Jermall Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs) was slated to take on two-time title challenger Willie Monroe Jr. (23-3, 6 KOs) with his No. 1 WBC mandatory spot on the line.
The contest was scheduled to take place on December 22 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Unfortunately for everyone involved there seems to have been a change of plans.
According to the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) there were adverse findings in the urine sample provided by Monroe. Although Monroe hasn’t been officially taken off the billing the belief is that he will be removed as of Monday when the WBC is scheduled to make their decision.
The discovery of this news is gut wrenching considering that not only is the bout less than one week away, but Jermall was gracing the card with his twin brother and IBF Jr. Middleweight champion Jermell.
Fortunately for Jermall instead of completely taking him off the card, a quick replacement has been found. Matt Korobov (28-1, 14 KOs) has been chosen to take the place of Monroe.
Korobov had already been preparing to take on Juan De Angel on the undercard, but has agreed to take the fight with Jermall instead. This is great news for fans as Korobov can be viewed as the better fighter in comparison to Monroe.
Korobov was a decorated amateur and has performed extremely well as a pro. He currently boasts a win over current Super Middleweight champion Jose Uzcategui. Korobov’s one loss came at the hands of now retired fighter Andy Lee.
In that bout Korobov was boxing effectively and seemed to be on his way to a decision victory until Lee caught him with a right hook that badly stunned him. Lee then went on to unleash a series of hard shots that forced the referee to stop the contest.
Since then Korobov has gone on to win four fights in a row. He could present the young undefeated Charlo with his stiffest competition to date. Korobov will have the skills to compete with Charlo but he will need to focus on his weight. His originally scheduled bout was set to take place at 168 pounds. Meaning he will have six days to cut down to the Middleweight limit of 160 pounds.
The change in opponent seems to have no effect on Charlo as he tweeted this out.
1week away! No matter what I'll be ready for Whoever!
— Jermall Charlo (@FutureOfBoxing) December 15, 2018
Both Charlo and Korobov seem to be ready to take the ring come fight night. The news on Monroe is disappointing, but this bout coming to fruition is outstanding.
Will Charlo continue his dominance or will Korobov take full advantage of the opportunity presented to him? We’ll have our answer this Saturday live on Fox.