By Allan Fox: Jermall Charlo will return to the sport in 2023 after nearly two solid years out of action. The WBC middleweight champion Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) isn’t naming an opponent.
Still, he’s aiming high, having already called out Dmitry Bivol and the winner of the Caleb Plant vs. David Benavidez fight.
Demetrius Andrade says Jermall is at the top of his wish list, so that would be an ideal option for the Texas native to welcome him to the 168 division.
Jermall is moving up to 168 to go after the big guns in that weight class with the aforementioned Plant & Benavidez. The one guy that Jermall wants is undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, but to get him, he will need a big win over either Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) or the Plant-Benavidez winner.
Without a world title to lure the belt-hungry Bivol to fight him, Charlo’s chances of getting him inside the ring are slim to none. As such, Charlo’s best chance of getting Canelo to agree to fight him is by beating Benavidez or Plant.
Another route for Jermall would be to take on WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight champion David Morrell (8-0, 7 KOs) because he’s one of the most talented fighters in the division, and he’s got at a title in his possession, albeit a secondary strap.
The 24-year-old Morrell is a tough cookie for anyone to face when healthy, but for Charlo to face him after a nearly two-year layoff would be a high-risk, grueling affair that could end badly for him.
We saw Charlo gassed out in the later rounds in his last fight against Juan Macias Montiel last year in June. His legs looked rubbery, and he took a lot of punishment from the heavy-handed Mexican slugger.
Although Charlo still won the fight handily by a comprehensive 12 round decision, he looked exhausted and on the verge of being knocked out at times.
Charlo, 32, recently told the boxing press that next year is when he’s planning on getting back in action.
The Texas native has reportedly been dealing with injuries that have kept him out of action. Before the injury issues surfaced, Jermall would defend against top-five contender Maciej Sulecki.
It’s essential that Jermall returns to the ring in the first half of 2023 because if he waits longer than that, his chances of regaining the form that he once had will be slim.
You hate to say it, but the soon-to-be 33-year-old Charlo is following in the Adrien Broner path of fighting rarely, letting his skill deteriorate to the point where he’s looking worse with each performance.