By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Jermell Charlo silenced Charles Hatley once and for all Saturday night.
Charlo scored a spectacular sixth-round knockout against his mandatory challenger, ending their war of words in emphatic fashion. The defending WBC super welterweight champion drilled Hatley with a short, straight right hand that left Hatley unconscious, under a bottom rope at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Referee Harvey Dock stopped the fight immediately, 32 seconds into the sixth round. Medical personnel attended to Hatley quickly, but he eventually was able to reach his feet and walked out of the ring.
Houston’s Charlo was winning the fight decisively through five rounds and attacked Hatley to start the sixth, as if he was determined to not allow their “Showtime Championship Boxing” co-feature to reach the seventh round.
According to unofficial CompuBox statistics, Charlo landed 14 of 17 power shots to start the sixth round, including the pulverizing punch that ended the fight.
The 26-year-old Charlo improved to 29-0 and recorded his 14th knockout. Dallas’ Hatley, 31, slipped to 26-2-1 (18 KOs) and had his nine-fight winning streak snapped.
Hatley, who was Charlo’s mandatory challenger, lost for the second time by knockout. Lanardo Tyner (32-10-2, 20 KOs, 2 NC) stopped him in the first round of their August 2012 bout in Dallas.
After a first round that completely lacked action, Charlo and Hatley began opening up.
The second round was competitive, but Charlo connected with a right hand to Hatley’s jaw just after the 10-second warning that knocked Hatley backward, halfway across the ring and into the ropes. Charlo couldn’t follow up on hurting Hatley because the rounded several seconds later.
Charlo hurt Hatley worse in the third round, when he landed a right hand to the side of Hatley’s head that dropped Hatley. Charlo was careful after Hatley got up, and Hatley made it to the end of the round.
Charlo connected with another hard right hand at the two-minute mark of the fourth round, moments after he drilled Hatley with a stiff jab that knocked Hatley off balance. Dock warned Hatley for dirty tactics later in the fourth.
Charlo also drilled Hatley with another right hand that stunned him just before the fourth round ended. Charlo continued to connect with an array of power shots throughout the fifth round.
Charlo made the first defense of the WBC 154-pound championship he won by knocking out John Jackson in the eighth round 11 months ago in Las Vegas. The Virgin Islands’ Jackson (20-3, 15 KOs) was winning that fight by the same score on all three scorecards, 69-64, when Charlo knocked him out.
Before Saturday night, Hatley hadn’t fought since he stopped Australia’s Anthony Mundine 17 months ago in Melbourne.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.