Undefeated WBC middleweight world champion Jermall Charlo successfully defended his title with a unanimous decision victory over courageous challenger Juan Montiel on Saturday night, in the Showtime televised main event from Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

“I saw the crowd behind me, my city was behind me,” said the 31-year-old Charlo, who made the fourth defense of his title and was fighting for the fourth time in his hometown. “I put them on my back. Career high in punches thrown? I still have more to come.”

Charlo and Montiel both played an equal part in the electrifying main event that capped off a special Juneteenth Day boxing celebration. Charlo threw a career-high 769 punches, yet the gritty, relentless Montiel refused to go down. Instead, Montiel continued to walk forward despite taking incredible punishment, earning Charlo’s respect in the process for his guts and character.

“It took a real warrior to get in the ring with me,” Charlo said.

“He fought each and every round as hard as he could and I could tell by his eyes that he’s a true warrior from the beginning and he wanted to fight. It didn’t matter what I hit him with, he wanted more. I love that spirit. He’s going to be great.”

Charlo landed more than twice the amount of punches as Montiel (258-127), including a career-high 201 power punches. Montiel miraculously survived a grueling sixth round, despite being on the receiving end of 36 punches landed, a majority of them thrown with malice behind them. 

In the eighth round, Charlo suffered the first cut of his career as Montiel continued to return punches and opened up a gash over Charlo’s right eye. Still, Montiel was far out-classed in terms of boxing ability and athleticism. Despite being unable to close the show in front of the raucous hometown crowd, Charlo displayed his well-rounded game, using a variety of punches to deliver shot after shot on Montiel.