By Jake Donovan
Jermell Charlo made the most of his Halloween homecoming, unveiling some new tricks before treating the local crowd to a 6th round knockout of Joachim Alcine in their man event Saturday evening at NRG Arena in Houston, Texas.
A treat of his own he would love to next receive is a crack at unbeaten (though recently retired) superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The super welterweight bout aired live in the latest edition of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on NBC Sports Network . Also on the telecast (full undercard report can be found HERE ):
- Tony Harrison survived a late scare to outpoint Cecil McCalla over 10 rounds;
- Caleb Plant remained unbeaten in an eight-round win versus Tyrone Brunson in their eight-round middleweight heat.
The bout was one-sided, but with Charlo fully intent on shedding his boxer label and hoping to repeat his last performance at home. Charlo scored 3rd round knockout versus Chris Chatman in March '12, when the venue was still known as Reliant Arena.
Some 3 1/2 years later, Charlo returned with a new look. His twin brother Jermall - a reigning super welterweight titilist - is still with longtime trainer Ronnie Shields, but Jermell felt a change was needed in his own career. He is now working with veteran cornerman Derrick James, which he believes has enhanced his power game.
It showed versus Alcine, once upon a time a champion at 154 lbs. but who long ago has seen his best days. Now just five months from his 40th birthday, the veteran boxer from Canada by way of Haiti has been out of the ring since last May. Ring rust and his advanced age were not only evident, but exposed by the youth and activity of Charlo, who never fell behind.
"I'm on a different level," Charlo said of the matchup. "He's older, he's won a world title but it's a different generation."
For the unbeaten 25-year old contender, it was also a different result than has been the case in his previous four starts. Whereas Charlo has gone ten rounds in each of those bouts, Alcine would have considered that a moral victory.
Instead, he was forced to contend with being outboxed for five rounds before getting dropped and eventually stopped in round six. A right hand temple shot had Alcine on wobbly legs, with the follow-up sequence from Charlo enough to put him on the canvas for the lone knockdown of the main event.
Alcine beat the count, but had nothing to keep Charlo at bay. A flurry of punches had the faded veteran in trouble, enough to where he didn’t show any signs of being able to any longer defend himself. Referee Jon Schorle picked up on this and rightfully jumped in to stop the onslaught.
The official time was 1:20 of round six.
Charlo runs his record to 27-0 (12KOs), but the public focus seems to be more on what is in his future as opposed to what he just accomplished.
Still, the recent past needed to be retold if only to catch up to the present.
“A big shutout to Ronnie Shields; he did everything he could for me, and continues to do great work with my brother,” Charlo noted in his on-air post-fight interview. “We brought in Derrick James, we took everything that Ronnie taught me and enhanced to that. We decided, ‘hey let's become a puncher as well as a boxer’. We became the rebirth.”
Oddly enough, Alcine is the one in desperate need of a rebirth, but has likely hit the end of his career. A veteran boxer of 20 years, his record falls to 35-8-2 (21KOs). A three-fight win streak preceded Saturday’s performance, his last fight resulting in a 10-round draw with Delvin Rodriguez last May.
All of his losses have come in his past 15 fights, 5-8-2 over that stretch dating back to 2008, when he lost his super welterweight title to Daniel Santos.
Approaching his eight-year anniversary in the pro ranks, Charlo hopes to join his twin brother on the title stage. He was in line to face Demetrius Andrade for a belt last December, only to see his fellow unbeaten super welterweight abruptly withdraw.
It’s been three straight non-title fights since then, biding his time while waiting for his team – which includes adviser Al Haymon – to present the right opportunity. A title fight appears to be well within reach, but the boxer elected to take matters in his own hands when presented with the chance to speak on the subject.
“Next for me is (fighting for) the WBC (super welterweight title),” Charlo said of what he’d like to see come of his immediate future. “Floyd Mayweather still holds the WBC title (as well as the WBA super welterweight, owning both belts in the welterweight and super welterweight divisions).
“If Floyd don’t want to get rid of the titles… I’m right here.”
Mayweather remains in possession of a slew of belts despite having formally announced his retirement following his 12-round win over Andre Berto in September. He confirmed his retired status as recently as Friday evening in Orlando, when he was in town to support unbeaten 130 lb. prospect Gervonta Davis in his latest win.
Several interesting matchups are there to be made in the welterweight and super welterweight divisions once he is finally “encouraged” to put them up for grabs.
It’s understandable why Charlo is antsy for the longtime unbeaten pound-for-pound king to make a move one way or another. He currently resides as the mandatory challenger, not mention that his brother Jermall owns the IBF belt, while longtime gym stablemate Erislandy Lara owns the WBA “regular” title.
Fights with either of the two will absolutely never happen as long as the unbeaten contender has a say. Absent a shot at recently crowned WBO super welterweight Liam Smith, the right move for his own immediate future would be for his handlers to have the WBC enforce either a vacant title fight or a career-defining opportunity against the greatest – and most lucrative - fighter of this generation.
“Absolutely,” Charlo confirmed when asked to clarify if that’s the direction he wishes to travel. “I’d love to fight Floyd Mayweather.”
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox