Another rugged opponent. Another win and proving ground statement for Jermall Charlo.
The WBC middleweight champion met a tougher than expected challenge from Juan Macias Montiel and delivered a unanimous decision this past weekend in his hometown of Houston. The aftermath of his fourth straight title defense had the 31-year-old Charlo calling out unified super middleweight champion and WBC “Franchise” middleweight champ Canelo Alvarez and IBF middleweight titleholder Gennadiy Golovkin. During the post-fight press conference, Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) also hurled some stinging words toward WBO middleweight champ Demetrius Andrade.
Here, DAZN News explores and analyzes all these big fight options for the undefeated "Hitman" Charlo.
Fresh off of defeating Montiel, Charlo planted the middleweight flag firmly into his city of Houston and called out the face of boxing.
"I want to get Canelo to come to Houston if he’ll come down to 160 (pounds)," Charlo said. "This is my weight division. I’m going to stay here and reign here. This is my fourth title defense, and I have many more to come. I’m young. I’m hungry.”
Charlo's statement was a slight modification from him telling DAZN News last month that he would clash with Canelo at 160 or a catchweight (of perhaps 164 pounds), considering that Alvarez is hellbent on facing Caleb Plant to become the first undisputed super middleweight champion in boxing history.
But let's say that Canelo wanted a fight with Charlo at 168 pounds. It's hard to fathom any fighter turning down a money bout against arguably the best pound-for-pound boxer in the game. It's just too big of an opportunity.
At 6-0 with 73 1/2 inches of reach and a power jab that seemingly improves with every fight, the undefeated Charlo could represent a formidable challenge for Canelo, who stands 5-9 with a 70 1/2-inch reach.
That being said, chances of this fight happening any time soon are slim, considering Canelo's trainer Eddy Reynoso mentioned that Charlo and Golovkin "have to wait their turn" following the Mexican sensation's victory over Billy Joe Saunders last month.
As he stated about Canelo, Charlo made it clear that he wants all the smoke with GGG ... but on his terms.
"One-hundred sixty is my weight division,” Charlo said after defeating Montiel. “I want to unify. I want to get Golovkin in the ring. I want to bring him to Houston."
That, too, seems like it will be a waiting game, considering there have been reports about Golovkin facing WBA middleweight champion Ryota Murata for later this year.
If anything, Charlo's calling out of GGG extends the open invitation that he's been broadcasting for a while.
“If GGG wants this WBC belt,” Charlo said during a May press conference leading up to the Montiel fight, “I have it. It’s over here. It’s open. I’m ready to fight.”
Until then, Charlo can always boast how he handled a durable Sergiy Derevyanchenko so matter of factly in a unanimous decision victory back in September in comparison to Golovkin struggling with the Ukrainian fighter before receiving a very controversial unanimous decision nod himself in October 2019. (Many critics and fans alike believe that Derevyanchenko did enough to be crowned the IBF middleweight champ that night).
But that same prodding from Charlo could seemingly highlight the very reason why GGG, at 39-years-old, should stay away from the WBC champion instead of unifying titles with him.
Another big fight option that remains to be seen.
There's an uptick of Charlo calling out the big names, but he hasn't quite been calling them out with as much vigor and urgency as Andrade, the WBO middleweight champ. "Boo Boo" has used nearly every interview and big stage he has spoken on to elocute all the reasons why he needs to fight one of his fellow middleweight world champions. He's unfortunately come up empty each and every time and yet to receive the big opportunity that he feels like he's deserving of.
Andrade (30-0, 18 KOs) even crashed Canelo's post-fight press conference, engaging the boxing superstar about a fight, before Alvarez repeatedly referred to him as a "horrible fighter" and even demanded him to "get the f—k out of here."
Well, when Andrade's name was brought up Saturday night, Charlo made sure to address the Providence, Rhode Island native.
"He's got a belt. Let's go get him," Charlo said. "He's talking, and he's going to run right into some ... we bout that. I'm ready."
Andrade's ears perked up when Charlo specified thereafter that he doesn't make the fights, though.
To that assertion, Andrade tweeted:
"@FutureOfBoxing (Jermall Charlo) making himself look like a damn fool! He says, “I’m not a matchmaker,“ @Benavidez300 (David Benavidez) needs to be vaccinated. Andrade has got to beat Montiel first. Lmao @ his excuses.
“At least @TwinCharlo (Charlo's twin brother Jermell Charlo) has got some balls and is trying to be undisputed (at junior middleweight). JERMALL, let’s unify in Sept. #YouScared."
Matchroom Boxing's Eddie Hearn, who promotes Andrade, blasted Charlo as well.
"How can you stand there in an interview after the fight and say 'It's time for me to unify the division' and only talk about one (middleweight) champion (GGG) who's not going to fight you because he's fighting in Japan?" Hearn said to DAZN's Ak & Barak earlier this week. "Like, why is he not mentioning Demetrius Andrade? He's an American, undefeated world middleweight champion. And yet he's talking about two fights that aren't going to happen right now."
If Charlo comes up empty with all the aforementioned options, perhaps he could look toward a clash with Erislandy Lara, the WBA (Regular) middleweight champion. Unlike Canelo, Golovkin, or Andrade, Lara is a PBC fighter just like Charlo, and that should spell a fight that's simple to book amidst boxing's all-too contentious promotional climate.
That and the fight should generate genuine buzz. Lara, who's known for his intricate technical style, has won two of his last three fights by knockout, including the first-round drubbing of Thomas LaManna last month, when he snatched the WBA (Regular) middleweight crown. That would help build intrigue.
Also, it'd be another meaningful test for Charlo, who could use the victory to get closer to the bigger fights he's coveting.