By Lem Satterfield
WBC interim junior middleweight champion Jermall Charlo said he still wants division counterparts Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin following his initial defense and unanimous decision on December 22 over left-handed late replacement Matt Korobov of Russia at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
"We want Triple-G [Golovkin]. We want Canelo," said Charlo, 28. "We want everybody in my division who feels like they’re the best. I’m still the best.”
The 6-foot-1 “Hit Man” (28-0, 21 KOs) failed to earn his fourth straight stoppage and 20th knockout in his past 22 fights against the 35-year-old Korobov (28-2, 14 KOs), who was previously scheduled to face Colombia’s Juan DeAngel (21-9-1, 19 KOs) in an eight-rounder on the non-televised portion of the undercard.
Korobov stepped in on December 17 for Charlo's originally scheduled opponent Willie Monroe (23-3, 6 KOs) due to an adverse finding in one of Monroe's pre-fight performance-enhancing drug tests.
Detroit’s Tony Harrison (28-2, 21 KOs) won the co-main event by unanimous decision over Charlo’s younger-by-a-minute twin, Jermell (31-1, 15 KOs), who as dethroned as WBC 154-pound titleholder.
“Moving forward, I’m on the gas," said Jermall Charlo. "I learned a lot from my brother. That changed me. We’re the Charlo twins. We’re together. I don’t feel good about that."
The 28-year-old Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 KOs) dethroned the 36-year-old Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) as WBA/WBC middleweight champion by majority decision in September’s rematch of their draw in September 2017.
On December 15, Alvarez earned his third crown in as many divisions with a four-knockdown, third-round KO to dethrone WBA “regular” 168-pound champion Rocky Fielding (27-2, 15 KOs) while retaining his 160-pound titles.
“Canelo beat Golovkin, [so] give me Canelo. It’s realistic. The buzz will make it happen,” said Charlo, who been mandated by the WBC to face Golovkin.
“I’m the mandatory. I’m still the mandatory. I’ve been the mandatory. Come on, man, does the mandatory even matter anymore?”
Alvarez has signed a $365 million multi-fight deal with the streaming service DAZN while Golovkin is a network free agent. Advised by Al Haymon, Charlo is aligned with Haymon Boxing's Premier Boxing Champions, which has three- and four-year deals with the Showtime and FOX networks.
The fighters' network associations could be a sticking point in negotiations, but Charlo believes that is something that can be overcome given the magnitude of a fight with either Alvarez or Golovkin.
“What other side? [Alvarez] in the world, bruh. It ain’t no other side.They’re trying to confuse y’all," said Charlo in response to a reporter’s question about networks.
"Don’t be confused by the networks. [Alvarez’s promoter Oscar] De La Hoya is still mentioning me. He knows I’m right there. I’m unavoidable. I still won tonight. I’m still champion. And still.”
The 35-year-old Korobov (28-2, 14 KOs) had won four straight decisions since December 2014 when he lost by sixth-round TKO to Andy Lee in a fight for the WBO’s vacant 160-pound title.
Before losing to Lee, Korobov was 24-0 (14 KOs) and coming off a two-knockdown, unanimous decision over current IBF 168-pound champion Jose Uzecategui (28-2, 23 KOs) in June 2014.
Korobov weighed 175 ½ for his previous bout in March, a unanimous decision over Jonathan Batista, before fighting Charlo.
“That dude [Korobov] was tough. He could have been in there with anybody,” said Charlo. “He had a similar style to Triple-G besides [being] southpaw. It was like a setup fight for a Golovkin fight."