Ryad Merhy retained his World Boxing Association (WBA) cruiserweight championship by defeating Zhaoxin Zhang by TKO in the eighth round on Saturday in Brussels, Belgium.

Merhy once again made it clear that he is one of the important fighters in the division and showed his strength as well as his good moves to overcome the challenger and make the first defense of his title.

The 28-year-old fighter has Belgian nationality although he was born in Ivory Coast. His superiority was seen from the start, his punches were strong and he dropped Zhang in the third round.

The champion racked up rounds until the eighth, when he landed an impressive left hook that sent Zhang to the canvas in spectacular fashion. Although Zhang got up, the referee determined that he was in no condition to continue.

The champion improved his record to 30 wins, 1 loss, and 25 KOs, while Zhang now has a record of 10 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw, and 6 KOs.

Over in the Philippines, rising prospect Melvin Jerusalem (17-2) captured the OPBF minimumweight belt by dominating Toto Landero via unanimous decision.

Landero was tough and came in aggressive engaging Jerusalem in a rumble but Jerusalem was just too accurate. The fight went the full distance but showed Jerusalem the clear winner.

In the supporting bout, Dave Apolinario (15-0) made a quick disposal of Charlie Malupangue by knocking him out in the third round earning him the WBA Asia S. Flyweight Championship. 

In the undercard, KJ Cataraja scored a seventh round TKO win over Cris Alfante in their superfly match-up. Christian Araneta stopped Richard Claveras in the very first round. Criztian Pitt Laurente improved his undefeated record to 7-0 with a third round KO win over Kim Lindog. Jeo Santisima disposed Allan Alberca in the very first round. Esneth Domingo earns a ten round unanimous decision win over Rolan Jay Biendima. Judy Flores wins over Isagani Saludar via third round knockout. And in the opening bout, Alex Santisima halted Jay-Ar Arnates in the second round.