By Robert Segal: Jermell Charlo may choose not to return to 154 to resume defending his three remaining world titles if he can’t get the high-paying fight against Terence Crawford.
At this point, it’s not fair to expect Charlo (35-2-1, 19 KOs) to continue fighting at 154 unless it’s for the match that he wants against Terence Crawford.
Jermell would have to take a pay cut if he fights top contenders like Tim Tszyu, Erickson Lubin, Jesus Ramos, and Sebastian Fundora. Those are the guys that would be waiting for Jermell if he returns to 154, and none of them would be big-money fights.
After earning a significant amount of money from his fight against Canelo, he has the option to be more selective with his opponents. He may only fight big-name opponents on his hit list.
He made a lot of money with his fight with Canelo Alvarez, and he doesn’t need to take the lesser-paying fights against the hungry fighters at 154, who haven’t established a large fanbase.
Jermell outlined his goals for the remainder of his career at the post-fight press conference after his loss to Canelo Alvarez, saying that he wants to cement his legacy, be involved in the bankable fights, and he wasn’t motivated to recapture his undisputed championship at 154.
Crawford will be busy with his rematch with Errol Spence Jr. for a while, but once that fight is behind him, he’ll give Jermell a definitive answer about whether he’ll agree to fight him.
Jermell Charlo = too rich to return to 154
“Charlo will not reign supreme at 154 because he’s not hungry anymore. That $20 million cash-out shot he had against Canelo showed already in his effort in the Canelo fight,” said Paulie Malignaggi to ProBox TV when asked if Jermell Charlo can return to the 154-lb division to continue to reign supreme as he had before his humiliating loss to Canelo Alvarez on September 30th.
Again, Jermell will return to 154 if he can get the fight against Terence Crawford, but apart from that. he probably will never return to the division. It would be wise for the IBF, WBA & WBC sanctioning bodies to contact Jermell to find out if he plans on returning to the division or not, so they can free up the belts.
“People are going say, ‘Oh, Canelo was too big, and maybe Charlo knew it, and so he just kind of floated around,’” Malignaggi continued. “But once you let your mind go to that place where you are no longer testing yourself when you’ve gone by this ‘Lion’s Only’ moniker and then fight like a kitten, that’s going to stay with you because the money you have in the bank account is something you’re going to be wanting to protect.”
JJermell tested himself against Canelo but unfortunately, he was defeated. Despite this, Jermell is expected to enjoy the rewards of his hard work, such as purchasing luxurious cars and houses, traveling, and indulging in the lifestyle of the newly rich.
It’s hard to imagine the kind of life Jermell now leads, having reportedly earned $20 million from the Canelo fight. It’s like a dream.
If Jermell were to return to the 154 weight class to fight Tim Tszyu, the bout would generate tremendous interest globally and provide substantial financial gain. Although Jermell would stand to earn millions from the fight, his goal seems to be to secure the largest possible payout, which he believes could come from a fight against Crawford.
“You’re not going to want to get hurt and then not be able to enjoy it. It’s something that is going to stay with you because as you get older, you also soften up a little bit,” said Malignaggi. “Money softens you up a little bit, and aging softens you up a little bit.
“Jermell Charlo also has a division that he’s got to go back to at 154 with some hungry fighters. Tim Tszyu is looking more and more dominant in every single fight, and it’s somebody who’s going to be hunting him down and who has a bone to pick with him because he pulled out of the fight with him earlier in the year based on the quote-unquote broken hand.”
Boxing fans are eager to see Jermell return to the 154 weight class, but they can’t fathom the possibility that he may retire, except for a lucrative match-up with Crawford.
160 likely destination for Jermell
“It’s not going to be easy for Charlo to dominate at 154. I don’t see him doing it. There are too many moving parts here going on. He just doesn’t have it,” said Malignaggi.
“No, straightaway answer is no. He’s not going to go back to 154; he’s not going to assert his dominance back there,” said Chris Algieri about Jermell. “I don’t even know if he’s going to go back to 154. He’s probably going to go to 160, which is a wide-open division.”
It’s highly improbable that Jermell will compete in the 160-pound weight category, as there aren’t any big names left in the division ever since Gennadiy Golovkin called it quits.
The only noteworthy opponent for Jermell would be Chris Eubank Jr., but the payout for a fight against him probably couldn’t match up to what a Tszyu match would offer. The only advantage Jermell would have in a match against Eubank Jr. is that he stands a good chance of winning.
“He could pick up a title there,” said Malignaggi. “Legacy-wise that would be even better for him. He’s already been undisputed. To go back down [to 154] and fight those hungry lions that are down there, I just don’t see that, and just realistically, going up two weight classes and then going back down.
“154 was never easy for him. He cut a lot of weight. He was a big 154-pounder. I really don’t see him going back there. I think he’s going to end up at 160, which, honestly, for a career move, is smart,” said Algieri.
Quiet quitting against Canelo
“Now, in reference to his [Jermell] quiet quitting in the Canelo fight, the only guy I’ve ever seen come back from a quit job is Roberto Duran,” said Algieri. “The guy [said] ‘No mas,’ and usually when a fighter quits, that’s it.”
You can’t accuse Jermell of giving up against Canelo since he was trying his hardest. Jermell’s size and strength weren’t enough to battle Alvarez in close combat.
“Whether it’s quiet quitting, full-on quitting, whatever, and Duran was a full-on, ‘No mas, I quit, and he still came back to be the man. I’ve never seen another fighter do that. I don’t think Charlo is Roberto Duran,” said Algieri.
“The reason he’s not a Roberto Duran is because Duran is a lunatic,” said Malignaggi. “Part of the reason Duran quit is because he thought Leonard wasn’t man enough to stand toe-to-toe, and he’s like, ‘I’m not dealing with this. This guy’s not man enough.’
“So, in his mind, he wasn’t really quitting. In his mind, he can assess it by like, ‘This guy doesn’t want to fight, I’m not going to deal with this crap. I want to be in a fight.’ Hence, he can go back in the future and be in a fight.
“Charlo instead showed he doesn’t want to be in a fight. He disengaged from the fight himself and didn’t want to be in. Once you get yourself to that point and you pad your bank account,” said Malignaggi about Jermell.
When it comes to Jermell’s performance against Canelo, it’s worth noting that once he realized he was completely outmatched, he didn’t take any unnecessary risks that would have resulted in him getting hit by one of Canelo’s counters. If Jermell had gone all out, he would have likely suffered the same fate as Amir Khan, who was knocked out cold by Canelo.
Charlo will never be champion again
“The famous quote, ‘It’s hard to go do road work in the morning when you’re sleeping in silk sheets,’” said Algieri. “I don’t see him coming back to those hungry guys again, I don’t even see him going back to 154.”
Jermell is likely to return to the 154 division to reclaim his remaining three titles if Terence Crawford expresses interest in fighting him. The potential earnings from this fight are too significant for him to ignore.
“I think he’s going to end up at 160,” Algieri said of Jermell Charlo. “I think that’s the smart move, and just like you said, he’s got that money now in the bank.
“‘Go to 160, maybe pick up another world title there. ‘Legacy set, going to make some big money, already made some huge money, I’m good. I’m 160, I don’t need to cut myself down to 154 anymore. I can go try and be the man at
160,’” said Algieri.
“Him winning a title at 160 cancels you out. He’s Never going to Be a champion again, even at 160. he’s not hungry,” said Malignaggi about Charlo.
“He’s going to try,” said Algieri. “The question was 154. He’s not going to 154 at all.”