LAS VEGAS – Jermell Charlo was wary of engaging with Canelo Alvarez on Saturday night primarily because he felt the difference in weight between them almost immediately.
Charlo would’ve preferred to add at least five more pounds from the time he weighed in at a career-high 167.4 pounds Friday morning until he stepped into the ring for their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event Saturday night. Charlo revealed that he weighed 172 pounds Saturday morning, but the IBF/WBA/WBC 154-pound champion sensed Alvarez outweighed him by a significant amount in the ring.
“Canelo’s a motherf------- beast,” Charlo said in a complimentary way during his post-fight press conference. “He a ox. You know, maybe I felt that more because of the fact that I, you know, this was my first time at that weight division. I wish I coulda gained a little bit more weight in between the, you know, from the weigh-in to that time [to fight]. But I can’t control my body and I can’t – God has this already written. And, you know, I’m glad that I was in there to put on a performance for Showtime Pay-Per-View.”
The 33-year-old Charlo’s performance wasn’t nearly enough to dethrone boxing’s undisputed super middleweight champion in his debut at the 168-pound limit. The Houston native won only one round on judge Steve Weisfeld’s scorecard (119-108) and two rounds apiece according to judges Max De Luca (118-109) and David Sutherland (118-109).
Charlo (35-2-1, 19 KOs) fought almost entirely off his back foot and landed just 71-of-398 punches overall, six per round, according to CompuBox’s unofficial statistics. He expressed regret following the first decisive defeat of his 15-year pro career that he wasn’t more aggressive against Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs), who regularly went to Charlo’s body and even out-jabbed his taller, longer opponent.
“I feel like you can’t just charge in with a fighter,” Charlo explained. “You know, his power did play an effect, but it wasn’t like too dominant, to a point where I couldn’t come forward. And I should’ve came forward a little bit more in this fight. But, you know, I’m human and just tried lateral movement. And, you know, like I said, I felt some of his punches. So, it’s cool.”
Alvarez’s flush right hand to the side of Charlo’s head caused Charlo to take a knee about a minute into the seventh round. Charlo went down for just the second time in 38 professional fights, but he recovered relatively quickly and finished their 12-round fight for Alvarez’s IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO super middleweight titles on his feet.
“I was good, you know?,” Charlo said. “I get back up. That’s what we do. You get back up and continue to fight.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.