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Jermall Charlo wants Canelo Alvarez for unification fight

Canelo Alvarez

By Dan Ambrose: Unbeaten IBF World junior middleweight champion Jermall Charlo (25-0, 19 KOs) is targeting WBO 154lb champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez for his strap after beating arguably the second best fighter in the division last Saturday night in Julian “J-Rock” Williams (22-1-1, 14 KOs) by a 5th round knockout at the USC Galen Center, in Los Angeles, California.

I rate Jermall Charlo above Canelo in the talent department, and I think he not only beats the Mexican star, but knocks him out in the process. I rate Jermall Charlo as a better fighter than Canelo in every department – speed, power, size, talent, punch assortment. The magical question is will Golden Boy Promotions allow their cash cow Canelo to fight Jermall Charlo? My guess is no. I don’t think Golden Boy will let Canelo get anywhere near a huge puncher like Jermall. What happened to Julian Williams last Saturday night could have easily been the same fate for Canelo if he’d been inside the ring with him. Its not a good match-up for Canelo. We just saw how Canelo struggled in losing 5 of 6 rounds against Amir Khan and look euqally bad against Liam Smith. Just imagine what Jermall would do to Canelo

For Jermall to get a fight against Canelo, it might require that the boxing public create a ton of pressure. Jermall will need to move up to 160 and beat a good fighter like Daniel Jacobs or Billy Joe Saunders for him to get the attention of the fans to start creating the pressure to get Canelo to take the fight.

More than likely, Charlo’s best option for a big fight would be to get ranked at 160 and go after Gennady Golovkin. I think GGG would take the fight with Jermall as long as he’s fighting at 160 and showing that he’s a top fighter in the division. There’s no point in Charlo staying at 154 other than holding down his IBF title against a small handful of talented fighters. Jermall just beat arguably the best fighter in the junior middleweight division in Julian Williams.

There might not be any point in Jermall staying in the weight class at this point. A fight between him and Demetrius Andrade would be a good one, but I’m not sure if it would be a big enough money fight for him to invest another year or two of his career in staying at 154. Charlo looks a legitimate 160lb fighter at this point in his career. He needs to move up and chase the big names like Golovkin, Canelo, Jacobs and Saunders.

Will Canelo agree to fight Jermall Charlo? I doubt it. That’s a dangerous fight for Canelo, because Charlo can really punch, and he’s got the height, accuracy and most importantly the talent to hand him his second loss. Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions could have matched him against Jermall when he fought for a world title earlier this year at 154. But instead, Canelo was matched against WBO junior middleweight champion Liam “Beefy” Smith on September 17.

The fight turned out to be a mismatch with Canelo knocking Smith out in the 9th. Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya was saying before the fight that Liam Smith was the best of the champions at 154. But it immediately clear once the fight started that Smith wasn’t the best, and might not even have been the 20th best fighter in the 154lb division. Smith was just a guy that beat John Thompson to win the vacant WBO junior middleweight title. It would have been interesting if Jermall Charlo was the one that shared the ring with Canelo last September instead of the over-matched Liam Smith.

Charlo made an emphatic statement in knocking the talented Williams down three times in the fight in stopping him in round 5. Charlo definitely made a statement with his knockout win over Julian “J-Rock” Williams, because this is one of the best contenders in the division. Williams would be a headache for any of the top fighters at 154. I wouldn’t be surprised if Williams could beat every fighter in the division apart from Jermall. Williams would be a big problem for Jermall’s brother WBC champion Jermell Charlo, because he doesn’t have the punching power that Jermall has. He wouldn’t be able to count on scoring a knockout over Williams. If you leave Williams in there for long enough, he’s going to knock you out or win rounds due to his powerful jab and punching power.

“Where you at Cinammon?” said Jermell Charlo in calling out Canelo on his brother Jermall’s behalf after the fight last night.

Charlo, 26, is the same age as Canelo Alvarez, and he’s not fighting at middleweight, so there’s no excuse for Canelo not taking the fight with him. Canelo can’t say that Jermall is too big for him and fighting in a weight class above him, which has been the excuse given for why Canelo hasn’t fought IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in the past. The excuses don’t apply for Canelo not fighting Jermall Charlo, because he’s a 154lb fighter too.

Charlo is likely going to be moving up to the 160lb division soon to chase bigger fights. There’s only so much that Charlo can do by staying at junior middleweight. He’s not going to fight Erislandy Lara, because I believe they’re friends. The only other interesting fight left for Jermall to take at 154 is against Demetrius Andrade once he picks up Canelo’s WBO 154lb belt after he vacates the title, which he’ll likely be doing real soon.

If Jermall Charlo wants a crack at Canelo, he’s probably going to need to move up to middleweight and chase him down. That’s not going to be easy though. If a star like Golovkin can’t even get a fight against Canelo, then it’s highly unlikely that a dangerous fighter like Jermall isn’t going to get a fight against him either.

“I did what I was supposed to do, I’m very happy with my performance, I listened to my trainer,’’ said Charlo. “I trained hard for this fight; I stayed in the gym the whole time.”

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