Jermall Charlo (20-0, 21 KOs) faces Dennis Hogan (28-2-1, 7 KOs) at the Barclay’s Center in Brookly, NY on Saturday. He will be defending a middleweight alphabet belt he did not win in the ring but rather was handed to him as the result of the corrupt and convoluted policies of the sanctioning body.
Two weeks later, on Dec. 21, Jermell Charlo (32-1, 16 KOs) takes on Tony Harrison (28-2, 21 KOs) in a rematch at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, CA. Jermell will be attempting to regain the 154-pound alphabet belt he lost to Harrison via controversial decision last year.
It might be premature to talk about the legacies of the Charlo twins, 29, since both appear to be at or near the peaks of their respective careers and their full bodies of work are far from being complete. But both twins appear to have already banked a blue chip victory that will likely appreciate exponentially in value with time.
As far as a boxer’s legacy goes, defeating a fighter who goes on to accomplish great feats in the sport is like a shrewd investment that keeps paying dividends for years to come. Each twins has defeated an opponent who has rebounded strongly from his loss and appears bound for bigger success. Not only did the twins defeat them, they did it with sensational, picturesque KOs.
In December of 2016, Jermall delivered his most impressive performance to date by stopping Julian Williams in the fifth round with a seemingly impossible catch-and-counter maneuver. Since that loss, Williams has won five fights including a sensational upset over Jarrett Hurd for two of the four 154-pound alphabet belts.
Jermell starched Erickson Lubin for the full count in the first round with a single punch in October of 2017. Lubin has since returned with a 4-0 (3 KOs) comeback streak including a third-round TKO over Ishe Smith, who had previously never been stopped. Although Lubin’s comeback hasn’t been as impressive as Williams’, he appears to have retained the same youthful exuberance and confidence he exuded as the prospect he was before his defeat to Jermell.
Both Williams and Lubin seem to have taken their losses in stride and shrugged off those defeats as humbling learning experiences. Should they continue to make waves, their success would indirectly reflect positively on their twin conquerors whether they like it or not.
The following are some examples of fighters who registered victories against opponents who would enhance their legacies by moving on to achieve greatness of their own. Many are Hall of Famers who defeated future fellow-Hall of Famers early in their careers.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. MD12 Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Sept. 14 2013
It might be jumping the gun to include this fight since Alvarez’s career is still chugging at full steam. Mayweather is supposedly retired but continues to drop hints of a comeback. But both already have Hall-of-Fame credentials regardless of what they do from here on out.
The majority decision was a travesty considering Mayweather won at least 10 and maybe even all 12 rounds of the fight. Mayweather utilized an Einstein-like IQ and deft defensive prowess to frustrate, out-maneuver and school the 23-year-old Alvarez all night.
But as thoroughly outclassed as Alvarez was that night, he emerged a better fighter and even adopted some of the defensive moves Mayweather used to befuddle him. Alvarez is currently a four-division world titleholder and many suspect he hasn’t even peaked yet. But whatever Alvarez adds to his resume will also boost the reputation of the man who beat him in 2013.
Antonio Margarito TKO7 Sergio Martinez, Feb. 19 2000
A late bloomer who began boxing at age 20, Martinez was 16-0 when matched against fellow-prospect Margarito. In typical Margarito fashion, the iron-chinned Mexican walked through Martinez’s best punches, bullied the Argentine in the trenches and stopped him in the seventh round.
Martinez rebounded from the loss to have a borderline Hall-of-Fame career, dethroning Kelly Pavlik for an alphabet middleweight title in a major upset, successfully defending the belt seven times and partially unifying the division championship. Besides Pavlik, Martinez also defeated Paul Williams (L12, KO2), Sirhiy Dzinziruk (TKO8) and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (W12).
Defeating Martinez should have been a huge feather in Margarito’s cap but Margarito pulled an act so heinous that would forever tarnish his own legacy and throw into doubt everything he had accomplished in the ring. In 2009 Margarito and his trainer were caught attempting to load his gloves with plaster of paris against Shane Mosely Jr. Who knows how many of Margarito’s previous battles, including the victory over Martinez, were fought with loaded gloves?
