Jermell Charlo paid close attention to Canelo Alvarez, even as he moved further and further away from the junior middleweight division. (photo by Ryan Hafey)
It started off as realistic. Both Charlo and Alvarez once fought at 154 pounds. But while Charlo stuck around, Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs) began sifting through different weight classes. The higher up he went, the more it became obvious that a matchup between them was essentially a pipe dream. Still, Charlo called him out anyway. Eventually, Alvarez heard enough and took him up on his offer.
This past Saturday night, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Charlo got what he was asking for. Alvarez punished the current unified junior middleweight titlist, dropping his man before cruising to a lopsided decision win. Before things played out the way they did, Paulie Malignaggi was a bit torn on who would win. He had a gut feeling that Alvarez would come out on top but was fairly confident that Charlo would make him work extremely hard for it.
With each passing round, however, Malignaggi grew more and more disgusted with what was taking place. After 36 minutes breezed by, Malignaggi claimed that Charlo’s pre-fight win talk was just that, talk.
“I never felt like Jermell Charlo committed to trying to win the fight,” said Maligaggi on Paulie TV. “It’s unfortunate and sad.”
Charlo (35-2-1, 19 KOs) fought listlessly and appeared apathetic immediately after. On one end, Charlo’s efforts have been ripped, on the other, he’s being defended.
His biggest supporters point to Charlo moving up two weight classes. To a certain extent, what the 33-year-old attempted is being labeled as his daring-to-be-great moment. It’s what Alvarez himself did when he moved up two weight classes to take on Sergey Kovalev in 2019. Plenty of the greats pulled that same card. Some were successful, while others ended up biting off more than they could chew.
Regardless of the outcome, Malignaggi respects those who take gigantic gambles. In the case of Charlo, nevertheless, considering his energy level on the night, Malignaggi refuses to give him that same level of reverence.
“He didn’t try anything,” continued Maliganggi as he denied Charlo attempted to be great. “He showed up for a check. You’ve got to at least try to win the fight in order to actually be defined as trying to be great.”