice) – both of which would have been scored level without the penalty.
A return may still be on the cards for the pair, although Menayothin is now just four wins away from equalling Floyd Mayweather and Rocky Marciano on 49-0 and could decide to move in another direction altogether.