Promoter Eddie Hearn thinks that the Juan Macias Montiel fight should be a wake up call for Jermall Charlo.
The Houston-based WBC middleweight champion was last seen in the ring a few weeks ago recording a wide unanimous decision over Montiel, a Mexican journeyman. It was a more competitive fight, however, than the scorecards indicated. Montiel kept coming forward all night and, on several occasions, landed some eye-catching combinations. Indeed, Charlo was nursing a fairly swollen right eye after the fight.
For Hearn, it was another reminder of the fight that wasn’t happening: between Charlo and Hearn’s charge, WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade. The Matchroom Boxing head has long been vocal about wanting to stage a bout between the two divisional titleholders. But the two fighters, amid tireless trash talking, have never been close to agreeing on terms, in part due to the raft of network and promotional differences between them. (Hearn says Andrade is not tied to DAZN, the platform with which Hearn has a prominent output deal, and Stephen Espinoza, the head of Showtime, which showcases PBC fighters, has said the same thing about Charlo).
For Hearn, Charlo’s latest performance has turbocharged the need to make the fight. Both fighters, moreover, are getting up there in age; Charlo is 31, while Andrade is 33.
“I think they were a bit lucky with the Montiel fight, to be honest with you,” Hearn said on The DAZN Boxing Show. “Because Montiel is not an elite level fighter, and although Charlo won virtually every round, it was an OK fight, it was quite competitive. Charlo has to be careful that he doesn’t start fighting to that level because he’s a brilliant fighter.”
Although Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) fought top middleweight contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-2, 3 KOs) last September, winning a comfortable unanimous decision, the Houston native’s run at middleweight has been somewhat uninspired, due to the dearth of quality opponents that are available to him. For Hearn, the situation resembles that of welterweight titleholder Terence Crawford, who, so far during his prime at 147, has been unable to earn a landmark fight through his promoter Top Rank. The same predicament applies to Andrade (30-0, 18 KOs), as well, Hearn noted.
“When you’re Charlo, you’ve to be careful that you don’t almost become a Terence Crawford and keep taking these fights that are going to deplete your value,” continued Hearn. “He’s in his prime, Charlo, so is Demetrius, but the more they keep taking those kinds of fights, the more they’re going to miss their boat, and the more they’re going to miss their prime. So, I just hope that something can be done to make that fight.”
In no uncertain terms, Hearn believes that the inability to make the fight will be a blight on the sport.
“You have Charlo, fantastic fighter, American world champion, and Demetrius Andrade, fantastic fighter, American world champion, both middleweights. If we can’t make that fight we should just pack up,” said Hearn. “If there were two middleweights in Britain that wanted to unify, it’s quite a straightforward thing to happen. Charlo’s now saying the right things. But it’s going to take [PBC creator] Al [Haymon] or Showtime or us to make the offer and for someone to say, ‘Yes, that’s the right thing for both guys.’ I think we all agree that that is the right fight for both.”