Saturday night at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the Erislandy Lara vs. Vanes Martirosyan card featured five of the top 10 Junior Middleweight fighters in a world title triple header.
The second fight of the night showcased Jermall Charlo (24-0 18 KOs) defending his IBF world title against the experienced ex-champ Austin “No Doubt” Trout (30-3, 17 KOs). Jermall is the twin brother of Jermell, who won the vacant WBC title by stopping John Jackson in the first fight of the triple header.
Though Charlo seemed to be the fresher fighter going in, that was no reason to count Trout out. Trout had the experience edge, having fought a lot of well-known world class fighters.
His only two losses were from Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Erislandy Lara, after upsetting Miguel Cotto in 2012. Trout was expected to be Charlo’s stiffest competition to date and he proved to be just that.
There was a lot on the line for both men, with Charlo looking to keep his undefeated record and IBF title in hopes that both he and his brother would take belts back to their hometown of Houston, Texas.
While Charlo might have had more to lose, No Doubt was out to prove that he wasn’t ready to be a stepping-stone contender and that he was back better than ever under the tutelage of Barry Hunter.
Very few people get a once in a lifetime chance you can’t be–I’ve had the pleasure of having two chances. I’m definitely not going to let this pass me by. I’m very excited to pull this fight. It’s a good fight for everybody. A good fight for me, a good fight for Jermall and a good fight for the fans. You know, everybody is going to win at the end of the day, but I have to have my hand raised when the night’s over. –Austin Trout
As the fight got under way, each man seemed to be getting a feel for the other in the first round. With Trout being a southpaw, their feet did get tangled late in the first round and Charlo was able to catch himself as Trout stumbled to the canvas—though it was ruled a slip.
Charlo came out more aggressive in Round 2, landing clean head shots as Trout let his right hand hang. Trout used his footwork and jab effectively though, trying to keep Charlo at bay.
In Round 4, Trout looked as if he was trying to work the body of Charlo, while Charlo kept on head hunting. The exchanges began as the fighters began working at a close distance. Both fighters used their ring IQ—neither jumping in or making themselves too vulnerable.
Charlo continued pressuring Trout, but Trout worked the ring trying to avoid getting caught up against the ropes. Both fighters landed combinations in Round 5, though it seemed at this point in the fight that Charlo began landing more often with cleaner punches.
Round 7 was an impressive round for both fighters as both men took some big shots. Charlo’s continuous pressure and his aggression looked to be flustering No Doubt with Charlo landing a straight right that stunned Trout momentarily in the eighth round.
Photo by Stephanie Trapp/Mayweather Promotions
Trout looked a lot better in Round 9, being the first to throw in exchanges. With all the action in the previous rounds, Round 10 seemed to be a slower round for both fighters with neither man able to land anything of note.
Trout looked impressive in the 11th round, boxing light on his feet and throwing quick combinations. Both fighters seemed to play it safe in the 12th and final round, seeming to be comfortable with the fight going to the judges scorecards.
Judge John McKaie scored the bout 115-113, while Glenn Feldman and Burt Clements scored it 116-112, all for Charlo who improved his record to 24-0, 18 KOs.
After the fight, both men were humble and praised the other. “It wasn’t a struggle, it was an experience,” said Charlo. “I want to thank god for allowing me and my twin brother to see this day. History.
“Austin is a hell of a fighter. He’s a beast. It was a great experience,” continued Charlo. “This was my first time going 12, but it didn’t matter because I knew I was in shape.”
Classy as always, Trout was respectful in his defeat, though he thought he had won the fight. “Hat’s off to Jermall Charlo. He fought a hell of a fight. I felt like I did enough to win. They won’t give me a close decision, so it’s time to start taking these cats out,” said Trout. “But I can’t make excuses. I fought my ass off, Charlo fought his ass off, and hats off to him.”
“I’m going to live to fight another day” stated Trout. “You’re going to see me back. We’re warriors out here. Defend that belt. Smack J-Rock for me.”
So what is next for Jermall Charlo? Will he face his mandatory challenger, Julian “J Rock” Williams?
J-Rock seems excited about the opportunity and when asked before the fight who he’d rather face he made it clear that Charlo is at the top of his list.
“Jermall Charlo is an undefeated champion. I’m undefeated. That’s what boxing is all about–two young, hungry champions going at it in their primes. So, I am interested in fighting Jermall Charlo.”
Only time will tell, but with the animosity growing between the two — it would be a great fight for boxing fans.
— RoundByRoundBoxing (@RBRBoxing) May 22, 2016
Boise State Alum 🐴💙 Las Vegas 🎲 Staff Writer for Round by Round Boxing. @rbrboxing Snapchat: ShelbiKeyes