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IBF to order Jermall Charlo vs. Julian Williams


By Jeff Aranow: The International Boxing Federation will be ordering IBF 154lb champion Jermall Charlo (24-0, 18 KOs) to fight #1 IBF mandatory Julian Williams (22-0 -1, 14 KOs) this week. Charlo, 26, will then have three months to make the fight otherwise he’ll be stripped of his title.

Williams’ manager Stephen Edwards has doubts whether Charlo will take the fight. He’s not sure. He thinks there’s a possibility Charlo will wind up vacating the IBF belt due to the problems he’s having in making the 154lb weight limit and the potentially difficult fight he’d have against Williams.

Charlo had problems recently in beating former world champion Austin Trout in their fight on May 21 of last month. Charlo won the fight by a 12 round unanimous decision, but he gassed out in the last six rounds of the fight and looked timid and unable to fight as hard as he needed to.

If that performance was from his struggles to make weight for the fight, then he could have even bigger problems against the 26-year-old Williams when/if the two of them face each other.

“I do think that he knows it’s a very, very tough fight and with them struggling to make weight and having to take a fight in his heart that he knows he can lose — I don’t know,” said Edwards to about Charlo. “One thing I do know is that Julian Williams is all-in. He’s always felt confident that he can beat Jermall. And now he can prove it. Jermall is going to have to prove to him inside the ring that he’s the better man.”

Charlo, 6’0”, is very big fight for the junior middleweight division, and probably needs to consider moving up to middleweight so that he doesn’t have to strain to make the weight. If Charlo moved up to 160, he’d have another six pounds to play with when making weight. That could mean a world of difference for him. However, if Charlo moves up to middleweight, he would need to mix it up with IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC 160lb champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin if he wanted to win a world title.

That would be a very difficult fight for Charlo, and he might not have the talent or the chin to handle to the punching power of Golovkin. Charlo could target WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders, but by the time he gets a crack at that belt, Golovkin will likely have already faced Saunders and beaten him for the title.

Charlo would still need to fight Golovkin if he wanted to win a title in that weight class. The only other option for Charlo is to skip 160lb altogether and move up all the way to 168 to challenge the champions in that weight class. Charlo has the frame to easily fight at super middleweight, and he probably feel a lot better and perform better. Charlo could go after champions Badou Jack, James DeGale or Gilberto Ramirez.

Julian Williams has recent wins over Macello Matano, Luciano Leonel Cuello and Arman Osvepyan. Williams hasn’t been facing the high quality fighters in the junior middleweight division yet. We don’t know how good he is. Further, Williams will soon likely start having problems making the 154lb weight limit himself. Williams looks very big when he rehydrates for his fights. At 26, he’s probably only got a short period of time left in the weight class before he too needs to start thinking about moving up to middleweight.

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