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Jermall Charlo to fight for interim WBC 160lb. title

Gennady Golovkin

By Dan Ambrose: Unbeaten #1 WBC Jermall Charlo (26-0, 20 KOs) says he’s going to be fighting for the interim WBC middleweight title in his next fight. Charlo, 27, is already the mandatory challenger to WBC 160 lb. champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, and he’s just waiting for the World Boxing Council to order the fight against the unbeaten champion.

Charlo didn’t say who thinks will be his opponent for his next fight for the interim WBC middleweight title. Former WBA champion Daniel Jacobs is the next highest ranked contender in the WBC’s rankings at No.2, but his new promoter Eddie Hearn has already said that Charlo is not in their plans for the immediate future.

Charlo is not a fight that he wants for Jacobs right now. Hearn wants to try and match Jacobs with David Lemieux in early 2018.

These are the top contenders in the WBC’s rankings at 160:

2. Daniel Jacobs

3. David Lemieux

4. Saul Alvarez

5. Sergey Derevyanchenko

6. Matt Korobov

7. Hugo Centeno, Jr.

8. Antoine Douglas

9. Luis Arias

10. Andy Lee

11. Curtis Stevens

12. Jorge Sebastian Heiland

13. Emmanuele Blandamura

14. Jason Quigley

15. Roberto Garcia

Some of the above names can be ruled out immediately for Charlo, such as Jacobs, Lemieux, Saul Canelo Alvarez and Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Canelo doesn’t need to fight in a title eliminator to get a fight against Golovkin. Derevyachenko is already Golovkin’s IBF mandatory challenger, so he has no need to face Charlo. If Canelo beats Golovkin in a rematch, he’ll give up the WBC title without defending it. The WBC title will go vacant, and the WBC would then need to either elevate Charlo as their new champion or have him fight for the belt against one of the contenders.

It’s quite possible that Charlo’s next opponent for the interim WBC middleweight title will be against either #6 Matt Korobov or #7 Hugo Centeno Jr. Those are 2 fighters the WBC will surely offer the Charlo fight to, and it’s difficult to imagine them both turning it down. The 6’1 ½” Centeno Jr. (26-1, 14 KOs) is coming off of an impressive 3rd round knockout win over Immanuwel Aleem on August 25. it was a good win for Centeno Jr., but it was against a flawed fighter in Aleem. Trying to beat Charlo will be a much more difficult task for Centeno Jr. if he’s the name the WBC selects for the battle for the interim WBC title.

Last year, Centeno Jr. was totally dominated and stopped in the 10th round by Maciej Sulecki on June 18. Centeno Jr. did not look like a world beater in that fight. Charlo would likely have an easy time beating Centeno Jr. If the WBC is going to order Charlo to fight Centeno, t’s a good bet he’ll win that fight quite easily. Centeno Jr. is still very green, and he has holes in his game that need to be fixed before he takes on a polished middleweight like Charlo.

Charlo vacated his IBF junior middleweight title earlier this year on February 16 after successfully defending it 3 times against Julian Williams, Austin Trout and Wilky Campfort. Charlo beat Jorge Sebastian Heiland by a 4h round knockout n a WBC middleweight title eliminator on July 29. Charlo has been waiting since then for the WBC to order Golovkin to defend against him.

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