No. 1 contender and current WBC interim titlist Jermall Charlo (28-0, 21 KOs) scored a unanimous-decision victory Saturday night over Matt Korobov (28-2, 14 KOs).
Two judges scored the bout 116-112, while one judge had it fairly wide 119-108. In the what was perceived to be an easy nights work for Charlo, it turned out to be anything but that.
Korobov, who came in as a late replacement for Willie Monroe Jr., gave Charlo everything he could handle.
The size difference between the two was noticeable, but the skill was comparable.
The match started with Korobov landing shots on Charlo that has seldom been done by anyone. Often times, Charlo would shake his head and acknowledge Korobov for the shots he was landing. Defensively, Korobov was on his game as well.
Charlo had a hard time finding the target. However, when Charlo did connect–to the surprise of many–Korobov was able to take the powerful blows and not seem visibly distraught.
In the 12th however, Charlo seemed moments away from ending the contest. A series of hard shots from the interim WBC champion landed on the chin of Korobov which placed him on unsteady legs.
Charlo followed those shots up with a flurry of hard punches which all landed on the chin of Korobov. To the challengers credit he managed to weather the storm, but could not get the decision.
Although Charlo won, he did not look as impressive as he had in the past. Sure, Korobov is a tough-and-skilled competitor but something seemed off and understandably so.
In the co-main event Jermall’s twin brother and now former WBC Jr. Middleweight champion Jermell Charlo suffered his first defeat at the hands of Tony Harrison.
Jermall admitted to having his mind on his brother during the vast majority of his own fight.
“I thought about it after every round,” said Charlo referencing the loss his twin brother Jermell had just before his fight. “There was a lot on my mind in the ring.”
Despite the noise and distractions, Charlo managed to come out victorious against Korobov.
He was far from his usual explosive self. However, a win is a win. Look for Jermall Charlo to line up bigger fights in 2019.