By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Ronnie Shields has “no idea” whether Gennady Golovkin will fight Jermall Charlo.
Charlo’s trainer does know that unless Golovkin decides to adhere to the WBC’s order to battle Charlo in a middleweight elimination match, Shields’ fighter can’t become consumed with a fight that might not happen. For now, Houston’s Charlo has assured Shields that he is fully focused on Willie Monroe Jr., his opponent December 22 in a main event FOX will televise from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The last secondary middleweight title-holder who was supposed to fight Golovkin next, Ryota Murata, got upset by Rob Brant on Saturday night in Las Vegas and lost his WBA world title.
Shields is confident Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs) won’t suffer a similar fate when he meets Monroe (23-3, 6 KOs), of Rochester, New York, in a 12-round fight for Charlo’s WBC interim middleweight title.
“I think for us, we have to worry about Willie Monroe right now,” Shields told BoxingScene.com following a press conference Thursday at Barclays Center. “We can’t do what Murata did against Brant the other day. We can’t do that. We can’t think ahead when we’ve got this guy in front of us. This guy is only thinking about Jermall. Jermall can’t think about Triple-G and Willie Monroe at the same time. We’ve already discussed that.
“He came to me and said, ‘Look, man, I don’t care about Triple-G. I care about Willie Monroe.’ I said, ‘Man, that’s the best thing you ever could’ve said to me.’ He said, ‘Look, I wanna take one fight at a time and I’m only training for Willie Monroe.’ He’s been watching Willie Monroe and [Maciej] Sulecki [fights] for the last month. That’s the two names we got a month ago, so we’ve been watching both of them.”
The 28-year-old Charlo was Golovkin’s mandatory challenger until Golovkin lost his titles to Canelo Alvarez on September 15 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The WBC has since ordered an elimination match between Charlo and Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) to determine the mandatory challenger for Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs).
Alvarez, the WBA and WBC champion, and Golovkin still could fight a third time, of course, without Golovkin having to fight Charlo. Alvarez already has vacated the WBC middleweight title once and could do that again to make sure a lucrative third fight versus Golovkin takes place.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.