Most fighters, even before they pilfer a world title, believe that they are the best that their respective division has to offer. That, of course, is nothing more than conjecture. In the case of Jermell Charlo, however, his claim to the junior middleweight throne is an objective statement.
Wins over Tony Harrison, Brian Castano, and Jeison Rosario - netted Charlo every world title at 154 pounds. Soon after becoming an undisputed champion, Charlo looked to his left. He then looked to his right. The Houston native may have noticed the likes of Tim Tszyu and Jesus Ramos making their way up the ranks but he didn’t appear interested in placating their championship challenges.
Instead, Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs) needed a reason to get out of bed fully motivated with a hint of fear. Canelo Alvarez fits that mold perfectly. So, on September 30th, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Charlo will officially move up two weight classes to take on Alvarez for his undisputed crown.
Charlo, unsurprisingly, has confidence oozing out of his pores. Jarrett Hurd, on the other hand, can’t understand where his self-belief is coming from. At 154 pounds, Hurd admits that Charlo is the man to beat. At 168? Hurd is convinced that Charlo will get badly hurt and humiliated.
“I think Jermell ain’t got nothing to do with Canelo,” Hurd told a group of reporters recently. “He’s gonna get stopped. I think it’s too much of a jump for him.”
The weight isn’t the only thing Hurd believes Charlo will struggle to get acclimated with. At one point, the former unified junior middleweight champ was hopeful that a matchup between himself and Alvarez could come to fruition. Although it made all the sense in the world, the two never collided.
But just because Alvarez never stepped into the ring with Hurd, it doesn't mean he hasn’t watched his career closely.
From a distance, Hurd has been impressed by what the Mexican star has accomplished. The truckloads of money is a given but the world title reigns in multiple weight classes, including a transient run at 175 pounds before settling into the super middleweight division, is eye-opening. Considering that Alvarez has punished countless names with his deleterious power, Hurd simply can’t concoct a game plan where Charlo is successful.
“Canelo is one of the hardest punchers at 168. He’s stopping people at 175, he’s competing at 175. I don't think no 154 Jermell Charlo got nothing for Canelo.”