Jermell Charlo talked a big game. For years he told all who would listen that Canelo Alvarez shouldn’t be considered his equal. The Mexican star was good but great? Charlo was never willing to go that far. (photos by Ryan Hafey)
Even as Alvarez began pilfering world titles in countless weight classes, Charlo (35-2-1, 19 KOs) wasn’t a believer. On a whim, however, he was given the chance to prove that lions truly do run the jungle.
There were no signs that Charlo was going to land the fight. He was fresh off surgery to repair an injured left hand, was out of the ring for over a year, and had to double his food portion size in order to make the super middleweight limit.
It wasn’t ideal but he took the arbitrary opportunity and ran with it. This past Saturday night, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Alvarez punished his man, chasing him around the ring while landing the type of shots that made Charlo timid.
It’s difficult to find any bright spots for Charlo. He fought an uninspiring fight and now finds himself in the center of nonstop chastisement. The words of critics, however, no matter how brazen and painful, aren’t affecting Charlo in any way. Given what he was up against, he believes that he did one helluva job.
“I’m proud of myself, I took a chance,” said Charlo. “Jumped out there strong right off a hand injury. Jumped out there with one of the best guys in boxing.”
His options aren’t as robust as they once were, but Charlo still has a route he can go down. Of course, remaining at 168 pounds is out of the question. Officially, the pugnacious unified champ will cut the added weight and muscle he put on and return to the junior middleweight division.
He’s now exiting stage left, empty-handed. But while it’s easy to poke fun at him and lambaste him for getting blown out of the water, Charlo isn’t letting anyone keep his spirits down.
“My head is held high, I’m proud of myself.”