By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Jermall Charlo’s win Saturday night solidified him as the mandatory challenger for Gennady Golovkin’s WBC middleweight title.
Charlo completely understands, of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll ever actually get the opportunity of fight Golovkin.
As much as the undefeated Charlo wants that fight, Golovkin seemingly is headed toward a rescheduled rematch against Canelo Alvarez.
If the heavily favored Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) defeats junior middleweight contender Vanes Martirosyan (36-3-1, 21 KOs) on May 5 in Carson, California, he’ll probably face Alvarez again September 15. That scenario would force Charlo to fight someone else while holding out hope he’ll eventually get to challenge Golovkin for middleweight supremacy.
“I cannot promise you that I’ll get that fight,” Charlo said following his second-round knockout of Hugo Centeno Jr. on Saturday night. “And I can’t promise that fight will be real, real soon. But look, like I said, I’m No. 1 in the world right now.”
Houston’s Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs) won the WBC interim middleweight title by quickly knocking out Centeno (26-2, 14 KOs, 1 NC) in a fight Showtime televised from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The 27-year-old Charlo acknowledged that he is willing to box WBO middleweight champ Billy Joe Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) in the United Kingdom or top contender Daniel Jacobs (33-2, 29 KOs) if he can’t land his coveted crack at Golovkin. Charlo made it clear, however, that he wants the 36-year-old Golovkin more than any elite middleweight.
“I would love it to be Golovkin because he’s on the way out,” Charlo said. “And I wanna get the chance to fight one of the best Hall-of-Famers that ever did it. A lot of people around the world wanna see it, too. I mean, the dude is amazing, so I wanna get in there with him and test my talents, too.”
Charlo also would welcome a chance to face Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) if the Mexican superstar either doesn’t fight Golovkin again in September or beats Golovkin in their rematch.
“If I could ever get a chance to fight any one of them guys,” Charlo said, “I guarantee you, you will see them get hit a lot more than they’ve been hit and you’ll see them miss a lot more punches than they ever missed. It’ll be a real, live boxing match. I’m here to fight.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.