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Jermall Charlo fights Jorge Sebastian Heiland on 7/29

Image: Jermall Charlo fights Jorge Sebastian Heiland on 7/29

By Jeff Aranow: Undefeated former IBF junior middleweight champion Jermall Charlo (25-0, 19 KOs) will be fighting next month against Jorge Sebastian Heiland (29-4-2, 16 KOs) in a WBC middleweight title eliminator on July 29 on a stacked card on Showtime at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Charlo will be the likely huge favorite to win this fight. The fight card starts at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

Charlo will get a chance to show off his punching power and athleticism to the middleweight division. Charlo would be an important fighter that could well take over the division one day in the near future when champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin moves up in weight or retires. Golovkin has other plans right now with his fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez scheduled on September 16.

“I’ve been training since end of January to prepare myself for the move up to middleweight,” said Charlo. “I’m feeling stronger, I’m feeling smarter and overall, I’m feeling better.”

This is Charlo’s first fight in the 160 lb. division. He’s been fighting a 154 since he turned pro 9 years ago in 2008.

Charlo, 27, vacated his IBF junior middleweight title last February after making a decision to move up to middleweight. Charlo’s las fight was a successful title defense against Julian “J-Rock” Williams last December. Charlo stopped Williams in the 5th round. Known for his hand speed, precision accuracy and punching power, Charlo destroyed Williams in putting him down 3 times in the fight in dropping him in round 2 and a couple of more times in the 5th.

Charlo also has wins over Cornelius Bundrage, Norberto Gonzalez, Antwone Smith, Orlando Lora, Lenny Bottai, Michael Fenny and Austin Trout. Charlo has been in with some very good fighters during his career. At 6’0”, Charlo is about the same size as former WBA World middleweight champion Danny Jacobs. The difference between them is Charlo is a lot more of a puncher and more daring.

Charlo isn’t afraid to take risks in letting his shots go. Charlo had problems making the 154 pound weight limit the last year he fought in that weight class. Charlo was badly drained looking in his fight against Trout last year in May. Charlo won the fight by a 12 round decision, but he faded badly in the last part of the contest. Charlo held on and was able to win the fight by he scores 116-112, 115-113 and 116-112. Trout had to take some real huge shots in the first half of the fight to make it to the second half of the contest.

Charlo should be a lot stronger in the middleweight division compared to when he had to drain down to 154 to make weight in the junior middleweight division. Charlo will have an extra 6 pounds of weight to play with in moving up to 160. Hopefully, he doesn’t continue to look badly drained of water weight during the weigh-ins for his fights. If Charlo still has problems making weight, there will be no other choice but for him to move up to 168. That might be the better division for Charlo, because he’s a big fighter once he rehydrates for his fights.

In the main event, former 4 division world champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner fights unbeaten Mikey Garcia. Also on the card is former heavyweight world title challenger Gerald Washington fighting unbeaten contender Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller. The Washington-Miller fight is scheduled for 10 rounds. Unfortunately for boxing fans, the fight will only have highlights of the contest shown to the fans on Showtime. The entire bout won’t be shown.

To top off the card, IBF junior middleweight champion Jarrett Hurd will be defending his title against WBA champion Austin Trout. This is a pay-per-view worthy card Premier Boxing Champions will be putting on Showtime. It’s one of the best cards you’ll see on regular Showtime. The Charlo-Heiland fight is good enough to be a main event in its own right. It’s a great fight with huge ramifications for the winner of the fight. The winner becomes the mandatory challenger for WBC 160 lb. champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin.

Heiland (29-4-2, 16 KOs) has been waiting for his shot at a world title for a couple of years now. The World Boxing Council could have made things easier by ordering Miguel Cotto to defend against Heiland when he was the WBC champion. The WBC also opted not to order Saul Canelo Alvarez to defend against Heiland when he was the middleweight champion with their organization. Now that it’s Golovkin as the WBC champion, the WBC is having Heiland fight Charlo in an eliminator. This is going to be really tough for Heiland to win this fight unless he gets his offense started early. Charlo scores a lot of quick knockouts. If Heiland doesn’t go after Charlo right off the bat, then he might not be around for later in the fight to see if he gasses out. In what has to be viewed as a bad sign, Heiland was knocked down in the 8th round last year in a fight against journeyman Martin Fidel Rios in April 2016.

Gerald Washington (18-1-1, 12 KOs) was beaten by WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in a 5th round TKO defeat earlier this year on February 25. Washington gave Wilder big problems before getting caught with a big shot in the 5th round and knocked down. The fight was then halted after Washington got back up. Washington’s opponent Jarrell Miller (18-0-1, 16 KOs) hasn’t fought since last year in stopping journeyman Fred Kassi by a 3rd round body shot stoppage on August 19, 2016. Miller is coming into the fight with 7 consecutive knockouts dating back to 2015. However, Miller’s opposition hasn’t been the best. he high points of Miller’s 8-year pro career are wins over Kassi, Donovan Dennis and Nick Guivas. Those aren’t exactly household names.

Miller, 6’4”, weighed in at 296 ½ pounds for his last fight in August. That was a career high weight for Miller, who tends to weight in the neighborhood of the 280s for his fights. With Miller being out of the ring for 10 months, it’s possible that he could be over 300 pounds. Hopefully that’s not the case for Miller because he’s going to have problems if he comes in out of shape. The 6’7, 240 lb. Washington will have the height and reach advantage in this fight over Miller. If Washington is able to use his height to work for him, then this fight would be a one-sided affair. Miller needs to be able to get close enough for him to land his big power shots.

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