By Adam Baskin: Undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo has until January 2nd to provide information to the WBO from his medical doctor and orthopedic specialist about his broken left hand that he suffered recently.
It’s understandable why the WBO wants Jermell to have his orthopedic specialist give an opinion for when he’ll be able to return to the ring.
With champions suffering injuries left & right, it’s important that the sanctioning bodies make sure they can return to the ring in a reasonable amount of time. If Charlo is sidelined for a year, the WBO’s belt will be in play for fighters like Tszyu to fight over.
Tszyu last fought in March, and if he has to wait until July or August before Charlo is finally ready to defend his WBO title, that would mean he would have been waiting for roughly a year and a half.
The WBO wants to know when Charlo will be able to return to the ring, as it’s been reported that he’ll have a cast on his left hand for two months, followed by rehab.
There’s a possibility that WBO mandatory Tim Tszyu could fight for the interim title against #3 contender Tony Harrison, given that Jermell cannot defend his belt due to his injury.
If this is the direction the World Boxing Organization chooses, it would be assumed that Jermell Charlo would face the winner of the Tszyu vs. Harrison fight if he’s interested in keeping the belt.
Charlo wouldn’t miss out on much if he elected not to keep his WBO 154-lb belt because Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr are both moving up in weight soon, and there’s a lot of money Jermell can make fighting them.
Also, Jermell has WBC interim champion Sebastian ‘The Towering Inferno’ Fundora and Danny Garcia as excellent options for appealing fan-friendly fights.
“The champ was warned that failure to comply will result in him “waiving all rights hereunder and with the Committee proceeding per WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests,” per Fightnews.
Given all the time that could go into Jermell coming back from the injury, he might be out of commission until the summer, which would be a long period of time for the WBO mandatory Tszyu (21-0, 15 KOs) to be waiting for his mandated shot.
Charlo (35-1-1, 18 KOs) had been scheduled to defend against his WBO mandatory Tim Tszyu on January 28th on Showtime in Las Vegas. With Jermell reporting that he’d suffered a break in two places on his left hand, the fight against Tszyu has been postponed until further notice.