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Jermall Charlo demands GGG or Canelo fight after beating Korobov

Image: Jermall Charlo demands GGG or Canelo fight after beating Korobov

By Jeff Aranow: After beating Matt Korobov in a tougher than expected fight last Saturday night, interim WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo told the media that he’s now ready for his mandatory title shot against WBC 160 pound champion Saul Canelo Alvarez or a fight against former IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in his next fight. The way that Charlo was talking, it almost sounded like he was begging Canelo for the fight at the post-fight news conference last Saturday. After Charlo’s poor performance in winning a questionable decision over Korobov, he looked like he was pleading Canelo for a fight.

Charlo (28-0, 21 KOs) insists that Canelo (51-1-2, 35 KOs) should have to face him now, given that he’s his mandatory challenger, and he’s been the WBC mandatory since last year. Charlo then asked the media whether it means anything anymore to be a mandatory challenger to a world champion?

Charlo was seen as the loser against Korobov (28-2, 14 KOs) last Saturday by many of the boxing fans. While Charlo, 28, viewed the fight as a dominating performance by him against a game fighter, the fans didn’t agree with him. They saw Charlo struggling all night long against the southpaw 35-year-old Russian Korobov, who was brought in a substitute with only one week to prepare for the fight. The judges scored the fight for Korobov by the scores 116-112 [Max DeLuca], 119-108 [Larry Hazzard Jr.] and 116-112 [Steve Weisfield]. Boxing News 24 scored it for Korobov by the score 115-113. Korobov appeared to clearly win the fight against Charlo, who had no defense for the left hand counters that the Russian fighter was hitting him with all night long.

“Moving forward, I’m on the gas,” Charlo said at the post-fight news conference following his controversial win over Korobov last Saturday. “We want GGG! We want Canelo! We want everybody in my division that feel like they’re the best. I’m still the best.”

Charlo’s performance showed that he’s not remotely ready to be fighting Gennady Golovkin or Saul Canelo. At this point, Charlo would even be out of his element against Daniel Jacobs.

“That dude was tough. He could have been in there with anybody,” Charlo said about Korobov. “He had a similar style as GGG, but his style was southpaw. It was a typical setup fight for a Golovkin fight, but Canelo beat Golovkin. GIVE ME CANELO!”

Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions aren’t talking about matching him against Charlo in his next fight on May 4. Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya Tweeted last week that Canelo’s next opponent will be a big surprise to the boxing world. It would seem unlikely that Canelo’s next opponent will be Charlo or IBF middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs. It’s possible that Golden Boy will match Canelo against one of the top super middleweights like Callum Smith. That choice won’t displease fans, since Smith is largely viewed as the best fighter in the 168 pound division today.

Let’s enjoy the holidays and can’t wait to announce Canelo’s opponent for May. #UWillBeShocked,” De La Hoya said on his Twitter about Alvarez’s next fight on May 4.

The World Boxing Council isn’t ready to order the Canelo vs. Charlo fight yet, but they are prepared to order Golovkin vs. Jermall now. WBC president Mauricio surprised a lot of people when he said last week that their organization will be ordering #1 WBC ranked contender Golovkin to fight Charlo in a final eliminator. The winner of the Golovkin-Charlo fight will then be the new mandatory challenger to WBC champion Canelo. What this means is Charlo only holds the secondary mandatory position with the WBC at this time. For Charlo to earn the full mandatory spot, he’ll need to defeat GGG in a final eliminator. The winner of that fight will be Canelo’s mandatory. It’s confusing to say the least, as Charlo was previously seen as the WBC mandatory after he defeated Jorge Sebastian Heiland by a 4th round knockout last year on July 29, 2017.

There’s no shame in Charlo getting beaten by Korobov, as the Russian fighter came from a far better amateur background in competing in the 2008 Olympics. Charlo didn’t come from a similar amateur background. He’s basically learning on the job in the pro ranks. For all intents and purposes, this is Charlo’s amateur career, which is why he struggled so badly against a fighter with far more schooling in boxing than himself last Saturday. The judges’ scores were frankly embarrassing in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans, especially the 119-108 score turned in by judge Larry Hazzard Jr. The score comes out to an 11 rounds to 1 victory for Charlo. It was an even worse score than the 118-110 scorecard turned in by judge Adalaide Byrd in Canelo’s favor in his first fight against Golovkin on September 16, 2017 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. While the boxing world saw Golovkin largely beating Canelo by a 116-112 score on the night, Byrd turned in a card that had Alvare beating GGG by a 10 round to 2 score. Last Saturday, Hazzard Jr. thought Charlo deserves a win over Korobov by an 11 rounds to 1 score. That score was highly out of sorts with the fight that took place inside the ring. It doesn’t help Charlo to be given wide scores in his favor in a fight that he appeared to lose, because it could keep him from improving if he thinks he dominated Korobov instead of having lost to him like many believe he did.

