Jermall Charlo moves to 160 to go after BIG fights
By Chris Williams Jermall Charlo put the boxing world on notice on Thursday in vacating his IBF junior middleweight title in order to move up to the 160lb division to go after bigger and better things. Charlo will be fighting in May against an opponent still to be determined in the middleweight division.
It probably be a top five contender, but it’s still likely to be a very good fighter. Charlo has the talent to beat the top contenders in the division right away. Even Golovkin would someone that I would favor Charlo over. Charlo is just so accurate, fast and powerful. He’s like a younger version of Julian Jackson, but with better boxing skills.
One fight in particular is destined to happen between the 26-year-old Charlo (25-0, 19 KOs) and IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) if the 34-year-old Kazakhstan fighter doesn’t get beaten in one or both of his next fights against Daniel Jacobs and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. There’ a strong possibility that Golovkin will suffer his first career loss in 2017. If he doesn’t lose to Jacobs on March 18, then he could taste defeat for the first time in September when he faces Canelo Alvarez.
Charlo had no choice but to move up to 160. He’d run out of opposition in the 154lb division. He wasn’t going to fight his friend Erislandy Lara, and of course he wasn’t going to fight his brother Jermell Charlo. The only other guy for Jermall to fight was Demetrius Andrade, but he’s not a big name.
Charlo can make a good money fighting at 160 against the likes of Golovkin, Billy Joe Saunders, Chris Eubank Jr. and Daniel Jacobs. There are at least four good fights for Charlo if he moves up in weight to the middleweight division. If Jermall were to stay at 154, he’d be fighting mostly no named opponents in fights that would fail to interest the boxing fans.
Charlo’s long awaited decision to move up to 160, it immediately lets Golovkin, Billy Joe Saunders, Canelo and Jacobs know that there’s a no kid in town. It’s not good news for the 26-year-old Canelo, because he was seen as a fighter that could wait Golovkin out until he gets old before taking over the 160lb division and ruling it with an iron fist.
Unfortunately for Canelo, Charlo is only 26, and he’s a very young fighter for that age. The way Charlo fights, he looks like he’s going to stay on top for a good 10 years at least. That’s going to make it hard for Canelo and his promoters at Golden Boy for him to exist at 160 with Charlo there. Canelo will have a great deal of pressure put on him to face Charlo.
If he doesn’t fight Charlo, Canelo will be viewed as ducking him. I think waiting to take the fight with Jermall will hurt Canelo rather than helping him, because I think Charlo is going to age better than him if Golden Boy decides to play the waiting game with the fight. They can’t wait Jermall out like they can the older 34-year-old Golovkin before making a fight against Canelo.
Charlo is quickly becoming a superstar in boxing with his highlight reel knockouts, and his incredible talent that he shows every time he enters the ring. Charlo’s latest win over a very good fighter in Julian “J-Rock” Williams last December stunned the fans, as they felt going into the match that it was going to be a competitive fight.
Jermall, the bigger punching brother of WBC 154lb champion Jermell Charlo, knocked Julian Williams down three times in the fight. The fight was stopped in round 5 after Jermall dropped Williams twice.
“I’ve been thinking about moving to 160 pounds for a while now,” Charlo said. “It was a struggle for me to make the weight for the last title fight. Once I captured the title I defended it immediately, because I wasn’t sure how long I could hold the weight. I held it an extra year to fight Austin Trout and Julian Williams. I feel there are bigger and better things for me at 160 where I can still hold my weight and be stronger. The idea of being a two-time world champion is a big goal for me,” said Charlo.
Jermall has looked very good in his last four fights in beating Julian Williams, Austin Trout, Wilky Campfort and Cornelius Bundrage. Those were all good opponents, but none of them were able to compete with Jermall. He stopped Williams, Bundrage and Campfort. the only guy that Charlo didn’t knockout was Trout. You can argue the only reason Charlo didn’t knockout Trout was because of how weight drained he was for that fight. Charlo looked great in the first six rounds but he gassed out due to the weight loss in the second half of the fight.
Charlo could probably continue fighting at 154 if he wanted to, but there’s no reason for him to keep draining down to 154 to fight in that division. The division is too empty of talent right now for it to be worth it for Charlo to stay down in weight.
As for Charlo’s IBF 154lb title, it will be fought over by Tony Harrison and Jarrett Hurd this month on February 25 at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. Hurd looks like he’s got the talent to win that fight and the IBF title. This should be a good fight. Harrison has excellent boxing skills. The only thing he’s lacking is stamina and defensive ability.