By Jake Donovan
Jermall Charlo couldn't have asked for a better first defense of his super welterweight title, dropping Wilky Campfort three times en route to a 4th round stoppage Saturday afternoon at The Bomb Factory in Dallas, Texas.
The bout was as much of a mismatch in the ring as was suggested on paper. Campfort was given the title opportunity on the strength of a 2nd round knockout win over Ronald Montes in September. It was a fight in which he climbed off the canvas to rally back and drop Montes three times in forcing a stoppage, but the latter never came close to materializing in his first career title fight.
A dull opening round saw Charlo make use of his massive height and reach advantage, steadily working behind his jab and disallowing Campfort to untrack his offense. Action picked up in round two, though only for Charlo who scored the first knockdown of the night. The sequence came courtesy of a jab, stunning Campfort more so than providing sustained damage.
It was still enough to give Charlo confidence that he could hurt the first-time challenger any time he wanted. He put that theory to the test in round three, going on the attack and once again sending his opponent to the canvas. Campfort complained of getting hit with a rabbit punch, but it was a clean left hook and straight right hand that prompted the sequence.
Round four saw the 3rd and final knockdown of the fight. Charlo connected with a left uppercut that clipped Campfort dead in his right eye. The ensuing volley was window dressing as the challenger was already on his way to taking a knee.
Campfort beat the count, but complained of blurred vision, prompting the stoppage at 1:16 of round four.
Charlo (23-0, 18KOs) won the belt with a 3rd round stoppage of Cornelius Bundrage in September. The 5'11" super welterweight enjoyed significant height advantages over Bundrage and Campfort - who is closer to 5'6" (Bundrage's height) than his 5'11" listing.
It could prove to be his first, last and only defense, depending on his ability to make weight. He needed two tries to shrink down to the 154 lb. limit and mentioned after Friday's weigh-in the possibility of competing in the middleweight division.
There will be plenty of opportunities awaiting the 25-year old, whose twin brother Jermell is a top super welterweight contender. The twin brothers from Houston continue to roll, though it's Jermall enjoying the spotlight until Jermell is ready to contend for a title.
Campfort suffers his first loss since his second pro fight, with a 20-fight win streak coming to an end as he falls to 21-2 (12KOs).
The super welterweight title fight aired live in a special Saturday afternoon edition of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on NBC.
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox