LAS VEGAS – Jermell Charlo moved up to 168 pounds for an opportunity to enhance his legacy and money, not out of necessity. (photo by Ryan Hafey)
Even at 33 years old, Charlo can still comfortably compete within the division in and around where he has made his living for almost all of his 15-year professional career. He announced after his one-sided points loss to Canelo Alvarez on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena that he’ll definitely return to the 154-pound division for his next fight, perhaps against the winner of the upcoming Tim Tszyu-Brian Mendoza bout.
“I’m going back to down to 154,” Charlo said during his post-fight press conference late Saturday night. “So, that’s gonna be major. I can do it. Yeah, I can make the weight easy.”
Prior to his fight with Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs), Charlo had not weighed in at more than 155¾ pounds for any of his professional fights. He officially weighed a career-high 167.4 pounds Friday morning, yet he admitted that he was “a tad bit” sluggish while fighting Alvarez at a much higher weight than he is accustomed.
The 6-foot Charlo stands four inches taller than Alvarez, but Alvarez’s heavy hands and comfort competing in the super middleweight division rendered Charlo reluctant to engage with the undisputed 168-pound champion for most of their 12-round fight. Alvarez’s right hand made Charlo take a knee early in the seventh round, which helped him beat Charlo by wide distances on the scorecards of judges Max De Luca (118-109), David Sutherland (118-109) and Steve Weisfeld (119-108).
Charlo can nevertheless move back down two weight classes and defend his IBF, WBA and WBC 154-pound championships in his next fight.
The Houston native entered the ring as boxing’s undisputed 154-pound champion, but the WBO stripped him thereafter and elevated Tszyu from interim junior middleweight champion to full champion. Australia’s Tszyu (23-0, 17 KOs) will defend that title against WBC interim super welterweight champ Brian Mendoza (22-2, 16 KOs) on October 15 at Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in Broadbeach, Australia.
Attempting to re-establish his status as undisputed champion would make perfect sense for Charlo’s return to the ring.
“I just follow the plans and fight whoever,” Charlo said. “Obviously, we can see [that]. It’s about being great and being a legend in boxing. Hopefully, y’all put me in the Hall of Fame. I don’t know who controls that, but I deserve it. And possibly I’ll come back at 154. I’ll just, you know, listen to my coaches and if Tim Tszyu next, then I’m on it.”
Sydney’s Tszyu is listed by DraftKings sportsbook as more than a 7-1 favorite to beat Mendoza, who upset Sebastian Fundora (20-1-1, 13 KOs) by seventh-round knockout in his last fight.
When asked if becoming undisputed 154-pound champion again is important to him, Charlo replied, “Of course, you know, but, you know, it’s about, you know, fighting the best fights and making the most money at this point in my life and career. So, fighting, you know, Brian Mendoza, Tszyu, you know, who got an Australian fan base, you know, it’s just not as satisfying to me sometimes. But like I said, I listen to my coaches, follow the plans of my management, and go from there.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.