By David Carrero: Jermall Charlo has, for personal reasons, remained inactive since defeating Juan Macias Montiel by unanimous decision in June of 2021. Unwavering support from the WBC during this period of inactivity has allowed Charlo to remain the WBC middleweight champion. Carlos Adames, however, became the WBC’s interim middleweight champion in October of 2022 and has since made one defense of his interim title. It’s currently unclear whether the WBC will order a unification bout between Charlo and Adames.
During Charlo’s absence from the sport, there had at times been speculation that his return, possibly against David Benavidez, Canelo Alvarez, Caleb Plant, or Demetrius Andrade, was imminent. In November of 2022, Charlo publicly issued a challenge to light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol. Although none of these fights have yet been made, it has felt increasingly likely Charlo would soon return to the sport interested in facing top fighters between 160 and 175 lbs.
It has now been confirmed that Charlo will return against Jose Benavidez Jr. on November 25th. The bout will take place on a Showtime PPV card featuring David Benavidez vs. Demetrius Andrade in the main event.
Seemingly underrated, Jose Benavidez Jr. was a decorated amateur whose accolades include eleven national championships and having become the youngest Golden Gloves champion in history. As a professional, Benavidez’s only two defeats have come against Terence Crawford and Danny Garcia.
While many are viewing the bout with Benavidez as a tune-up fight meant to help Charlo prepare for the bigger fights awaiting him in the middleweight and super middleweight divisions, it remains to be seen how Charlo will perform when he returns to the ring. When he faces Benavidez on November 25th, it will have been two years, five months, and six days since Charlo last set foot in a ring to compete as a professional.
It was reported recently that Charlo has relocated to Pensacola, Florida, where he is now being trained by boxing hall of famer Roy Jones Jr. Footage of the two hard at work in the gym recently began appearing online.
Few details are known about the personal issues that have kept Charlo away from the sport over the last two years. Charlo, however, has signaled his readiness to return to the ring and continue his career.
There appears to be a lot of anticipation around his comeback, as Charlo’s return has important implications for the near future of the middleweight and super middleweight divisions. If he’s victorious on November 25th, there are a number of exciting potential matchups on the horizon.
The sport certainly welcomes the return of Jermall Charlo, whose addition to this already solid November 25th fight card on Showtime PPV makes the event even more compelling.