It appears Jermell Charlo will want to lean on his fleet feet in order to try and beat Canelo Alvarez on Sept. 30 in the battle between undisputed champions.
The 154-pound Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs) will be moving up to super middleweight to challenge the stockier Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KOs).
Although Charlo will sport a four-inch height advantage and a 2 ½ inch reach advantage, Alvarez should be the stronger man in the pitting between 33-year-old fighters.
“When Canelo gets a little frustrated, he gets careless. He's ready for the fight to just be over with. He don't like motherf------ that move a lot,” Charlo said in an interview with BoxingScene.com and other media.
“I still have to train hard. The weight is going to fall off like nothing.”
The +300 betting underdog Charlo will have to overcome almost 15 months of inactivity, recovery from a broken left hand, and the aftermath of bulking up his body in order to showcase his speed and elusiveness.
If the Houston native Charlo can survive Alvarez’s power, he could try his hand at outboxing Alvarez. Charlo has also showcased his power at super welterweight, stopping four out of his last five opponents.
But it remains to be seen if Charlo's power will carry up two weight classes.
In the first episode of Showtime's docuseries "All Access", while watching the tape of Alvarez's stoppage win against Caleb Plant, Charlo alluded to some of his gameplan, saying, "It's almost like Caleb Plant was going straight backward. He didn't give any angles. I'm going to move more, but I ain't going to tell everybody what I am going to do."
Charlo then jokingly told the cameraman to stop filming.
Alvarez has not scored a stoppage win since his 11th-round TKO victory against Plant in November 2021. Alvarez has been outpointed by Dmitry Bivol and has landed unanimous decision wins against Gennadiy Golovkin and John Ryder over his last three fights.
“I’m gonna train my ass off and be intelligent. I know I’m moving up in weight, but who cares? That won’t stop me from getting in there and doing it the way I do it. I’m excited for this moment,” said Charlo.
“My heart, desire and determination will give me what I need to win. I guarantee a great night and that you’re gonna hear some lions roaring.
“I don’t have any excuses. Whatever happens happens. I came here to win this fight. I’m not laying down. I don’t care what anyone says.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.