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Jermall Charlo vs. Willie Monroe Jr. headlining Dec.22 card on Fox

Image: Jermall Charlo vs. Willie Monroe Jr. headlining Dec.22 card on Fox

By Allan Fox: WBC interim middleweight champion Jermall Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs) won the coin flip on Thursday to determine the headliner for the December 22 card on Premier Boxing Champions on Fox and Fox Deportes at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

(Photo credit: Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions)

Doing a coin flip to decide on which of the twin Charlo brothers headlines the December 22 fight card gives a pretty good hint that they’re facing mediocre opposition. It would have been nice if one of the Charlo brothers had decided to take a real threat to them instead of two guys that aren’t in the same league as them.

Charlo, 28, will be facing challenger Willie Monroe Jr. 23-3, 6 KOs) in the main event on the December 22 card. Charlos’s twin brother, Jermell Charlo (31-0, 15 KOs), lost the coin toss with Jermall, so he’ll be fighting in the co-feature in defending his World Boxing Council junior middleweight title against former 154 lb world title challenger Tony Harrison (27-2, 21 KOs).

It’s safe to say that most boxing fans would agree that Jermall vs. Monroe Jr. is a better fight for the main event than Jermell vs. Harrison. The 31-year-old Monroe Jr. has a lot of experience in fights against former middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin, Billy Joe Saunders, Gabriel Rosado, Javier Francisco Maciel, Brian Vera, John Thompson, Brandon Adams, Vitalii Kopylenko and Donatas Bondorovas. Monroe Jr. falls apart when he steps it up against good fighters like GGG and Saunders. However, he’s capable of beating good contender level fighters.

Charlo-Monroe Jr. & Charlo-Harrison are not good fights for the Charlo brothers. Boxing fans expect a lot more from the Charlo brothers than this. The fans want to see Jermall fight Gennady Golovkin, Saul Canelo Alvarez, Demetrius Andrade, Daniel Jacobs, Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Rob Brant. Jermell needs to step it up against Jarrett Hurd, Erislandy Lara, Kell Brook and Jaime Munguia. Those are easily the best fighters in the 154 lb weight class today. Jermell has been perceived by the fans as padding his record through his entire career. Facing Harrison isn’t changing that perception, as Harrison was knocked out by Jarrett Hurd already, so this fight is kind of pointless. The only thing Jermell can accomplish in fighting Harrison is to try and knock him out faster than Hurd.

Harrison has lost twice during his career in a pair of 9th round stoppage losses to Jarrett Hurd and Willie Nelson. There’s no shame in Harrison getting knocked out by Hurd, as he’s currently the IBF/WBA junior middleweight champion and he’s coming off of a 12 round split decision victory over former WBA Super World 154 lb champion Erislandy Lara last April. The problem is, Harrison hasn’t done much since losing to Hurd last year in February 2017. Harrison has won his last three fights since then, beating Paul Valenzuela Jr., George Sosa and Ishe Smith. While it’s a good thing that Harrison beat the 40-year-old Ishe Smith by a 10 round split decision last May, the fact that it was such a close fight doesn’t look good for him. Julian ‘J-Rock’ Williams did a far better job of defeating Smith by a lopsided 10 round unanimous decision last November.

“It’s great to be headlining a big show with my twin brother in Brooklyn,” Jermall said. “Willie Monroe is one of those fighters that will get me to the level I need to for all those great fights. And believe me, we’ll get them. This is a fight that he’s been asking for and it makes it special to know he’s keying in on me,” Jermall said.

The fights that Jermall wants are against WBC middleweight champion Saul Canelo Alvarez, Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin, Daniel Jacobs, Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Billy Joe Saunders and Demetrius Andrade. Those are the best fighters in the 160 lb weight class right now. Jermall is the mandatory challenger to WBC 160 lb champion Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs). The World Boxing Council is allowing Canelo to move up to super middleweight to challenge WBA ‘regular 168 lb champion Rocky Fielding for his title on December 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York. What’s troubling is Canelo, 28, isn’t prepared to say what he’ll be doing after the Fielding fight in terms of returning to the 160 lb weight class to defend against his WBC mandatory Jermall or if he’ll stay at super middleweight. The WBC isn’t putting any pressure on Canelo at this time, and it’s likely they’ll be especially careful with him, as he’s a highly popular fighter in Mexico and the United States. Canelo has already vacated his WBC middleweight title in the past in 2016 when the sanctioning body attempted to put pressure on him to defend against his then mandatory challenger Golovkin. Canelo vacated the WBC title and moved back down to 154 temporarily to challenge WBO junior middleweight champion Liam Smith for his title.

“I’m going to knock him out. I’m going to be as explosive as I can and close the show,” Jermall said about Monroe. “The journey begins now in Brooklyn.”

Monroe has been knocked out in the past before by Golovkin in 2015 in losing by a 5th round knockout. The fight was competitive before Golovkin finally lowered the boom on Monroe in the 5th. Monroe lost to former World Boxing Organization middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders by a 12 round unanimous decision last year in September 2017 in London, England. That was disappointing effort from Monroe, as all he did in the entire fight was throw jabs and try and survive against a weak puncher in Saunders. Monroe, 31, looked like he was deathly afraid of Saunders the entire fight. The only thing Monroe was willing to do was throw jabs from the outside. Monroe did a good job of catching Saunders frequently with his crisp jab, but that’s all he was willing to try. If Monroe fights like that against Charlo, he’ll lose every round and likely get knocked out. Charlo is the type of fighter that will go after his opponents to knock them out if he has nothing to fear from them.

Jermall has looked good in beating Hugo Centeno Jr., Jorge Sebastian Heiland and Julian ‘J-Rock’ Williams in his last three fights. Jermall looks a lot better now that he’s moved up in weight to the middleweight division. When he was fighting at 154, he had to drain himself badly to make weight.

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