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WBC orders Harrison-Charlo rematch but NOT Canelo-Golovkin

Canelo Alvarez Daniel Jacobs Gennady Golovkin

By Dan Ambrose: In the World Boxing Council’s quarterly report, the sanctioning body ordered an immediate rematch between Tony Harrison (28-2, 21 KOs) and former WBC junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo (31-1, 15 KOs), but NOT a rematch between Saul ‘Canelo Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 KOs) and Gennady Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs).

Canelo beat Triple G by a controversial 12 round majority decision last September in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are a lot of boxing fans that believe that the popular 28-year-old Canelo was shown favoritism by the Nevada judges in his second fight with GGG at the T-Mobile Arena. The two had fought to a 12 round draw in their first fight in 2017. Golovkin looked to be the winner of that fight, and the scoring by the judges was highly question. One judge even had Canelo winning by a 10 rounds to 2 score over Golovkin.

Tom Loeffler, the promoter Golovkin, asked the WBC to order an immediate third fight against Canelo Alvarez. The WBC chose not to grant Loeffler his wish. They want Golovkin to earn the third fight by beating Jermall Charlo, the interim champion. In the meantime, the WBC is ordering newly crowned WBC junior middleweight champion Tony Harrison to give former WBC 154lb champion Jermell Charlo an immediate rematch. Harrison beat Charlo by a close 12 round unanimous decision last month on December 22 by the scores 115-113, 115-113 and 116-112. The decision by the judges wasn’t a popular one, as Charlo’s boxing fans were irate afterwards. However, fans that were neutral saw it as a clear victory for Harrison. He simply out-boxed Charlo, who looked confused and lost the entire fight.

Here’s what the World Boxing Council decided to do with Canelo vs. Golovkin fight:

“Champion Canelo Alvarez won the title on September 15 to Gennady Golovkin. Interim champion Jermall Charlo is the mandatory contender. Canelo Alvarez granted one voluntary defense. Canelo Alvarez will make his voluntary defense on May 4 vs Daniel Jacobs. Tom Loeffler requested a direct rematch between Saul Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. Charlo will fight mandatorily with Gennady Golovkin for the interim [WBC middleweight title]; the winner becoming mandatory contender for Alvarez.”

The WBC wants Golovkin to fight interim WBC 160 lb champion Jermall Charlo (28-0, 21 KOs) to become the mandatory challenger to Canelo. Charlo is already the WBC middleeight mandatory. Charlo earned that position in beating Jorge Sebastian Heiland by a fourth round knockout on July 29, 2017. That fight was almost two years ago, and the WBC still hasn’t ordered the champion to face Charlo. The lgical question is why is the WBC ordering Golovkin to face Charlo for the mandatory for Canelo’s belt when Jermall already earned that position in beating Heiland in July 2017? You can argue that the WBC is letting Golovkin do Canelo’s work for him in facing Charlo, his WBC mandatory. It looks odd, very odd, what the WBC is doing in ordering Golovkin and Charlo to fight. It should be Canelo taking care of his own mandatory defenses against Charlo instead of Golovkin.

Golovkin and his management will make the decision whether they want to go along with the WBC’s idea of fighting Jermall for the mandatory position. It would be a lot easier decision for GGG and his management to make if there was a guarantee that they would get the third fight with Canelo if they beat Charlo. Canelo vacated before when the WBC tried to get him to fight Gennady three years ago in 2016. What’s to keep Canelo from doing that again if he decides he doesn’t want to be told what to do by the WBC. Likewise, Golovkin might not like the idea of having to fight Charlo to earn a third fight that he should already be getting due to the controversy surrounding the second Canelo-GGG fight in Las Vegas.

If Golovkin beats Charlo, does it mean the WBC will then order Canelo to fight him or will they start the process over by having the Kazakhstan fighter make title defenses of the interim WBC middleweight strap like they’re currently doing with Jermall, who has been the mandatory for almost 2 years and is still waiting for the sanctioning body to order the champion to fight him. Golovkin might be better off going in a different direction rather than jumping through hoops to try and fight Canelo a third time. Even if Golovkin does fight Charlo and beat him, there are no guarantees that he’ll get the trilogy fight that he wants against Canelo. If Canelo and his promoters at Golden Boy Promotions don’t want to make the third fight with GGG, then it doesn’t matter who the Kazakhstan star beats. Golovkin would be better off going after WBA ‘regular’ middleweight champion Rob Brant or WBO champion Demetrius Andrade. Of course, fighting Andrade would likely mean that Golovkin would have to be signed with DAZN, and that’s another thing all to itself. Golovkin still isn’t signed with a network right now since his previous contract with HBO expired.

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Here’s what the WBC has decided to do with Harrison and Jermell Charlo:

“The WBC ordered a direct rematch between Tony Harrison and Jermell Charlo.”

Harrison, 28, now has to give Jermell a rematch after winning a fight last December that was a lot more decisive than Canelo’s win over Golovkin in their rematch. The Canelo-GGG II fight wasn’t decisive at all. It was controversial, and it angered a lot of boxing fans.

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In another move by the WBC, they’ve made Marcus Browne (23-0, 16 KOs) the mandatory challenger to WBC light heavyweight champion Oleksander Gvozdyk (16-0, 13 KOs) after his bloody 12 round unanimous decision over former two division world champion Badou Jack (22-2-3, 13 KOs) last Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. There was nothing controversial about the fight. Browne clearly won the fight. Jack suffered a big gash on his forehead in the seventh round, and he had to fight through a steam of constantly running blood in the last five round of the contest. Browne won the fight by the scores 117-110, 116-111 and 119-108. What’s unknown is whether Browne, 28, will take a fight against Gvozdyk or not. Browne won the interim World Boxing Association light heavyweight title with his win over Jack. Browne can go in the direction of a fight against WBA World 175 lb champion Dmitry Bivol if he likes. It would be up to the WBA to decide at what point that they want to order Bivol and Browne to face each other. Which direction Browne will go in will ultimately be decided by his management.

Bivol is arguably a more solid fighter than Gvozdyk, but he’s not as powerful as him. Gvozdyk is promoted by Top Rank Boxing. So if Browne’s management wants to go in the direction of a fight against Gvozdyk, they will need to work with Top Rank to make that fight happen. Browne is in a tough spot. He’s a good fighter, but he’s not quite at the level of Gvozdyk or Bivol. Beating the shop worn 35-year-old Jack, who was making only his third fight at 175 since moving up in weight from the 168 lb weight class, is a different story than trying to beat younger guys without mileage on them like Bivol and Gvozdyk. Those guys are young, powerful and technically very skilled. Browne is a good fighter, but he’s not going to be able to outbox those guys, and constant clinching, like we saw him use against Jack last Saturday, won’t work to earn a decision against those fighters.

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