Well before Jermell Charlo (34-1, 18 KOs) had any of the fame, notoriety or world titles, he told every and anyone that would listen that he was the best in the Jr middleweight division.
Fast forward to today, and he no longer has to explain those thoughts to anyone. It’s become clear.
Jermell sat in the back of the room. He knew that his bout, which headlined his first Showtime Pay-Per-View would be last. The Houston native relaxed in the locker room and watched his twin brother and WBC Middleweight titlist in Jermall Charlo, make it look easy against Sergey Derevyanchenko.
There was immense pressure on his shoulders, but after eight rounds of boxing, that pressure on his aforementioned shoulders was replaced with gold.
Jermell stepped into his unification contest against Jeison Rosario (20-2-1, 14 KOs) as a heavy favorite. 5-1 to be exact.
Yet, it didn’t exactly feel like that.
Rosario was fresh off a knockout win over former champion Julian Williams and seemed as confident as ever. His skill wasn’t highly touted, but his power seemed to be enough to crack the granite chin of Jermell.
Things kicked off as your typical feel out opening round. Nothing of note landed just yet as both fighters were just getting their feet wet. Then, out of nowhere, Jermell sent his man to the deck. It didn’t seem to be anything serious, but it was a 10-8 round nonetheless for Jermell.
From there, Rosario kicked his aggression into overdrive. He pressed forward, pinned Jermell against the ropes and ripped away at the body. None seemed to affect him, but the momentum was heading in Rosario’s direction.
Much of the contest happened the way Dominican Republic naive was hoping. Essentially, he was bullying the bully. He seemed to take the rest of Jermell’s shots well and kept pressing ahead. But just when he thought he was in the clear, he found himself flat on his back at the end of round five. This time, he was hurt. He did manage to beat the count, but he stumbled to his corner.
Still, to begin the sixth round, Rosario was ubiquitous as Jermell had nowhere to go. With two knockdowns already under his belt, the Houston native just remained calm. The rounds began to tick by and choosing a winner was getting increasingly difficult.
To start the eighth round, Jermell landed a simple combination. Two jabs upstairs, followed by a jab to the body. To a certain extent, it’s a mundane combination that all boxers do in the ring. Yet, when Jermell finished with his shot to the body, Rosario fell to the ground and began convulsing.
He struggled to grab his breath and struggled, even more, to make it to his feet as referee Harvey Dock initiated his count. Rosario managed to barely make it to his knees before falling back down in agony.
As no surprise, Jermell was smiling from ear to ear. But it seemed as though his twin brother in Jermall was even more jubilant as he hugged him in the ring.
The post-fight interview was a long one with Brian Custer. But Jermell made sure he got one more thing off his chest as he stared into the camera.
“Leave me alone. I’m the best in the 154 pound division.
Final Grade For Jermell Charlo: A
It’s easy to pick apart someone’s performance after everything is set and done. Sure Jermell could have thrown more punches and stood his ground. But the end result was spectacular.
More than anything, the pressure he must have been feeling was immense. We all remember the last time both Charlo twins were on the same card. Jermall took home a victory, while his twin sulked in a controversial defeat.
With the weight of his first Showtime Pay-Per-View card, along with the pressure of fighting for four world titles on the night, Jermell made things look like a walk in the park.
Now he finds himself in the number one spot at 154. A spot he believes he’s always been in, but the world now agrees.