As is often the case no matter the outcome of his fights, Jermall Charlo was met with a mixed bag of feedback regarding his latest performance.
Firmly in the group of those who weren’t impressed is longtime bitter rival David Benavidez.
The unbeaten former two-time super middleweight titlist is never at a loss for words when it comes to assessing those in and around his weight division. With that came harsh commentary of Charlo’s otherwise dominant unanimous decision victory over Mexico’s Juan Macias Montiel this past Saturday in his hometown of Houston, Texas. Charlo won by scores of 120-108, 119-109 and 118-109 to lodge the fourth defense of his WBC middleweight title since being promoted from interim to “World” champion in 2019.
The lopsided scores weren’t necessarily out of line but also weren’t indicative of the fighting heart put forth by Montiel. Charlo (32-0, 22KOs) was also criticized by those who expected the heavily-favored defending titlist to have a far easier go of things in their Showtime main event, a fight which Benavidez campaigned for only to claim to have denied the opportunity.
“That why he ain’t want to fight me for this fight,” Benavidez stated through social media immediately after the fight. “@futureofboxing, [you] know where I’m at. [L]et’s make this sh!t happen next.”
The 24-year-old Benavidez (24-0, 21KOs) has spent most of 2021 attempting to lure the unbeaten Charlo to the super middleweight division. The unbeaten boxers have instead circled one another, their rivalry limited to harsh words online and through the media.
Charlo was previously dismissive of such a fight claiming that he wasn’t “fighting nobody under 25, and I’m not fighting nobody that don’t take the COVID vaccination. If you don’t get the vaccination, I’m not fighting you. You have to get vaccinated for me to fight you. Boxing is already watered down. You want me to be watered down, broke, and sick? Hell no. Y’all got to take the vaccination.”
The 31-year-old two-division titlist had a change of heart on the subject sometime after Benavidez’s most recent win, an eleventh-round stoppage of Ronald Ellis this past March. Charlo’s next fight wasn’t yet lined up, though seemed keen on the idea of a move up in weight to face Benavidez if such plans were decided by the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) brass.
“Yeah. Let’s make that fight happen,” Charlo stated on The Last Stand Podcast with Brian Custer days after Benavidez’s Showtime-televised win over Ellis. “I’mma knock his little punk ass out. I promise that. I put that on everything I love.”
On the heels of Charlo’s latest win, the same vow is offered in return.
“I’ll stop dude, I promise,” guarantees Benavidez, who will first face former IBF super middleweight titlist Jose Uzcategui on August 28 at a venue to be determined.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox