NEW YORK – Jermall Charlo doesn’t think Canelo Alvarez has fought for the last time at the middleweight limit.
Even after knocking out Sergey Kovalev in their light heavyweight title fight last month, Charlo expects the Mexican superstar to return to 160 pounds. If Alvarez moves back down from 175 pounds, Charlo hopes he finally can land that career-defining fight sometime in 2020.
Charlo discussed the high-profile fight he wants above all others following a press conference Thursday in Brooklyn for his WBC middleweight title defense Saturday night versus Dennis Hogan.
“I think Canelo’s gonna try to make 160 again,” Charlo told BoxingScene.com. “Hopefully, I can grab his attention after this fight and maybe be able to do some spectacular numbers with him. I want that fight to happen.”
Houston’s Charlo (29-0, 21 KOs) would consider moving up to the super middleweight maximum of 168 pounds if it meant squaring off against Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs). The 29-year-old Charlo would prefer, however, to face Alvarez at the middleweight limit.
“I’m the WBC middleweight champion,” Charlo said. “Canelo’s the franchise champion. Let’s make it happen.”
Charlo was the WBC’s mandatory challenger for Alvarez until that sanctioning organization strangely announced late in June that it had elevated Alvarez to the unprecedented, ambiguous status of franchise champion. In a corresponding move, the WBC promoted Charlo from its interim middleweight champion to world middleweight champ.
The 6-feet Charlo would own a four-inch height advantage over Alvarez, but Charlo hasn’t weighed in at more than 160 pounds for a professional fight. The 5-feet-8 Alvarez weighed in at a career-high 174½ pounds for his light heavyweight debut versus Kovalev.
Russia’s Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KOs) also stands four inches taller than Alvarez. The former champion’s height advantage and experience edge at light heavyweight still didn’t convince Charlo that Kovalev could beat Alvarez, who knocked Kovalev unconscious in the 11th round of their November 2 bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“I kind of thought he would knock Kovalev out,” Charlo said, “but I didn’t think it would take that long.”
Showtime will air the 12-round, 160-pound championship match between Charlo and Ireland’s Hogan (28-2-1, 7 KOs) as the main event of a tripleheader Saturday night from Barclays Center in Brooklyn (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). The telecast also will feature England’s Chris Eubank Jr. (28-2, 21 KOs) and Russia’s Matt Korobov (28-2-1, 14 KOs) in a 12-round fight for the WBA’s interim middleweight title.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.