By Dan Ambrose: Champions like Jermall Charlo, Errol Spence Jr, and Gennadiy Golovkin have been sitting on their titles without defending them for ages without the sanctioning bodies stripping them of their titles.
As Chris Mannix & Keith Idec point out, Charlo, Spence, and Golovkin can’t just sit on their titles, fighting once a year or every two years. For the sanctioning bodies to allow those three champions to do that stalls the careers of the contenders waiting for their title shot.
The real question is, why haven’t the sanctioning bodies already stepped in to strip those champions of all their belts? They’re letting these champions sit on their belts forever, seemingly without defending them.
In one glaring example, Jermall Charlo hasn’t defended his WBC middleweight title in almost two years.
While it’s disappointing to hear that the 32-year-old Charlo (32-0, 23 KOs) reportedly has had personal problems that have gotten in the way of him returning to the ring, that still doesn’t mean he should be allowed to freeze his belt for two solid years.
For normal people, if you have problems that keep you from going to work for a solid one or two years, the chances you’re going to be laid off.
Charlo & Spence holding titles hostage
“[Jermall] Charlo is supposedly coming back in June. It’ll be two years off. Are you buying Charlo coming back at 160? What’s his path back to relevancy again?” said Chris Mannix to The Volume.
“You can’t allow these guys, whatever is going on in their personal lives or what’s going on physically with their injuries, you cannot allow these guys to hold these titles hostage, for years on end,” said Keith Idec.
“He [Jermall Charlo] hasn’t fought in two years. When he does fight in June, it’s going to be exactly two years since the previous time that he fought. He did not look particularly great against Juan Macias Montiel, who Carlos Adames later destroyed.
“Carlos Adames is the interim [WBC 160-lb] champion and mandatory for Charlo’s title. He’s certainly not going to fight Carlos Adames in June, and he might not want to fight Carlos Adames at all.
“If that’s the case, he’s well within his right to do that, but then vacate the title and move up or do whatever you want to do. Give Carlos Adames his opportunity to be the full champion because it’s similar to what’s going on with Errol Spence.
“Spence is holding these welterweight titles, hostage. He couldn’t figure out the Crawford fight. Okay, you tried. It seems pretty much now that it might not happen. He shouldn’t be allowed to hold the IBF, WBA & WBC titles and fight Keith Thurman in a 154-lb fight. That’s ridiculous. That just shouldn’t be.”
Contenders having their careers held back
“If their activity level is once a year or once every two years, the rest of the fighters in their division and their careers should not be held back for those long, long periods of time,” said Mannix. “The same applies to Golovkin. Go figure out how you’re going to maximize your dollars in your next fight. It’s your business, you can do what you want, but you can’t hold the titles too.
“In his [Golovkin] case, the sanctioning bodies that have held his titles [IBF & WBA middleweight] have done the right thing. The IBF ordered a mandatory fight, and Golovkin elected not to go through with it, and that belt is gone.
“The WBA, at some point, is going to order the [Erislandy] Lara fight, and that belt is likely to go away. In those cases, I would praise, rare praise, the sanctioning bodies for doing the right thing.
“The WBC, I think the title of this episode should be, ‘The WBC sucks’ due to all the things that they’ve done that we’re beating up on them for. The WBC, if Charlo wants to come back, great. If he wants to go and defend his title, great. It should have to be against Carlos Adames.
“The WBC said they were going to investigate what’s going on with [Jermall] Charlo back in November. It’s been like three months. Charlo said he was going to come back,” said Mannix.
“There’s nothing really to investigate. Regis Prograis said he’d had some personal issues, and he’s dealing with those,” said Idec about Jermall. “He kind of eluded to it in an Instagram post a few weeks ago. I understand. People go through tough situations in their lives, and he was just not in the right frame of mind in his life to fight.”
Jermall should vacate his WBC title
“Of course, get yourself together and get back into camp,” said Idec. “Again, he can do that. He’s well within his right to do that, but not by holding the title hostage at the same time. He shouldn’t be allowed to do that, especially if he’s going to move up anyway.
“From his perspective, nobody cares if you’re the WBC champion or not because you’re not fighting the people in the middleweight division that the people want to see you fight. I’m not saying that’s necessarily all his fault because you tried to fight Munguia last year, and we’ve all been through that for why that fell apart.
“So he’s tried to fight some guys, but if he’s not going to fight opponents that people are interested in, why does it really matter if he’s the WBC champion? Who cares? So just give up the title and save yourself some money.
“Why give the WBC three percent of a seven-figure purse just because,” said Idec. “One thing I failed to mention about this Golovkin thing. Do you know who the #2 contender is with the WBA? Sergio Martinez. Sergio Martinez is 48 years old, and if there’s someone in Argentina with a lot of money and wants to waste it, maybe they can make Sergio Martinez against Gennadiy Golovkin in Buenos Aires.”
“Ten years after Lou DiBella said, ‘Absolutely not,’ Sergio Martinez against Gennadiy Golovkin, maybe they would make it,” said Chris Mannix. “If you want to have some fun and you’re a boxing fans, check out the WBA’s monthly rankings.
“I remember doing this when Alexis Rocha was going to fight George Ashie. George Ashie was the late replacement for Rocha. I started thinking, ‘Who is Ashie?’ I looked at the WBA’s rankings in December, and George Ashie, who had zero fights in the 147-lb division.
“He fought above 140 pounds once. He fought a guy in the 150s, making that officially a junior middleweight fight. Zero official fights at 147 pounds, and he was ranked number 13th by the WBA in their rankings. Alexis Roach, a career-long welterweight, was not ranked in the WBA’s rankings.
“How are these put together? Pulling names out of a hat? I can’t. Sergio Martinez, #2 at 160. Sergio Martinez, despite fighting a number of stumblebums in his return to boxing. Bring on Golovkin for Sergio Martinez and the middleweight title in Buenos Aires,” said Mannix.
“I’m just saying if there’s someone in Buenos Aires willing to pay for it, would either of us be surprised if that wound up? Even if Golovkin doesn’t have a title, it’s more meaningful for Martinez if he does.
“I don’t want to see it for the health of Sergio Martinez, even against a 41-year-old Golovkin or a 42-year-old, whenever it may happen. It’s not a good idea, but that doesn’t generally stop them,” said Idec.
“You probably got the same phone calls from Lou DiBella back then when Golovkin was chasing Sergio, and Lou DiBella was saying, ‘Absolutely not, I’m not putting my guy in with that guy. No chance on earth.
“It would be fitting that both guys, well past 40, to finally see them square off,” said Mannix.
“And Lou is no longer involved in Sergio’s career anymore, so he’s not there to put a stop to that,” said Idec.
“I don’t know if I want to see that,” said Mannix.