By Miguel Rivera
To push along their middleweight ranks, the World Boxing Council has confirmed that Jermall Charlo (26-0, 20 KOs) and Hugo Centeno (26-1, 14 KOs) will fight for the interim WBC championship.
The fight will be taking place because the full WBC middleweight title is tied up - as champion Gennady Golovkin is currently negotiating a potential May rematch with Mexican superstar Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.
Canelo and Golovkin fought to a controversial twelve round draw back in September, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Charlo is the mandatory challenger to the middleweight crown.
According to the information that was passed over to WBC President Maurcio Sulaiman, Charlo and Centeno will battle on a date in the month of January.
There would be no surprise if that contest landed on the undercard to Errol Spence vs. Lamont Peterson, which takes place on January 20 from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Both Charlo and Centeno have fought in the venue, both are managed by Al Haymon, and both of them fight under the Premier Boxing Champions banner.
"The WBC has ordered an interim title fight, precisely so that there are no impediments (for Canelo-GGG 2) and that fight can be made without any problem of affecting the rights of some other boxer. (Jermall) Charlo accepted it, he understands the magnitude and everything is ready for (Canelo, GGG) to negotiate and make the rematch of their fight," said Sulaiman to ESPN Deportes.
"It will be Hugo Centeno (to fight Charlo), the next one who is available to fight for the interim title and it was already set down for January. So in the event that Golovkin does not reach an agreement for the fight with Canelo Alvarez, he would have the possibility of making a voluntary defense before thinking about Charlo or Centeno, or again the rematch with Canelo."
The last time Charlo was in action, he battered Jorge Sebastian Heiland back in July at the Barclays Center. It was Charlo's middleweight debut after vacating the IBF belt at 154-pounds to move up in weight.
Centeno has won two in a row, by knockout, since suffering a TKO loss to Maciej Sulecki in June 2016. Centeno knocked out undefeated Immanuwel Aleem in August.