By Keith Idec
HOUSTON – Recent events notwithstanding, Jermall Charlo still is confident Canelo Alvarez eventually will fight him.
That potentially career-defining fight seems more out of reach for Charlo than at any point since he won the WBC’s interim middleweight title 14 months ago now that the WBC has declared Alvarez its franchise champion. That move also made Charlo the WBC’s world middleweight champion, but enabled Alvarez to maintain a piece of the WBC middleweight title without having to make a mandatory defense versus Charlo.
Nevertheless, after beating Brandon Adams on Saturday night, Charlo continued to express optimism about boxing the Mexican superstar at some point.
“In order for me to get this fight with Canelo, I’m gonna need all my fans, all the ‘Lions Only’ team to vouch for me,” Charlo said during a post-fight press conference at NRG Arena. “You know, we all just gotta put in that word, you know, keep putting in work. Canelo gotta fight me sooner or later. He cannot retire without fighting me. I’m one of the best out there, 29-0, 21 knockouts. You know, he gotta fight me sooner or later. In order to fight Canelo, I probably gotta go to Dallas.”
Charlo was joking about having to go to Dallas to face Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) because his friend, IBF welterweight champ Errol Spence Jr., asked the question about when Charlo thinks an Alvarez fight finally will happen. Spence is from the Dallas area and recently helped draw an announced crowd in excess of 47,000 to the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium for his victory over Mikey Garcia on March 16.
A capacity crowd of 6,408 attended the Charlo-Adams card at a much smaller venue in Charlo’s native Houston. The 29-year-old Charlo (29-0, 21 KOs) defeated Los Angeles’ Adams (21-3, 12 KOs) by unanimous decision in their 12-round fight for Charlo’s WBC 160-pound crown.
Charlo won by big margins on all three scorecards (120-108, 120-108, 119-109).
A fight against Alvarez obviously would be much more difficult for Charlo. The three-division champion has beaten previously undefeated former middleweight champ Gennady Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs) and ex-IBF middleweight champ Daniel Jacobs (35-3, 29 KOs) in his past two fights, and is commonly considered one of the top five fighters, pound-for-pound, in boxing.
Charlo, also a former IBF junior middleweight champ, has fought a considerably lower level of opposition since he moved up to the middleweight division.