“It’s realistic, man. It doesn’t matter [that Canelo fights on DAZN while Charlo is with Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and SHOWTIME],” Jermall said in pointing out that it doesn’t matter if he and Canelo fight on different platforms. “It’s realistic. It’s the belts that will make it happen. I’m the mandatory. I’m still the mandatory. I’ve been the mandatory. Come on, man. Do the mandatory’s even matter anymore? Do it? Do the mandatory’s even matter? What other side? He’s in the world, man,” Charlo said in pointing out that it doesn’t matter that Canelo fights on a different network platform than him. “He’s in the world of boxing, man. They’re trying to confuse you all. Don’t be confused in the network. [Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar] De La Hoya is still mentioning me. He knows I’m right there. I’m unavoidable,” Charlo said.

Charlo sounds frustrated at finally realizing that he’s coming up against a barrier that will keep him from getting the fight that he wants against Canelo Alvarez, possibly forever. Charlo is only now beginning to understand that boxing isn’t a sport. It’s a business. The promoter’s have a job to keep their fighters winning and looking as good as possible in the eyes of the casual fans, who still believe that boxing is a sport like the NBA, NHL and NFL. The hardcore fans understand what’s really going on. The clever promoters do what they have to in order to keep their fighters winning and looking good, and not getting exposed like both Charlo brothers clearly were last Saturday by Korobov and Tony Harrison. One way for them to do that is to swerve the talented fighters that can potentially beat their guys in their promotional stables. You can argue that’s why Golovkin had to wait until he was 35 before he finally got a fight against Canelo. The Canelo-GGG fight wasn’t made until Golovkin had aged to the point where he would’t mow Alvarez down like he would have likely done had the match been made when he was 31 or 32.

There’s a good chance that Charlo won’t get a fight against Canelo anytime soon, even though there’s a good chance he would still lose to him in the same way GGG did recently. The WBC isn’t going to order Charlo to face Canelo anytime soon. Instead, they’re having Charlo go through Golovkin to earn what he’s already earned with his mandatory position. Golovkin may not go along with the WBC’s wishes by agreeing to fight Canelo. What happens then is up to WBC.

In theory, it’s possible that the WBC might even take Golovkin out of their top 15 rankings if he chooses not to fight Charlo in a final eliminator. It won’t hurt GGG’s career, since he’s already hugely popular, and doesn’t need the WBC in order to get a trilogy fight with Canelo. If Canelo and Golden Boy Promotions want the third fight with GGG, they’ll make it. If they don’t want it, then they’ll ignore him and schedule fights against other fighters. It doesn’t matter what the WBC wants.

If Golovkin doesn’t agree to fight Charlo, then the WBC will likely look to the next highest ranked available contender to order a final eliminator against Jermall. That could be #3 WBC David Lemieux or #4 WBC Kamil Szeremeta. There’s a good chance that one of those two will be willing to fight Charlo in a final eliminator, but you never know. Lemieux is with Golden Boy, so he doesn’t need to fight in an eliminator to get a fight against Canelo. He’ll get the shot eventually anyway without having to fight someone difficult like Charlo.

“I still won the fight. I’m still the [interim World Boxing Council middleweight] champion,” Charlo said. “My brother, and still. The Charlos, and still. Trust me; we’re going to grind even harder. You know we got real haters out there. Like real. They only motivate us like jet fuel. Lions only forever,” Charlo said in letting the boxing media know what the Charlo brother’s motto is.

Charlo thinks he beat Korobov, but unfortunately many fans don’t agree. It doesn’t matter that a small handful of media outlets thought Charlo won. What matters is the boxing fans that watched the fight saw Korobov winning in high numbers. The fans that did think Charlo won thought he boxed poorly, and they weren’t impressed with what they saw. It goes without saying that Charlo’s stock dropped last Saturday from his performance against Korobov. That’s not good. You always want to impress the boxing world, especially when you’re talking about yourself as being the best fighter at 160 pound division the way Charlo has been doing. He’s always saying, “Lions only,” and going on about himself and his brother former WBC junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo as being the best in their respective divisions. After last Saturday, it’s harder for Charlo to say that without being laughed at. His brother Jermell lost his WBC 154 pound title in losing a 12 round unanimous decision to Tony Harrison in a voluntary defense. It doesn’t matter that Charlo thinks Jermell deserved the win. He lost the fight, period. Jermell’s loss wasn’t even against the perceived best fighter at 154. Harrison had recently been knocked out by Jarrett Hurd by a ninth round knockout last year on February 25, 2017. Harrison had also been stopped in the ninth round by fringe level contender Willie Nelson on July 11, 2015.

