Jermell Charlo may not have robust options in the division in which he reigns as the undisputed champion, but the Houston, Texas native is encouraged by certain names that may be moving up to his weight class.

Having arguably reached the pinnacle of his division, the WBO/WBC/WBA/IBF 154-pound champion was recently asked about his future prospects, and apparently, he has a feeling that someone intriguing—namely, WBO welterweight titlist Terence Crawford—might become a viable option.

Charlo and Crawford have butted head over the years, mainly through the media, and their testy dynamic is exacerbated by the fact that Charlo is a close friend and training stablemate to Errol Spence Jr., the unified welterweight champion whose so far unsuccessful attempts to make a deal with Crawford for the undisputed 147-pound championship have been one of the biggest boondoggles in the sport.

Charlo, however, appears content at staying at 154, a situation that could become even more alluring if someone like Crawford indeed decides to move up. Crawford himself has suggested that a move up to junior middleweight would not be out of the question. 

“I see guys moving up,” Charlo said on The Last Stand Podcast with Brian Custer. “I told you, you got the Crawfords and stuff calling you out, they’re moving up in weight. Whatever is the big money [fight] is the big money. At the end of the day, we don’t fight for free. It’s a prize [fight]. Being at this top level, I just want my recognition. I want that love I deserve. I’m still one of them most underrated of the highest rated fighters, so that gives me the hunger. I gotta continue that.

“We could still make some money. I can still get to the bag at 154. The windows is still open for me.”

Charlo, who has been sidelined for the past several months due to a broken hand, also responded to Crawford’s last remarks on Charlo, in which he suggested that “something wrong with that dude.” Charlo urged Crawford to ease up on the bluster and speak to his advisor Al Haymon, the founder of Premier Boxing Champions. Crawford has already dealt considerably with Haymon in connection to Spence, whom Haymon also advises.

“Whatever, guy, you get your paperwork right, talk to Mr. Haymon, and we’ll get a fight going,” Charlo said. “You damn right it’ll be easy [to make]. Let’s get a big fight going, matter of fact. And I’ll show you better than I can take. Ain’t nothin’ easy in the ring with me.”

Charlo also took aim at what he feels has been “sloppy” business moves on the part of Crawford, who briefly linked up with the upstart boxing company BLK Prime in December to fight David Avanesyan after talks fell through with Spence. Crawford stopped Avanesyan in six rounds at CHI Health Center in Crawford’s hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Crawford became a free agent at the end of 2021 after his deal with longtime promoter Top Rank expired.

“These kids, they just talking,” Charlo said of Crawford. “He ain’t fought nobody, for real, for real. He just got out of Top Rank contract because [Top Rank head] Bob [Arum] didn’t want his ass, so he just got rid of him. It’s just like I don’t know. Why don’t you make the fight with the man that’s in front of you. Errol been calling you out. Get in the ring man. We don’t know who these last guys are, signing deals with BLK. He’s just doing his business wrong. He’s sloppy with his business.

“I don’t know what he want to do but I’m down to fight. I’m down to fight. I don’t got time to go back and forth with him. You a l’il boy, you come from 140, you’re not even strong enough to handle my sh!t that I be throwing at you. I’m not none of these guys that you fought before. I’m undisputed for a reason.”

Charlo, 32, has said he expects to return to the ring in the summer, possibly against his mandatory challenger Tim Tszyu of Australia.

It was last reported that Crawford is in talks to possibly face his mandatory challenger in Alexis Rocha, who is backed by Golden Boy Promotions.