Jermall Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) says he expects the highly motivated go-getter Jose Benavidez (28-2-1, 19 KOs) to make it a fight with him on Saturday night as they attempt to steal the show from the main event clash between David Benavidez & Demetrius Andrade at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas.
For the 31-year-old Benavidez Jr., this is likely the Super Bowl for him because he’s never fought this fight is coming late in his career against one of the best talents in the 160-lb division in Jermall, and he will not get another opportunity like this again if he doesn’t capitalize on it.
It doesn’t get better than this fight with Benavidez Jr. because he’s catching the 33-year-old Jermall coming off a long two-and-a-half-year layoff, and he’s not expected to be anywhere near his best for this fight.
Jermall could run out of gas in the championship rounds like he did in his last fight against Juan Macias Montiel in June 2021 and become suddenly vulnerable.
Early on in that contest, Jermall dished out severe punishment on Montiel, who soaked it up like a trooper, taking shots that few fighters could under similar circumstances. However, in the later rounds, Jermall had nothing left in the tank; his legs looked rubbery, and his power was gone.
Montiel then took over and had him hurt several times. If Montiel had a little more talent, he would have knocked out Charlo because he was done from the eighth round.
That said, Benavidez Jr. doesn’t possess the power or the same size as Juan Macias Montiel, so it’s going to be difficult for him to duplicate the success that he had.
Charlo expects Jose Benavidez Jr. to come to fight
“I’m back, and I will defend my [WBC middleweight] title against whoever they put me up against,” said Jermall Charlo to Brian Custer’s YouTube site. “This fight against Jose Benavidez could have been the main event card, but Showtime put them on together.”
Jermall is right about his fight with Benavidez Jr. being good enough to be the headliner in this fight, and that’s not a knock on the Benavidez-Andrade contest.
It would be the main event if Jermall faced a bigger name, like Caleb Plant, Jaime Munguia, Edgar Berlanga, or Dmitry Bivol. Benavidez Jr. has been the B-side opponent for Terence Crawford & Danny Garcia.
On paper, Jermall vs. Benavidez Jr. has the making of a war, and it’s likely going to be a more interesting fight than the headliner, which could involve a lot of movement by the slick southpaw Andrade. He knows he can’t stand in front of the much bigger & stronger David Benavidez because that would be asking for trouble.
“We’re going to give the fans what they want to see,” said Jermall about his clash with Benavidez Jr. “This guy is going to come to fight. He’s not trying to lose. He’s been through a lot himself. I’ve been through a lot myself.
“We’ve both been off for a while. He took some losses in between. Hey, I took some losses, too, but it just wasn’t in the ring. We get a chance to put up or shut up, and I’m going to give you the best Jermall Charlo up to date.”
Jermall targeting Caleb Plant fight
“I’m laughing about it. If he felt some type of way about it, we could have handled it right then and there. We could have handled it right then and there,” said Jermall about Caleb Plant slapping him after he reportedly pulled on his beard.
“You can walk up to anybody and just smack them and run off, hop in your car and run off. He knew what time it was at that time,” Jermall said about Plant. “It’s cool. We don’t have to talk about it, but we can get it the right way, though. I’ll easily fight him, easily. Trash,” said Jermall.
You could see how upset Jermall is still about being slapped in the face by Plant. Before Brian Custer mentioned him, Jermall looked half asleep during the interview. But once the subject of Plant came up, Jermall woke up entirely and was like his old self, mentally engaged, angry, and very much like his twin brother, Jermell, in terms of his snarling, go-for-the-throat demeanor.
“It’s cool, though. Shout out to him. A little pussy move. It is what it is,” said Jermall about being slapped by Plant. “I’m in a better space. There’s a lot of things that I had to let go of, just get better and keep moving forward.
“So I’m not going to entertain the fact that he won’t ever come to any boxing event around me. He won’t. So now you got to be on watch. You got to be scared. He probably didn’t even go to his own boxing gym for a month or two because there’s probably people in his city that want to whoop him,” said Jermall.
Depending on where PBC lands with their following network after Showtime closes down boxing, we might see a fight between Jermall & Plant.
They need to make this fight happen while Jermall & the former IBF super middleweight champion ‘Sweethands’ Plant are still relevant because both are getting older, and neither has much time left in their careers.
It would be a good idea for PBC to put that fight together because the last thing they need is another network to give up on boxing.
It’s in their best interest to put fighters like feet to the fire, insisting that they take competitive fights that the fans won’t see, rather than letting fights marinate for six years in the Mayweather-esque manner, waiting & hoping they’ll make more money.
“It’s cool, though. When I see him, it’s on the popping, and he won’t run into me. He’ll avoid me at all costs.”
Brian Custer: “He [Caleb Plant] told us on the ‘Last Stand’ his next fight, he wants at 168, he wants Jermall Charlo. What’s your response to that?”
Jermall Charlo: “He doesn’t call no shots. He doesn’t call shots in his own camp,” said Jermall Charlo about Plant. “He don’t call no shots, but if it makes sense, we’ll get him. We’re going to end it the right way. All bad blood. We’ll see what he’s on.
“We’ll see all that cool boy talk s***. We’ll see what he’s on. All bad blood. He knows what’s up. Him, Jordy [Jordan Plant], his whole family, his mommy, his daddy, everybody in his camp, everybody that trains him, everybody.
“They know it’s not going to be one of those fights where there’s press conferences and a weigh-in. We’re probably going to do a virtual. It’s going to be like that. It’s going to be up. It’s one of those fights that it’s up. He knows what’s up. We’ll talk.
“I’m not going to get into all that, but Jermall Charlo, he back, and I’m proud of myself for making it this far. None of those boys can touch me, man, really like that, but it’s cool.
“A random person can walk up right now while we having this interview and smack you. It ain’t nothing you can do about it. He’s [Plant] going to pay the consequences when it’s time.”