By Sean Jones: Jermell Charlo has been ordered by the IBF to begin negotiations to defend his title with their organization against his mandatory Bakhram Murtazaliev.
(Photo credit: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions)
It’s quite possible that Jermell will vacate his IBF title rather than take this risky fight against Murtazaliev because he said after his loss to Canelo Alvarez last month on September 30th that he only wants the bigger fights for the remainder of his career.
If Jermell vacates his IBF title, that would leave him with just two belts, the WBA & WBC, which he’ll use to try and lure Terence Crawford to fight him.
Jermell said he wanted to return to 154 to fight Crawford, which may not happen. Also, Jermell stated that he wasn’t interested in fighting the winner of the Tim Tszyu vs. Brian Mendoza fight to try and recapture his WBO 154-lb belt that was stripped from him.
According to Dan Rafael, the recently beaten Jermell (35-2-1, 19 KOs) has until November 9th to negotiate a deal with #1 IBF Murtazaliev (21-0, 15 KOs) before a purse bid is ordered.
Murtazaliev has already accepted “multiple step-aside deals in the past for his overdue title shot against Jermell, but this time, he may not accept one if it is offered to him.
BREAKING: IBF ordered junior middleweight champion @TwinCharlo to next make a long overdue IBF mandatory defense vs. unbeaten Bakhram Murtazaliev, who has already taken multiple step-aside deals. They have until Nov. 9 to make a deal or a purse bid will be scheduled. #boxing
— Dan Rafael (@DanRafael1) October 10, 2023
“One thing that was surprising is I didn’t know he knew how to survive,” said Shawn Porter on his channel, talking about Jermell Charlo fighting purely to survive in his loss to Canelo Alvarez on September 30th.
There is a rotation system for unified champions. Canelo’s IBF mandatory is not yet due. Charlo’s is long overdue. https://t.co/B7wGVK83cY
— Dan Rafael (@DanRafael1) October 10, 2023
“I didn’t think he knew how to move like that, and he moved better than I thought he could move. But you survived. You didn’t try to fight; you didn’t try to punch. I said [before the Canelo-Charlo contest], ‘Has he ever stepped up and went in a fight and took it?.’
“I said, he’s [Jermell] never gone that. He got a draw against Castano. You’re supposed to step up as a world champion that you’ve been so long. Step up, separate yourself, and win that fight. You don’t get a rematch.
“The first fight against Tony Harrison. Whether you thought he won or lost, guess what? He didn’t separate himself. He didn’t step up and go get it and prove that he was the guy. He lost the first one [against Harrison] and comes back. If that punch does not land, he does not step up.
“He was losing the rematch, and if he wasn’t losing the rematch, it was close. It was a better performance, but it was close. He didn’t step up until he landed a punch. If he doesn’t land a punch, does he step up? How do you answer that question? With that fight right there,” Porter said about Jermell losing and struggling in his December 2019 rematch with Harrison until stopping him in the eleventh round.
“He landed the punch against Castano and finished it, but he didn’t land a punch against Canelo. So, he never stepped up. He didn’t want it. In a lot of ways, you can say he was defeated when he signed the contract,” said Shawn about Jermell never having a chance against Canelo. It looked like it [Jermell getting $10 million for the Canelo fight].
“He didn’t get stopped, but you showed us who you are. You’re not going to step up. That ‘Lions Only’ that you’re talking about. You’re not going to do that unless something lands and you see it.
“You have no ability to just, ‘Let me dog it out and find something. Let me dog it out and do something. Go out on my shield.’ Now, guess what? ‘Now, I’m Mr. Irrelevant because I lost to somebody and the way I showed myself losing. I’m Mr. Irrelevant.
“‘So, to become relevant, what do I do? I say Terence Crawford’s name because nobody is going to care about me.’ Nobody is going to write about it [Jermell vs. Crawford] based on how you looked [in your loss to Canelo].
“It’s up to Terence, and he already said it. It’s up to Terence to say, ‘Yeah, I’ll take that fight [with Jermell],’ and then we’re going to start talking about it. If Terence just says what he just said, it’s done. It wasn’t tested,” said Shawn about Canelo’s stamina not being tested by Jermell because he was fighting so defensively. His stamina was not challenged.”