Keith Thurman says Jermell Charlo should keep weight loss for Canelo Alvarez fight

By Boxing News - 09/18/2023 - Comments

By Dan Ambrose: Keith Thurman says Jermell Charlo should rehydrate just three pounds to 168 lbs on the night of the fight against Canelo Alvarez. Thurman thinks that Jermell (35-1-1, 19 KOs) should not try and compete with Canelo for size by packing on a lot of weight, which would ultimately slow him down.

(Photo credit: Andrew Hemingway/SHOWTIME)

Jermell looks like he’s packed on some size for the fight with the undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo (59-2-2, 39 KOs) for September 30th, so it is probably too late for him to follow Thurman’sadvaice about not bulking up.

Thurman says it’s important that the weight that Charlo puts on for the fight shouldn’t impact his athleticism because he will have to carry the extra size around, and that’s hard to do for a 12-round fight.

Of course, if Jermell can use his added size to knockout Canelo early, it won’t be a big deal that he bulked up, but that’s not likely. Canelo can take a good shot, and he’s hard to hit with many punches.

Most boxing fans feel that Jermell will be out of his league, going up from 154 to 168 to challenge Canelo for his undisputed championship on Showtime  PPV at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Jermell should rehydrate to 168

“Charlo should come in where he feels comfortable. He’ll know best. From 154, he’s probably 165,” said Keith Thurman to Fight Hub TV about what weight Jermell should rehydrate to for his fight with Canelo Alvarez.

It’s too bad Thurman wasn’t Jermell’s coach because it sounds like he knows what he’s talking about. Jermell is going to have to trust that his trainer Derrick James has got it fight with his game plan.

“Let’s just say he’s 165 the night that he fights. I think he should come in at 165 on the scale. I think he should be no more than 168 on the night of the fight,” said Thurman.

“When you’re moving up in weight classes, adding weight before the fight, to me, is non-beneficial. What’s the benefit? You’re already allowing yourself to hold onto weight, and you didn’t have to do a strenuous pull, which should allow your body to relax more.”

Sometimes adding weight can help a fighter, but in a lot of instances, it doesn’t. If Jermell can fight without gassing out, he can do well against Canelo.

We saw how Alvarez gassed out last year when he put on weight and moved up one weight class for his fight with WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol.

“It should make the task easier, and you should be able to focus a lot more on strength. Yeah, you got to cut, but cut and maintain and be ready to fight,” said Thurman.

“My concern when people move up two weight classes are are you still going to have athletic performance? Don’t play, ‘I got to be the size of my opponent game.’ To me, make weight and be as athletic as you can be.

“Two weight classes up, it should not be hard.  ‘I had to make the weight. I couldn’t drink water in Vegas. I was drying out.’ You should not have to dry out. I’m not saying you should have breakfast on the day of the weigh-ins.

“If you get yourself down like I’m talking about, you could have breakfast. Nutritionally, that’s how I would set up the approach. He is a good outside boxer,” said Thurman about Jermell.

Charlo should outside boxing

“The thing that I’ve seen and that I question is the conditioning [for Charlo] because Canelo has a thing where he’s a Mexican fighter. That pressure,” Thurman said.

Jermell used movement well in his last fight against Brian Castano, but that was a year ago, and his conditioning might not be where it needs to be, especially since he put on weight.

“We know what Canelo looks like when he’s hitting the bag, the uppercut bag, the heavy bag, and that little one-shotter that they holdup and the body suits. Those are some heavy blows,” said Thurman.

“Even at 154 throughout his [Jermell] career,  I don’t think he’s faced a puncher of this caliber. That should be a concern for anybody;  hence, boxing, work your feints, don’t over-exert yourself,” said Thurman on what Jermell should do to beat Canelo.

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