By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – The Jermall Charlo-Willie Monroe Jr. fight is in jeopardy.
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman revealed through his Twitter account late Saturday afternoon that the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association has alerted the WBC of an adverse finding in one of Monroe’s pre-fight performance-enhancing drug tests. Monroe is scheduled to challenge Charlo for Charlo’s WBC interim middleweight title December 22 in the main event of an 11-fight card at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
According to a Tweet that Sulaiman sent out, “@WBCBoxing has been confirmed by @Vada_Testing that Willie Monroe tested with an adverse finding. All parties have been informed. @premierboxing, @TGBpromotions & @FOXSports are all in agreement of making the best to preserve the safety of all in boxing. WBC will rule on Monday.”
VADA oversees all testing for the WBC’s “Clean Boxing Program,” a requirement for all WBC champions and contenders ranked by the Mexico City-based sanctioning organization.
The Charlo-Monroe match is scheduled to headline the debut broadcast of the new joint venture between Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions and FOX.
BoxingScene.com has learned that Matt Korobov would replace Monroe (23-3, 6 KOs) as Charlo’s opponent if the WBC rules that Monroe shouldn’t be allowed to compete based on the aforementioned adverse finding. Russia’s Korobov (28-1, 14 KOs) is scheduled to box Colombia’s Juan DeAngel (21-9-1, 19 KOs) in an eight-rounder on the non-televised portion of the Charlo-Monroe undercard.
Like Monroe, Korobov is a southpaw.
Mike Borao, Korobov’s manager, declined comment when reached Saturday by BoxingScene.com, as did PBC spokesman Tim Smith.
Houston’s Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs) won a coin flip against his twin brother, Jermell, to take main-event status for next Saturday’s show during an October press conference at Barclays Center. Jermell Charlo (31-0, 15 KOs) is set to defend his WBC super welterweight title against Detroit’s Tony Harrison (27-2, 21 KOs) in the 12-round, co-featured fight.
FOX’s tripleheader also will include a 10-round heavyweight bout that’ll match Dominic Breazeale (19-1, 17 KOs), of Eastvale, California, against Miami’s Carlos Negron (20-1, 16 KOs).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.