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WBC orders Jermall Charlo vs. Jorge Sebastian Heiland eliminator


By Jeff Aranow: The World Boxing Council has ordered a WBC middleweight title eliminator match between #1 Jorge Sebastian Heiland (29-4-2, 16 KOs) and #2 Jermall Charlo (25-0, 19 KOs) with the winner of the fight to be the mandatory challenger to WBC 160 pound champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin.

The WBC’s decision to have #1 WBC Heiland face Charlo in an eliminator fight is probably not being viewed as good news by Heiland and his management, as he’s been rated No.1 by the WBC for 2 years now, waiting for a title shot against Miguel Cotto, Saul Canelo Alvarez and now Golovkin. The WBC belt has changed hands frequently in the last couple of years.

Cotto lost the WBC title to Canelo in November 2015 in getting beaten by a 12 round unanimous decision. Canelo decided to vacate his WBC belt in 2016 after the WBC ordered him to fight Golovkin. Now that Golovkin has the WBC title, it’s up in the air whether he’ll keep it beyond his next 2 fights. It’s unknown why the WBC didn’t order Cotto, Canelo or Golovkin to defend the WBC title against Heiland.

At some point, you would think that the sanctioning body should have ordered one of those 3 WBC champion to have defended the belt against Heiland. Some would say this is the politics of boxing. Heiland isn’t a huge name in the U.S, and it wouldn’t have been an attractive fight if Cotto, Canelo or Golovkin had been ordered to defend the WBC middleweight title against him.

By the WBC making Heiland fight Charlo in a 160 pound eliminator, they’re giving him a BIG hurdle that he must jump through to get the title shot. Even if Heiland were to beat Charlo, which isn’t likely, it’s unclear how long the WBC would wait before they order the Golovkin-Canelo winner to face him. It could be months or could even be a year or more. Boxing is complicated. It’s difficult to understand the sanctioning bodies sometimes.

What we do know is the WBC gave Charlo an immediate No.2 ranking with their organization without him having to fight anybody to earn that spot. That suggests that the WBC thinks highly enough of Charlo for them to fast track him for a world title shot. If Charlo beats Heiland, the WBC may make a quick move to order the Canelo-Golovkin winner to face him. I don’t think that’ll fly with Canelo or Golovkin, especially Canelo.

I think he’ll vacate the WBC belt immediately if he beats Golovkin in their fight on September 16. Canelo didn’t seem eager to have the WBC’s made up commemorative belt on the line for his recent fight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on May 6. It could be that there are some hard feelings between Canelo and the WBC dating back to last year, when the sanctioning body installed Golovkin as his mandatory challenger when he was the WBC middleweight title. Canelo decided to vacate the WBC belt shortly after he defended it against welterweight Amir Khan last year.

Charlo will be taking his first fight in the middleweight division against Heiland. Charlo moved up in weight from the junior middleweight division after his 5th round knockout win over Julian “J-Rock” Williams last December. At 154, Charlo held the IBF title from 2015 to 2016. There was no one on the horizon that could threaten the 27-year-olld Charlo, but he outgrew the division.

Charlo barely made weight for his last fight against Williams. In looking at how drained and emaciated looking Charlo was at the weigh-in for that fight, it was clear that he needed to move up to 160. The 6’0” Charlo will now have another 6 pounds to play with in the middleweight division. Hopefully this will be enough for Charlo to comfortably make the weight. If not, then Charlo will need to move up to 168 to campaign in the super middleweight division.

That might be a better weight class for Charlo, because he would be able to compete against James DeGale, George Groves, Callum Smith and Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez. The best part of moving to that weight class, Golovkin will soon by moving up to 168. Charlo would be there for him. That’s not a move that Charlo will be making anytime soon though. He’s going to be campaigning at 160 for the foreseeable future. In that weight class, Charlo can put pressure on Saul Canelo Alvarez to try and get a fight against him.

Charlo moving up to 160 is a big deal for boxing, as sets up a potential mouth-watering fight between GGG and Charlo if the two of them win their next fights. With that said, it doesn’t mean the Golovkin-Charlo fight will take place though, as Golovkin reportedly wants to fight a unification against WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders.

If Golovkin wins that fight, he would possibly be looking to move up to 168 to go after more world titles in that weight class. Assuming that Golovkin vacates his WBC title after he beats Saunders, Charlo would then be looking to fight #3 WBC Danny Jacobs for the vacant WBC middleweight title. That would be a good fight. Jacobs lost his last bout against Golovkin by a close 12 round unanimous decision on March 18.

Jacobs was competitive with Golovkin from start to finish. Some boxing fans even thought that Jacobs did enough to deserve a victory. Jacobs sees himself as the successor to Golovkin, but Charlo could throw a wrench in his plans of taking over the middleweight division once GGG moves up in eight.

Charlo could prove to be too talented, powerful and tough for Jacobs. Personally, I’d just be happy to see Jacobs and Charlo battle it out for the WBC title. Jacobs hasn’t had a lot of interesting fights during his career for one reason another. Charlo would be one of the best opponents Jacobs will have faced.

Charlo succeeded at 154. It’ll now be a good test for him to see if he can find the same success at 160. The middleweight division is a lot tougher than the one that Charlo just left in fighting at 154. Charlo will now need to prove himself potentially against the likes of Golovkin, Canelo, Danny Jacobs, Ryota Murata, David Lemieux, and Billy Joe Saunders.

The 30-year-old Argentinian native Heiland defeated little known journeyman Mateo Damian Veron by an 8th round knockout on April 21. With the win, Heiland avenged an earlier loss to Veron – again. This was Heiland’s 8th straight victory since his 10 round majority decision loss to Veron in June 2013. Heiland had already avenged the loss to Veron in September 2014 in beating him by a 5th round knockout. It’s unclear why he felt the need to face Veron a third time.

Normally when you TKO a journeyman level opponent in a rematch, it closes the door on the need for a third fight. But for some reason Heiland’s management put him back in with Veron a third. Hopefully, we don’t see Heiland fighting Veron a fourth time in the future, because it seems like a waste of time and a waste of his career. Heiland’s best win of his career came against former world title challenge Matthew Macklin in November 2014. Heiland stopped Macklin in the 10th round. It was a good performance from Heiland, but he wasn’t facing a prime version of Macklin.

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