Jermell Charlo realizes a resounding win against Canelo Alvarez on Saturday night will put him in a powerful position to set up a series of more mouthwatering matchups moving forward.
But first, the Houston native and betting underdog must muster off a career-defining win against the Mexican superstar and undisputed super middleweight champion at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Showtime pay-per-view.
“A win over Canelo will let me know that I am right where I should be,” Charlo said in an interview with BoxingScene.com and other media.
“And if I need more work to do, then I got more work to do. A win over Canelo will stamp me as one of the greats. I take his belts then I have to fight the Mexican Monster [David Benavidez], Caleb Plant, and all of the big boys, right? I'm going to have all of them motherf------ trying to fight me. And I got the short little Omaha fisherman [Terence Crawford], or whatever you want to call him – the net carrier.”
Whether Saturday night ends in a win or a loss, Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs) – who’s fought his entire career as a super welterweight – will have to ponder his future fighting weight.
Charlo will lose his 154-pound WBO title once he enters the ring Saturday night but he will still own his WBC, WBA, and IBF crowns.
Should Charlo pull off the upset and beat Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KOs), Charlo will own all of the belts at 168 pounds and a rematch against Alvarez could ensue, further tying him up in the division.
Charlo’s twin brother Jermall holds the 160-pound WBC belt and although Jermall has been inactive for more than two years, he is by far the most notable fighter in arguably boxing’s weakest weight class.
“I’m not going to have to worry about losing too much weight. I’ve been sparring bigger guys for a very long time and now it’s about bringing that same mindset that I have at 154 pounds and bringing it up with me to 168 pounds," Charlo said during a recent media workout.
“This is a dream come true, just like winning undisputed, winning a world title and making it out the mud was. Once you get this far and see yourself prospering, you just want to keep bringing it. I’m staying focused on handling business.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.