Roy Jones Jr. W12 Bernard Hopkins, May 22 1993
Jones’ blazing speed and dazzling skills were unmatched at that time at any weight division when he comfortably outpointed Hopkins for a vacant middleweight alphabet belt. Hopkins rebounded from the defeat to unify the middleweight and partially unify the light heavyweight championships over the next two decades.
In 2010, 17 years after their first encounter, Hopkins would gain revenge by outpointing Jones in a foul-fested rematch. Hopkins is scheduled to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2020.
Mike McCallum KO2 Julian Jackson, Aug. 23, 1986
In a clash of undefeated junior middleweights, McCallum retained his alphabet belt with a second-round TKO over Jackson. McCallum uncharacteristically scored the stoppage his right hand which was a feather duster compared to his rib-rattling, jaw-jarring left hook.
Jackson came back from the loss to capture world titles at 154 and 160. Packing decapitating power in both fists, he earned himself the reputation of being one of the most devastating one-punch knockout artists of all time.
Julian Jackson TKO2 Terry Norris, July 30 1989
It was Jackson’s turn to notch a victory against a future Hall of Famer when he sent Norris into dreamland with a single right to the chin in the second round. Norris shook off the loss and went on to become a three-time junior middleweight world titleholder, unifying two of the four belts in the process. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.
Salvador Sanchez TKO15 Azumah Nelson, July 21, 1982
In his last fight before his fatal car wreck, Sanchez had all he could handle before stopping this young, feisty upstart from Ghana in the 15th round. Nelson was just 13-0 at the time and virtually no one could have foreseen how prolific and accomplished a boxer he would become.
Two years after his loss to Sanchez, Nelson won the belt from Wilfredo Gomez via 11th round knockout. He would make six title defenses before winning a title at 130, making 12 title defenses over two separate reigns. Along the way, he fought fellow-Hall of Famers Pernell Whitaker (L12) and Jeff Fenech (D12, TKO6 and L10). Nelson was inducted in 2004 and is widely recognized as the most accomplished African boxer of all time.
Sugar Ray Leonard TKO14 Thomas Hearns, Sept. 16 1981
Outboxed by the lanky and hard-hitting Hearns after 13 action-packed rounds, Leonard was behind on the scorecards when he upped the already torrid pace of the fight with an unrelenting double-fisted assault that stopped Hearns in the penultimate round. With the victory, Leonard became the unified and undisputed welterweight champion.
Hearns went on to become a four-division world titleholder, as did Leonard. In a 1989 rematch at middleweight, Hearns dropped Leonard twice only to be denied vengeance via a controversial draw. Hearns was inducted into the IBHOF in 2012 and Leonard in 1997.
Roberto Duran W15 Sugar Ray Leonard, June 20, 1980
Sugar Ray Leonard TKO8 Roberto Duran, Nov, 26, 1980
Having defeated each other so early in their respective careers, both legends served to enhance each other’s legacies.
In their first scintillating encounter, Duran lured Leonard into Duran territory - the phonebooth - where they traded murderous punches for 15 rounds. Duran emerged the winner by the slimmest of margins in the aftermath. Five months later in the rematch, Leonard outboxed, taunted and humiliated Duran into declaring “no mas” and abandoning the fight in the eighth round. Leonard won a lopsided decision in their somewhat inconsequential rubber match at middleweight in 1989.
Both fighters went on to capture world titles in four weight division. Duran was inducted into the IBHOH in 2007, 10 years after Leonard.
Interesting footnote: In the eight fights between Leonard, Hagler, Hearns and Duran, Leonard defeated the other three and Duran lost to the other three, but Duran was the only one to defeat Leonard.
See predictions for Jermall Charlo vs. Dennis Hogan and Jermell Charlo vs. Tony Harrison II at: peterliminator.blogspot.com.