“He was tough. I knew he was going to be tough,” Jermall Charlo said about Korobov at the post-fight news conference last Saturday night in New York. “This fight was a setup fight for him to do good. He [Korobov] made a performance where he’s going to get another call. You’re used to seeing a Jermall Charlo fight; you’re used to seeing me knock people out, but I went 12 rounds today. I’m proud of myself too. I’m definitely proud that I got a win, and I went 12 rounds with a tough veteran,” Charlo said.

Korobov, 35, likely won’t get a rematch against Charlo, but he’ll be brought back by Premier Boxing Champions against a top contender at either middleweight or super middleweight. It’s unfortunate that Korobov didn’t get the ‘W’ against Canelo, because he could be in position to fight Golovkin or another top contender to earn a title shot against Canelo. Instead of being in that position, Korobov was given his second career loss, and he’ll likely be offered a fight against the likes of Maciej Sulecki, Luis Arias, J’Leon Love or the loser of the Jose Uzcategui vs. Caleb Plant fight. Korobov’s controversial loss to Charlo means he won’t be getting a title shot at 160 or 168.

“I’m surprised that he took that many punches,” Charlo said about Korobov while ignoring to mention the fact that he took just as many punches from him.”

Korobov landed about the same amount of punches that Charlo did in the fight. Charlo conveniently failed to mention that to the media, as if they didn’t watch the fight themselves. It would have been a better look on Charlo’s part if he came clean by stating that he got worked over by Korobov and was lucky that he had the three judges that were assigned for the fight. A different set of judges could have seen the fight in a much different light, and given the victory for Korobov. The fact that Charlo had no answer for the left hands that Korobov was continually hitting him with all night is worrisome. If that had been Golovkin or Canelo that was hitting Charlo all night long, it’s hard to imagine him making it to the final bell. The judges would have been able to put their spin on the fight if Charlo had shared the ring with punchers like GGG or Canelo.

“You saw the judges out there tonight. I WON THE FIGHT! I knew I won the fight,” Charlo said when asked about the odd 119-108 score turned in by one of the judges. “I know I did enough to win the fight. I dominated him.”

That wasn’t a good answer from Charlo when he was asked about his thoughts on the wide 11 rounds to 1 score turned in by one of the judges last Saturday. Charlo should have been upfront about it, by pointing out that the score reflected badly on him and the judge. Charlo obviously knows that the fight wasn’t a one-sided affair, as the 119-108 score would have you believe. It would have been a good look on Charlo’s part to be open-minded enough to criticize an absurd score like that one was. It appears that Charlo didn’t realize that the 119-108 score made him look bad, because it gave some boxing fans the appearance that he was given a decision that didn’t reflect on the reality of what happened last Saturday night.

“Korobov is] A tough guy, 28-1 with 14 knockouts,” Charlo said. “He was a last minute [replacement], somebody I didn’t prepare for. No excuses,” Charlo said while seemingly making an excuse. “Hats off to him. Matt Korobov was in there to fight. He took a lot of shots tonight. He threw a lot of shots. It was a good fight. I learned a lot from the fellow. He was a survivor. He was strong. He was ready to fight. He was on the undercard of this fight no matter what,” Charlo said.

You can argue that Charlo was being highly disingenuous by describing Korobov as a “survivor.” That’s not how one would describe what Korobov was last Saturday. Korobov wasn’t trying to survive. He was belting Charlo all night long, and getting the better of him in mos rounds. When a fighter gets the better of you in eight of twelve rounds, you don’t describe them afterwards in minimalist terms as a “survivor.” That makes Charlo seem like a poor winner, and a fortunate one at that.

Charlo says Korobov “threw a lot of shots,” but he doesn’t say that he landed a lot of the shots he threw. Korobov’s connect percentage was better than Charlo’s last Saturday, so he wasn’t just throwing shots wildly without connecting with them. Korobov was hitting Charlo with those shots, and clearly bothering him. Charlo looked badly flustered, and helpless to stop the left hand counters that Korobov kept nailing him with the entire fight.

“If I was fighting Willie Monroe, I felt like I would have taken him out,” Charlo said in stating the obvious. “Willie Monroe wouldn’t have stood there.”

It’s pretty clear to all that Charlo would have knocked out Willie Monroe Jr. if he’d been inside the ring with him last Saturday night instead of Korobov. But the question is, why was Charlo scheduled to fight a guy like Monroe in the first place? Monroe has been beaten last year by former World Boxing Organization middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision. The fight was so one-sided that Saunders was trying to get Monroe to throw punches, but he looked so mentally defeated by the sixth round. Monroe had been knocked out by Golovkin in the 6th round in 2015. There was nothing at all for Charlo to gain in facing Monroe, and it makes you wonder what the thinking was by his management in putting him in in a showcase fight like that.

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