By Keith Idec
Jermell Charlo just made an impressive mandatory defense of his WBC super welterweight title.
Houston’s Charlo knocked trash-talking Charles Hatley unconscious with a right hand in the sixth round of their April 22 title fight at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
His next mandatory defense figures to be a much more difficult fight. Unbeaten Erickson Lubin has been elevated into the No. 1 spot in the WBC’s 154-pound rankings, which were released Thursday along with the Mexico-based sanctioning organization’s ratings for each of boxing’s 17 divisions.
Lubin, of Orlando, Florida, moved up from No. 2 to No. 1 after scoring his own impressive knockout two months ago. The 21-year-old Lubin (18-0, 13 KOs) knocked out Mexico’s Jorge Cota (25-2, 22 KOs) in the fourth round of their March 4 fight, which CBS broadcast before Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC) defeated Danny Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs) in their welterweight title unification fight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Charlo (29-0, 14 KOs), the twin brother of former IBF junior middleweight champ Jermall Charlo (25-0, 19 KOs), should be able to make what would be his first optional defense of the WBC championship before his next mandatory defense becomes due.
Lubin is looking forward to fighting him whenever he gets his opportunity.
“Man, we’ve gotta get that paper signed,” Lubin told BoxingScene.com regarding challenging Charlo after he clobbered Cota. “We’ve gotta make that happen. I’ll do a better job than John Jackson was doing to him. I don’t really like to talk too much about it, but when it happens you guys will see.”
The left-handed Lubin referred to Charlo’s championship win against Jackson last May 21 at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. The Virgin Islands’ Jackson (20-3, 15 KOs) was beating Charlo by the same large margin on all three scorecards (69-64) when Charlo knocked him out in the eighth round to win the then-vacant WBC super welterweight title.
“I remember [Charlo] doing an interview [recently] and saying I’m five, six fights away from fighting him,” Lubin said of Jermell Charlo. “Well, I’m gonna give him an early surprise. He’s gonna get a surprise.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.