By Dan Ambrose: Paulie Malignaggi says Jermell Charlo doesn’t have the “mental discipline” needed for him to beat Canelo Alvarez when the two get in the ring this weekend.
Charlo’s last two fights with Brian Castano saw him take a lot of punishment in the pocket, and had a difficult time avoiding any of the shots that were thrown at him.
Canelo and his trainer, Eddy Reynoso, have scouted out Jermell’s past fights, and they know exactly what he’s going to do. If Jermell doesn’t come up with a new style, he’s going to be embarrassed by Canelo worse than he did his last opponent, John Ryder.
Keys to victory for Jermell Charlo:
- Mental discipline: Staying calm under fire and fighting with anger.
- Jab & move
- Stay at range: Don’t let Canelo get on inside
Obviously, Jermell knows that people view him as a guy who fights with anger, and he wants to prove them wrong, but it’s going to be difficult for him to keep from reverting to what he’s always done in his fights.
Malignaggi thinks that Jermell (35-1-1, 19 KOs) has the physical tools to win, but he fights too much off emotion, and you can’t do that against an elite-level fighter like Canelo (59-2-2, 39 KOs).
The Mexican star has faced many similar fighters during his career who fight off adrenalin and anger just like Jermell.
Canelo vs. Jermell = Mismatch
“Honestly, I think this is a mismatch, and I’m going to continue to say it. You have a fighter going up two weight classes above his original weight class, where he dominated. It’s going to be a mismatch,” said Tim Bradley to ProBox TV about his opinion that Jermell Charlo has little chance of beating undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez on Saturday night.
We’d had a better idea of how Jermell would do against Canelo if he’d gotten his feet wet against two or three super middleweight contenders in the division before challenging for the undisputed championship.
Jermell will be flying blind on Saturday night, with no experience at 168, and coming into the fight off of a seventeen-month layoff, fighting the ‘Face of Boxing’ at his favorite venue at the T-Mobile Arena.
“You have probably one of the best pound-for-pound fighters of this generation, Canelo Alvarez, who has been at 168 pounds for some time now,” said Bradley. “He’s the undisputed there. So he’s used [to it]. His muscle maturity, his knowledge of the game, and he’s even fought as high as 175 pounds.
“Think about that, and now he’s fighting against a super welterweight. Think about that now, and I understand everybody’s saying, ‘Oh, well. Charlo’s bigger.’ No, he’s not. He’s not as dense as Canelo. Canelo is like a bowling ball; he’s a tank.
“Charlo, yes, he is taller. Yes, he does have the reach advantage. He’s going to struggle against Canelo Alvarez because I go back to the [Brian] Castano flight. Just thinking of the Castano fight. I went back and looked at some numbers.
“Castano was able to land 40 of his power shots. We understand that Canelo Alvarez, that’s what he brings he brings. Power shots after power shots, and he has one of the highest percentages in boxing in landing his power shots.
“Now, if Castano was able to do that. Now think about a bigger, stronger, smarter Canelo Alvarez. What do you think he’s going to do? I think he’s going to slowly break down Charlo and probably stop him late,” said Bradley.
Jermell lacks “mental discipline”
“Yeah, I’d say Charlo is taller; he’s not bigger. Sometimes I think people mistake for the taller the bigger, like, ‘Oh, he can fill in,'” said Paulie Malignaggi. “I think in this generation, we’re in an era where people don’t really respect weight classes.”
In this era, fighters are chasing paychecks, looking for cash-out fights, and sitting inactive after they get a ton of money. Jermell hasn’t fought in a year and a half, and who knows how long it’ll be before we see him again after collects the dough from his fight with Canelo.
“You would have never seen this kind of hyper-demand for guys jumping multiple weight classes to fight these big fights before,” said Malignaggi. “There were these anomaly fights, like when Mosley moved up to fight Oscar De La Hoya, but if you remember, Mosley who had a ton of trouble making 135.
“He was drying himself out like crazy, and it was a well-known fact. So it wasn’t like, ‘Oh man, he’s going to go up two weight classes, and he’s a natural 135-pounder.’
“I’m not saying that Jermell is a natural 54-pounder anymore. He’s probably a 154 slash 60, but a 68 slash 75, which Canelo has essentially become over the course of time. You guys, Tim and Chris, have both mentioned the reasoning behind why Canelo’s frame is bigger, and they’ve given the scientific aspects of it.
“In general, just watching Canelo in the ring, even against a big guy like Bivol, he went the distance; he was never hurt in the fight. So it’s very hard to get the power and respect on the part of Canelo.
“Now, having said that I’m also going to go in another direction here because I feel like we’re given Charlo absolutely no credit. Charlo has the boxing ability. He just doesn’t have the discipline mentally.
“Charlo has a good jab. Yeah, he has a quick in and out, and let me tell you something. Canelo’s feet are as slow as molasses. He’s basically flat-footed and slow. He cuts off the ring well, I’ll say that, but ultimately, Charlo has that little rhythm of that little slight in & out bop where he flies in with a deceptive double jab right hand.
“He likes to use that combination. I remember distinctly him knocking out Dennis Douglin with it early in his career, but it’s a combination that both brothers like to use on the entrance, and they’re very deceptive with it.
“They have like that in and out bop, and it’s something that, again, we would have to see a discipline on the part of Jermell that we haven’t seen before because I remember Tim mentioned in Castano.
“The Castano fight is really something that I look at, and I say, ‘That is where it becomes difficult to see how Charlo wins this fight.’ I look at the Castano fight, especially the first fight, and I’m saying, ‘Man, he’s getting too wild. He can’t just take what Castano gives him.
“He’s got to stay in there for the rest of the combination and try to make a bigger combination out of it, and because of that, he overstays his welcome in the pocket, and he gets hit with something
“That’s what ultimately made that fight difficult. So you’d have to see a discipline on the part of Jermell Charlo that you have not seen before. I think physically, the talent is there. Does he have the mental discipline under that kind of pressure, under those kinds of lights because that’s amazing? He’s been in big fights.
“At this level, we’ve all been in big fights, but not that kind of big fight, that kind of big fight is next. It’s a different kind of mentality you need to have, it’s a different kind of mental calmness you need to have, and Charlo has not been a guy who, in his career, has been a guy who’s known how to keep his emotions in check.
“He kind of fights off of those emotions. He knows how to make it work for him, but at the same time, it can also work against you, and I think in this fight, emotions can play a bad part for Jermell Charlo,” said Malignaggi.