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Jermall Charlo getting bad deal by WBC, being ordered to face GGG

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin

By Jeff Aranow: WBC 160 pound mandatory challenger Jermall Charlo is finding himself in a tough position where he now has to fight Gennady Golovkin to earn a title shot against WBC middleweight champion Saul Canelo Alvarez.

As the WBC mandatory, Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs) should be getting a title shot against the new WBC champion Saul Alvarez. Instead of being given his rightful title shot, Charlo is being ordered by the World Boxing Council to defend his interim WBC middleweight title against Golovkin. The winner of the Charlo-Golovkin fight will then be made Canelo’s mandatory challenger.

Charlo will probably stick it out and continue to fight whoever the WBC puts in front of him before they finally let him fight their champion. It’s just unfortunate that Charlo can’t get his mandatory title shot against Canelo right now, because he’s the new WBC champion and Jermall has been waiting 15 months for his title shot. If this stretches out far in the future without Charlo getting his title shot, then he might as well abandon waiting for his title shot with the WBC and instead go after the IBF, WBA ‘regular’ or WBO champions. It would probably be a lot faster for Charlo to get a title shot against one of them than it would be to get a shot against WBC belt holder Canelo.

The problem with that is Charlo, 28, will in effect be taking part in a second eliminator fight just to get a title shot against Canelo. It’s a rotten deal for Charlo and a great one for Canelo, as the WBC decided at their 56th annual convention this week that Alvarez can take a voluntary defense of his WBC title that he won in beating Golovkin last month on the 15th of September.

The unbeaten Charlo should be the one getting a title shot against Canelo. The WBC ordering Charlo to defend his interim WBC middleweight belt against Golovkin puts the burden on him to have to do Canelo’s hard work for him. The WBC isn’t calling the Charlo vs. Golovkin fight an eliminator, but that’s what it looks like to a lot of boxing fans.

Charlo probably didn’t realize that when he agreed to fight Hugo Centeno Jr. last April that he was putting himself in a situation where he might need to defend against the tough contenders in the WBC’s top 15. Since Charlo is a partial champion in holding down the interim WBC middleweight title, the WBC can treat him as a champion and order him to defend against dangerous guys like Golovkin just to stay in line to one day get a title shot. Charlo earned his WBC mandatory spot last year in knocking out Jorge Sebastian Heiland in the 4th round in July 2017. It’s unclear what the WBC would have done if Charlo had turned down having him fight Centeno Jr. for the WBC interim middleweight belt. It wasn’t a big deal obviously for Charlo to face Centeno Jr., but it was a needless step given that he was already the WBC mandatory challenger after having beaten Heiland.

Not only is it a bad deal for Charlo in having to fight Golovkin to earn a title shot against Canelo for his WBC belt, but it’s also a bad fight for GGG. He wants a third fight with Canelo. The WBC is treating Golovkin like a regular contender instead of a highly popular fighter coming off two consecutive controversial decisions against Canelo in Las Vegas, Nevada. The WBC is setting it up where Golovkin has to beat Charlo, a fighter Canelo is supposed to be defending his new WBC title against, just to get a third fight against the biggest money maker in boxing. To some fans, it looks like the WBC is giving Canelo preferential treatment by allowing him to take a voluntary defense in his next fight while making GGG and Charlo do the hard work of going to war to earn a title shot against the Mexican star.

Golovkin hasn’t said whether he’ll agree to follow the WBC’s order for him to fight Charlo. Golovkin really doesn’t need to fight Charlo to earn a title shot. GGG is popular enough to get the third fight against Canelo no matter who he fights. There’s a very good chance that Golovkin will refuse to fight Charlo, which will make him look like he’s ducking the fight in the eyes of the boxing world, and instead challenge WBA ‘regular’ middleweight champion Ryota Murata. Golovkin-Murata would be a huge fight in Japan, and it would give GGG a big payday in the process. However, if Golovkin beats Murata to win the WBA title, it wouldn’t be surprising if the World Boxing Association has him making the tough title defenses rather than WBA ‘Super’ World middleweight champion Canelo. The WBA should order Canelo to fight Golovkin, but it’s unclear whether they would want to take that risk because he might respond in a negative manner by vacating their title like he vacated his WBC middleweight title when the sanctioning body ordered him to make a defense that he didn’t want to make against Golovkin. Canelo was fine with defending the WBC title against the likes of Amir Khan, who fights at welterweight, but when they pushed to have him defend against GGG, he vacated the belt. It’s likely that Golovkin will reject fighting Charlo to earn a third crack against Canelo. The WBC doesn’t seem to understand that Golovkin is bigger than the belts at this point in his career. He doesn’t need to fight contenders to get fights against popular stars. If Canelo and his promoters at Golden Boy don’t want the third fight with GGG, they can always avoid it no matter what he does. That’s the problem. If Golovkin agrees to fight Charlo and then beats him, there’s no guarantee that Canelo will face him. He can always give up the WBC title by vacating it, which means GGG will have wasted his time fighting Charlo.

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