Why does Jermell Charlo still have belts at 154?

By Boxing News - 10/14/2023 - Comments

By Dan Ambrose: Shawn Porter feels that Jermell Charlo should have already been stripped of his three remaining belts at 154 after failing to defend them for 16 months and moving up two weight divisions to challenge Canelo Alvarez for his undisputed super middleweight championship last month on September 30th.

Jermell (35-2-1, 19 KOs) has frozen his IBF, WBA & WBC junior middleweight titles while sitting inactive and going up to 168 to pick up a massive payday against Canelo.

It’s bad for the sport when a world champion is allowed to sit on titles, holding them hostage for over a year, and then when they return, they fight outside of their weight class rather than defending against the contenders waiting for their shot.

Why hasn’t Jermell been stripped?

“I thought he was stripped. That’s how I feel about it. I feel if you move up, especially two weight classes out of your limit. You haven’t fought for over a year at that weight; why does he have belts? I didn’t know he had belts,” said Shawn Porter to the media on Friday, wanting to know why Jermell Charlo is still holding the IBF, WBA & WBC junior middleweight titles despite not having defended them in 16 months since May 2022

The WBO did the right thing recently by stripping Jermell of his 154-lb title and elevating mandatory/interim champ Tim Tszyu to full champion status, but the other three sanctioning bodies haven’t followed their lead to do the same.

In a black eye to the sport, the WBC has permitted Jermell’s twin, Jermall, to hold onto his middleweight title without defending it for 2 1/2 years.

Jermall defended his WBC 160-lb belt 27 months ago in a voluntary defense in June 2021 against Juan Macias Montiel. You can argue that sanctioning bodies that fail to force champions to defend against challengers on an annual basis should be kicked out of the sport because they’re useless.

While that’s good for Jermell that he’s gotten a load of drought that will make his retirement years golden, it’s done nothing for contenders waiting for a title shot at his three remaining 154-lb belts, and it certainly hasn’t helped the three sanctioning bodies that have failed to strip him.

They’ll never see Jermell Charlo in the ring. As bad as Jermell performed in his last fight, it doesn’t look like he has any intentions of fighting again,” said Porter.

Jermell will fight again, but he says he wants lucrative matches, and he wants Terence Crawford. If Jermell can’t get that fight, he probably won’t return to the ring because he wants big money, and there’s no one else that can give him the same that at 154.

Tim Tszyu isn’t popular enough in the U.S. for Jermell to make the kind of money he would against Crawford. 35-year-old former welterweight champion Keith Thurman has been too inactive for the last years to maintain his popularity, so he wouldn’t be worth it for Jermell to fight because he won’t make a boatload of cash.

If Jermell stays at 168, he could get a big payday fighting the David Benavidez vs. Demetrius Andrade winner, but it wouldn’t be the kind of money he’d get fighting Crawford.

It appears that Jermell has become spoiled after the massive paycheck he got for the fight with Canelo and doesn’t want to get just a few million. He wants to make a killing, and there’s no one that can give him that other than Crawford.

It’s too bad Jermell looked so poor against Canelo because if he had at least fought hard and gone out on his shield, Crawford would have been willing to fight him.

It’s pretty obvious at this point that Jermell will not be returning to the ring to face tonight’s Tszyu vs. Brian Mendoza winner because he already said it’s not “satisfying” for him to fight either.

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