On Saturday, December 10 from Los Angeles, and live on Showtime, Jermall “Hitman” Charlo (25-0, 19 KOs) defeated Philadelphia’s Julian “J-Rock” Williams (22-1-1, 14 KOs) in convincing fashion with a devastating uppercut in the fifth round of their bout to retain his IBF Junior Middleweight crown.
The Junior Middleweight division is one of the most exciting division’s in all of boxing. It is stacked from top to bottom with numerous champions, all with exciting styles.
But what really makes the division so electrifying is the vast contenders and prospects that are lined up and on the brink of becoming champions themselves.
Trust me when I tell you; the 154-pound division is stacked!
The Junior Middleweight division is exciting and it is competitive, but it also lacks one very important thing; a unified champion. Most of the major title belts within the division are held by various fighters. So the question remains; who is the kingpin of the Junior Middleweight division?
Charlo spoke with Showtime’s Jim Gray inside the ring after his victory and explained that we would like to prove he is the top fighter in the division.
“I want to unify, the WBO with Canelo [Alvarez], the WBC or WBA. Where are you [Canelo]? I want to prove I’m the best Junior Middleweight in the world,” said Charlo. “None of them are on my level. I’ve worked very hard throughout my career. I haven’t been given anything.”
Charlo has now proven himself and a fight with Canelo could certainly be a large attraction. Both Charlo and Canelo have made a name for themselves by consistently winning their fights with highlight-reel knockouts.
Another key factor in a Charlo vs. Canelo fight is that Charlo hails from Houston, Texas. Canelo is from Mexico and connects largely to the Mexican-American fan base, which has provided him with a large following in Texas.
“Texas loves Canelo, and Canelo loves Texas so it was a no-brainer to have this fight at AT&T Stadium,” said De La Hoya.
A world title unification fight between Canelo Alvarez and Jermall Charlo held at AT&T Stadium in Texas would be a super fight with huge amount of revenue generated.
Unfortunately, for fans and fighters, the behind the scenes side of boxing is rather complicated. First off, this fight would require Canelo’s promoter and Charlo’s promoter to agree on the fight (the two companies do not regularly work together). Secondly, an arrangement would need to be made on which pay-per-view network would air the fight, as both fighters are aired on rival networks.
A Texas fight between Canelo and Charlo makes sense, and also dollars, so it could happen, but it also could not happen due to a lot of red tape.
A fight that more realistically could be made next for Charlo is a fight with the highly skilled, Demetrius “Boo-Boo” Andrade (23-0, 16 KOs). Andrade and Charlo both fight on Showtime and have been on the cusp of fighting each other for years, but Andrade has been the victim of very long stretches of inactivity due to managerial issues.
Andrade’s inactivity has ended, as he returned to the ring this year, and he is now ready to face Charlo. Andrade, ranked No. 4 in the division, made the trip to Los Angeles to sit ringside and even made sure to crash the post-fight press conference.
At the press conference Andrade got on the microphone and called out Charlo–the two bantered back and forth until the microphone had to be removed from Andrade.
“You did what you have to do, I respect everyone that steps in the ring and I’m not coming here being disrespectful. What I have to say is; when do you think we can make it happen?” said Andrade.
Charlo responded by saying, “Soon… I mean as soon as your team, you guys get your stuff together; I am not a matchmaker bro. When it comes time, and it’s time to fight, I’m not dodging anybody,” said a confident Charlo.
While Andrade seems a likely possibility for Charlo to fight next, the truth is the division is vast for possible opponents. The Junior Middleweight division is one of the most exciting division’s in all of boxing and Charlo has many contenders that are looking to knock him off this thrown.
All photos by Stephanie Trapp/Showtime