Jermall Charlo (33-0, 22 KOs) is happy with the way he performance defeating Jose Benavidez Jr. (28-3-1 19 KOs) by a lopsided ten round unanimous decision on Saturday night in his long-awaited ring return at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas.
Charlo looked sharp, connecting with a lot of hard power shots and looking smoothy & sharp in dominating the motivated Benavidez Jr. Jermall fought like he could have switched gears to knock Benavidez Jr but appeared to hold back.
Benavidez Jr. kept trying throughout the fight, but he was outclassed and outgunned in the talent & power department by Jermall. In the later rounds, Jermall hurt Benavidez two or three times with hard shots, but he weathered the storm to make it through to the end.
The scores were 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92.
Jermall proud of victory over Benavidez Jr.
“It felt good to come back from a long layoff. I even surprised myself, and I’m proud of myself. I’m ready for some more competition,” said Jermall Charlo at the post-fight press conference following his win over Jose Benavidez Jr. on Saturday night.
“Whatever you put in your mind and stick to it, and you’ll prevail,” said Jermall when asked how he could come back and not show any signs of ring rust. “I was rusty. You couldn’t tell. I just masked it by being who I am, and I got the job done.
“I’m proud of my performance that we got the victory. I’m proud that I didn’t let all the bickering get to me. I felt good in that camp, I felt good the whole time. I did misjudge the weigh-in.
“I’ve never missed weight out of the 32 fights that I had before this fight. I never ever came close to missing weight. I’ve always been professional, and my team is professional. I’ll take that for my team.
“I had press conferences, I had a lot of things going on. There’s no excuse. It wasn’t a title defense and I didn’t overlook Benavidez Jr. He came to fight, and he was professional about making weight.
“Two years off, and my body was like, ‘We’re going to stay right here.’ We only had 30 minutes to lose a couple of pounds. I was like, pay my fine.
“Everything I’ve been through. I couldn’t let y’all down. My fans, my peers, everyone that is looking forward for me to be the best. I couldn’t let y’all down. The ring rust came from the nonstop training.
“We stayed locked in and it was a matter of time. I felt good coming back. No excuses about not stopping him. We went ten rounds. I could have went five more rounds. I felt good in there. I felt good coming back.
Charlo could stay at 168
“It was a fun fight for me, but I got to take my hat off to Jose Benavidez Jr. He did awesome. He put up a fight. I couldn’t tell that he wasn’t shooken up by me at all.
“I hurt him a couple of times, and I looked at him like. I’d rather get the ten rounds tonight than knock him out. You guys haven’t seen me in a while anyways. I guess I’ll get some rounds in. Ike was telling me the whole time. ‘It’s good that you didn’t knock him out. Get the rounds in.’ So, I got the rounds in. I got it done.
“The skies are unlimited for me right now. I have a championship at 160. There’s even a vacancy at 160, which we could attack that. I’m getting right back into camp. I’m not taking no days off. So, I’ll be training Monday.
“So, I’m going to get right back on it. I’m going to give myself a little bit of time with the family. We’re going to sort it out. I’m going to speak to Mauricio [Sulaiman] and the WBC and the things that I need to do.
“68 is hot. David Benavidez just won against Demetrius. That would be a great fight,” said Jermall.