By Sal Arteaga: This Saturday, September 30th, Jermell Charlo will seek to dethrone the King, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, and become the second male boxer to become undisputed champion in two divisions.
In doing so, Jermell will have to go up two weight classes and fight at 168 pounds for the first time in his career. Canelo Alvarez has dominated this division since he entered it in 2019. Can Charlo become the first boxer to defeat Canelo at super middleweight?
This will be an extremely difficult task for Charlo because he is attempting to defeat someone who will overpower him with his punches. Canelo is the stronger puncher, and to overcome his power, Charlo will have to outbox him on the outside. Canelo has had difficulties with slick, technical, and elusive boxers like Floyd Mayweather and Erislandy Lara. Charlo, however, does not possess the speed, agility, or elusiveness of either. Canelo will find Charlo and expose the flaws in his defense. If Charlo is unable to successfully defend Canelo’s punches, it will be a very short night for him. His survival and effectiveness will rely on his ability to defend Canelo.
Jermell Charlo will need to change his boxing style to one of constant movement, going in and out, utilizing the entire ring for the entire duration of the fight. If he is stationary and stays in the pocket, Canelo will find him and will make him pay on every exchange. Canelo will be the strongest puncher Charlo has ever faced, and adding to the difficulty will be Canelo’s ability to sustain any and every punch Charlo can throw at him. Saul has never been knocked down, and he’s survived fights against heavy-hitting light-heavyweights like Sergey Kovalev.
It’s difficult to maintain one’s punching power when moving up a weight class. Most boxers do it gradually, growing into the weight. Moving up two weight classes is that much more difficult. The strength rarely follows the boxer when moving up so quickly. Mikey Garcia moved up two weight classes to face IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence, and there was a noticeable difference in his and the opponent’s strength. Mikey got dominated for 12 rounds and never really had any success against Spence. Canelo versus Charlo could look like a very similar fight in which the stronger power puncher will dominate and impose his will on the lighter-hitting puncher.