By Sean Jones: Jermall Charlo (28-0, 21 KOs) is convinced that WBC middleweight champion Saul Canelo Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 KOs) and former middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) are now going to want to fight him after the problems he had in his fight against 2008 Olympian Matt Korobov (28-2, 14 KOs) last Saturday night in their clash on Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Charlo, who holds the interim World Boxing Council middleweight title, scraped by with a close and many feel controversial decision over the 35-year-old Korobov. Charlo wasn’t supposed to have problems with Korobov, who was a replacement opponent to take the place of his originally scheduled opponent Willie Monroe Jr.
Although the judges scored it wide for Charlo by the scores 116-112, 119-108 and 116-112, he looked like the loser in every sense of the word. Even Charlo’s face had the appearance of the loser of the contest, given that it was badly swollen on both sides of his cheeks, and his eyes were bruised. Charlo’s performance has many boxing fans now saying that he wouldn’t stand a chance against GGG or Canelo Alvarez. Charlo is the WBC mandatory for Canelo, although the sanctioning body isn’t ready to order the Canelo-Charlo fight. The WBC wants Golovkin to face Charlo for some reason in a final eliminator. It’s an odd move by the WBC, as Charlo is already the mandatory for Canelo after beating Jorge Sebastian Heiland last year. Charlo doesn’t mind facing Golovkin to get the fight with Canelo. But it remains to be seen whether GGG will bother giving the WBC what they want by fighting Canelo’s mandatory for him in what appears to be a needless second title eliminator.
“He was awkward. He didn’t want to fight,” Jermall Charlo said about Korobov to Fighthub. “He was definitely awkward. He wasn’t hurting me. I’ve got a chin. I’m a fighter. I wasn’t hurt at all, bro. He was strong, but he wasn’t hurting me,” said Charlo, who looked lumped up around both sides of his face, as well as his eyes from the hard punches from Korobov.
Korobov never hurt Charlo to the point where he was stunned by any of his shots, but the punches still had to hurt. Charlo didn’t look unmarked after the fight. This was no walk in the park for Charlo, even though he maintains that he wasn’t hurt. Korobov was countering Charlo all night long with left hands. If Korobov was capable of throwing combinations like Canelo or if he had punching power like Triple G, Charlo would have likely been knocked out.
“[I took the fight on] One week’s notice. I didn’t even watch no film,” Charlo said proudly afterwards. I didn’t even watch a lick of film, bro. I didn’t watch video of this dude. I went in there and fought. I made the adjustments. I needed to win the fight, and I landed 56 jabs,” Charlo said.
Charlo seemed to be beaming with pride in telling the boxing media that he hadn’t watched film of Korobov in preparing for him. Charlo’s confession of not having studied film of Korobov’s past performances can be interpreted as laziness or carelessness on his part. If Charlo were about to take a driver’s test at the DMZ, would he not study to get ready for it? Charlo revealing that he didn’t even watch tape makes you wonder whether he’s got the work ethic to be the best. If you want to be the best in your weight class, you’ve to study your opponent to find out weaknesses. Instead of doing that, Charlo left it to chance, and just went out there and slugged with Korobov. As the results showed, Charlo looked completely unprepared and lost, and looked worse than his twin brother former WBC junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo did in his loss to Tony Harrison in the co-feature bout on the Charlo-Korobov card last Saturday night on FOX. Jermell was given a loss. Jermall got lucky in getting a decision win over Korobov with a different set of judges that worked his brother Jermell’s fight with Harrison.
“Now they’re going to want to fight me. Now they’re going to think I’m vulnerable or something,” Charlo said about Saul Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. “I’m not a chump. I fought him 12 rounds. I didn’t know anything about him. I never watched a lick of film. I just went in there and fought. I ran into a dude that was as tough as hell. We going back to Houston [Texas] with a ‘W’ and my belt,” Charlo said.
Charlo could be wrong in thinking that Canelo and GGG are now going to want to fight him after his lackluster effort against Korobov. Golovkin won’t want to fight Charlo because he doesn’t need to fight him to get a third fight with Canelo. That’s the fight that GGG wants, and he’s not likely going to pay too much attention to the WBC ordering him to earn a third fight with Alvarez by going through Jermall to get it. For GGG, it’s likely going to rub him the wrong way being ordered to face Canelo’s mandatory for him instead of him taking the fight himself. Golovkin believes that he was robbed twice by the judges in his two fights with Canelo in Las Vegas, Nevada. The WBC ordering Golovkin to now fight Canelo’s mandatory challenger in Charlo is going to be like rubbing salt in the Kazakhstan fighter’s wounds.
Golovkin would be validating the judges’ decisions in his two fights with Canelo if he now agreed to fight Charlo in a WBC mandated final eliminator. It’s likely that the WBC aren’t seeing it the way that Golovkin is. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be ordering him to fight Charlo. For his part, Canelo won’t bother fighting Charlo, because he’s with a different network than him in fighting on Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and SHOWTIME. Further, Charlo’s star has taken a hit after his controversial win over Korobov, and he would be coming into the fight with Canelo a tainted fighter.
There would be little upside for Canelo to be fighting a guy that was given a gift decision over Korobov. Above that, Charlo’s lack of huge popularity makes him a poor choice for Canelo right now. When/if Charlo does pick up a big fan base in the U.S, then it’ll be worth it for Canelo to fight him. But until then, he’s likely going to be ignored by the Mexican star. The WBC can order Canelo to fight Charlo, but that could end badly for the sanctioning body with him vacating their belt. That happened before with Canelo vacating after being ordered to fight GGG before he was ready to in 2016. WBC likely won’t want to chance that happening again, which is probably why they’re looking to get Golovkin to take care of Canelo’s mandatory for him by ordering him to fight Charlo. It’s a clever move on the WBC’s part, but it likely won’t work. GGG won’t take the bait, and the WBC will have to find another contender in their top 15 that is willing to fight Charlo.
“I’m still the mandatory [for WBC middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez],” Charlo said about Canelo.
The way the WBC is dealing with Charlo by looking to make him fight a second eliminator to get his mandated title shot looks bad. You can argue that this would be Charlo’s third eliminator with the WBC. The first eliminator for Charlo was his fight against Jorge Sebastian Heiland in 2017. The second eliminator was when the WBC had Charlo fight Hugo Centeno Jr. last April for the interim WBC middleweight title. That officially wasn’t a title eliminator with the WBC, but it Charlo had lost to Centeno, then he would no longer be the mandatory for their WBC 160 pound title. The fight was pretty much another eliminator for Charlo. Now the WBC wants Charlo to fight in a third eliminator against GGG. It looks bad, and you’ve got to feel a little sorry for Charlo that he’s having to jump through so many hoops just to get the title shot that he already earned a year ago in beating Heiland.
“I’m going to fight him,” Charlo said when asked if he wants to fight former IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) next. “I’m going to fight him, bro. I don’t know when, but we going to fight,” Charlo said.
Charlo might not ever get a fight against Golovkin. The reason for that is Golovkin only wants Canelo right now. If he doesn’t get that fight, then he’s likely going to fight a world champion, not an interim belt holder like Charlo. Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez said recently that WBA ‘regular’ middleweight champion Rob Brant is a guy that he could fight in the first quarter of 2019. Beating Brant would make Golovkin a champion once again, and that’s pretty important. Matchroom Boxing USA promoter Eddie Hearn would like for Golovkin to fight his two champions IBF belt holder Daniel Jacobs or WBO champion Demetrius Andrade. Those are options as well for GGG if he can’t get the trilogy fight against Canelo that he’s looking for.