Spending the better part of his 2022 schedule sequestered on the sidelines wasn't exactly in the plans for Jermall Charlo. The WBC middleweight belt holder and former two-division champion, was originally scheduled to return to the ring this past June, in a homecoming bout against Maciej Sulecki.
Yet, in the midst of preparing to defend his title for the fourth time in his career, the pugnacious Houstonian was forced to withdraw, citing a back injury. Several months later, Ronnie Shields, Charlo’s trainer, has recently revealed that his young champion is fully healed and ready to rock and roll.
“He’s back now,” said Shields to Behind The Gloves. “He hurt his back right before the fight but now, he’s good.”
Before Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) made the unpopular move to take on Sulecki, team Charlo attempted to placate his wishes by luring Canelo Alvarez into the ring. The Mexican star soon found himself tasked with a difficult decision to make. On one end, Al Haymon of Premier Boxing Champions reportedly offered Alvarez a two-fight multi-million dollar deal to take on both Charlo and former two-time super middleweight titlist, David Benavidez. On the other side, Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing, offered Alvarez a similar financial package, while tentatively scheduling matchups against Dmitry Bivol and Gennadiy Golovkin.
Ultimately, after weighing his options, Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KOs) decided against accepting Haymon’s deal and would instead sign on with Hearn. Although fans of Charlo were initially acrimonious, Shields acknowledges that he holds no ill-will towards the pound-for-pound star.
“They weren't confident that that was a good move for him. So instead, they chose Bivol and GGG. And of course, they lost to Bivol and now he’s fighting GGG again. I don’t knock anybody for doing business. I think you have to do what’s good for yourself.”
As Shields alludes to, Alvarez is only a few short hours away from taking on Gennadiy Golovkin at the T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada. For the third installment of their rivalry, Golovkin will make the trek eight pounds north, to compete as a full-fledged super middleweight.
Regardless of the final result, Golovkin has openly denied that he’ll hang up his gloves for good. With both the WBA and IBF 160-pound titles sitting on his championship mantle, Golovkin has stated time and time again that he fully intends on defending his middleweight throne.
News of Golovkin possibly returning to the 160-pound division has left an indelible smirk on Shields’ face, as he remains hopeful that a showdown between both Charlo and Golovkin could soon be on the docket.
“If GGG comes up and beats Canelo or if he loses, he still has two belts. Maybe that can be a fight for Jermall because he wants to unify. Hopefully, that can happen.”