Many boxing pundits felt Jermall Charlo would walk through Juan Macias Montiel on Saturday.
Montiel fought tougher than expected to make it entertaining, but Charlo's power and precision proved to be too much as he won via unanimous decision (120-108, 119-109 and 118-109) to retain the WBC middleweight title at the Toyota Center in Charlo's hometown of Houston. DAZN News scored the fight 117-111 for Charlo.
“It takes a real warrior to get into the ring with me," Charlo said during his post-fight interview. "I can tell in his eyes he’s a true warrior from the beginning. He wanted to fight."
Charlo came right out and established the power jab to let Montiel know he wasn't going waltz right in and attempt a knockout. Once Charlo got the jab going, he started to find a home with the left hand and the straight right that began to take effect as the rounds went on.
It looked to be the beginning of the end in the fifth round, when Charlo connected on a sharp right hand that staggered Montiel for a moment. Charlo smelled blood and unloaded a barrage of lefts and rights in the corner. Somehow, Montiel escaped the corner and landed a left.
Then, in the sixth round, Charlo continued the onslaught. A right hand staggered Montiel again. Charlo unloaded the kitchen sink, but Montiel told him to bring it on, though he was unsteady on his feet. Charlo blasted two right hands, which bounced off Montiel's face. Charlo uncorked a five-punch combination and a sharp left hook late in the round. It only appeared to be a matter of time before he'd stop Montiel.
But to Montiel's (22-5-2, 22 KOs) credit, the native of Mexico fought valiantly. He continued to come forward and kept firing away. He even caused a cut over Charlo's eye in the eighth round and hurt Charlo in the 11th round with a body shot. But Charlo always had an answer with one power shot after another to let Montiel know there are levels that he wouldn't reach on this evening.
Charlo remains undefeated in 32 fights (32-0, 22 KOs). Now, the question is, who's next?
The list of possible opponents includes IBF middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin, WBA titlist Ryota Murata, WBO titleholder Demetrius Andrade, and unified super-middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez. Golovkin looks to be on track to face Murata, and Alvarez is poised to meet Caleb Plant to determine the first-ever four-belt 168-pound champion. Yet, Charlo still called out two of the premier names in boxing.
"160 is my weight division, Charlo said. "I want to unify. I want to get Golovkin in the ring. I want to bring him to Houston. I want to get Canelo out here to Houston. If they are willing to come down to 160, this is my weight division. I’m going to stay here. I’m going to reign at 160. This is my fourth title, and I got many more to go. I’m young. I’m hungry. I’m ready."
"Golovkin is about to unify, so maybe we can fight for all those belts he’s going to get, or I’ll fight the winner," Charlo continued on if it's realistic that he'll fight Golovkin."
Here is what happened at Jermall Charlo vs. Juan Macias Montiel.