By Jack Tiernan: Oscar De La Hoya says that WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo has “earned” a fight against Canelo Alvarez after all these years.
It was recently mentioned by ESPN that Canelo is in talks with Charlo for a fight on May 7th. Charlo would be a more appealing opponent for Canelo to fight next than WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu.
Canelo’s trainer Eddy Reynoso said that he’s not in talks with anyone, but we don’t know if he was on the level.
The 32-year-old Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) has held the WBC title for three years since winning it in 2019; while he’s beaten fodder-level opposition during his time as the champion, being an unbeaten belt holder makes him an inviting target for Canelo.
There’s no way obviously that Canelo will ever return to the middleweight division to fight Charlo, but his unbeaten record makes him an appealing opponent.
Compared to the opposition that Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) has been facing since late 2018, Jermall would stand out well above them.
De La Hoya says Jermall has earned Canelo fight
“I want to see Charlo. I think Jermall earned his way to Canelo, like just now. Right now is the perfect time to make that fight,” said Oscar De La Hoya to KO Artists Sports on his belief that Charlo has earned the Canelo fight after fourteen years as a pro and three years as the WBC middleweight champion.
Caleb Plant possible Plan-B for Charlo?
“With rumors circulating that we could see Jermall Charlo vs. Canelo Alvarez in May, Caleb Plant has thrown his name in the mix,” said Chris Mannix to DAZN Boxing Show.
“Plant took to social media to challenge Jermall Charlo to a fight at 168 pounds, referring to Charlo as ‘easy work.’ I’ll ask you this. Do you like the idea of Plant vs. Charlo?”
“Yes, I think everyone in boxing likes this idea because Caleb Plant coming off his fight with Canelo Alvarez, that was a big promotional push, so his name is out there,” said Sergio Mora.
The main problem with Charlo using a fight against former IBF super middleweight champion Caleb ‘Sweethands’ Plant (21-1, 12 KOs) to make a statement to earn a fight with Canelo is the possibility that he may need to wait until the end of the year before he can get the match.
While Plant did say he’s interested in fighting Charlo, he wants the match to occur at the end of the year, not now.
Subsequently, Jermall would need to wait until December to fight Plant to make his statement or face someone else. It doesn’t work for Charlo if he wants a fight with Canelo in 2022 because the Mexican star will be fighting in May, September, and possibly December.
If Plant will make Charlo wait until December to fight him, he’s useless in helping him get the Canelo fight in 2022. It’s unclear why Plant needs so much time before he fights again, but perhaps he wants to recover from the after effects of his knockout loss to Canelo.
“So, he’s going to have that name recognition now, and he had a good showing against Canelo,” said Mora about Plant.
“He wasn’t winning the fight, but he was holding his own. Anytime you can hold your own against the #1 fighter in the world, kudos to you, credit to you,” said Mora about Plant giving Canelo problems during the first six rounds.
“You can carry that credit to the next fight because the only thing that Plant was missing was experience,” said Mora. “He has that now. The only thing that’s missing on Charlo’s side is the name.
“I don’t think Caleb Plant is the big name that he needs, but he does have name recognition. So, I like the [Charlo vs. Plant] fight promotional, and I like the fight stylistically because it makes sense,” said Mora.
Beating Plant would help Jermall for sure, but he’s useless right now as an opponent because he doesn’t want to fight until December.
You got to wonder whether Plant would want to wait until the end of the year to fight if he hadn’t just gotten a $10 million+ payday against Canelo?
Jermall can stay busy
“I like the fight too. If Canelo decides to go in the direction of a cruiserweight [Ilunga Makabu], both Caleb Plant and Jermall Charlo are going to need a significant fight in 2022,” said Mannix.
“I just have NO confidence that Charlo would take a fight like that. Jermall Charlo is obviously a talented guy, who has a very good resume at 154 pounds, but he’s done nothing at 160 pounds.
“For the last five years, he has put that belt [WBC middleweight title] in the witness protection program.
“Look, to his credit, it could possibly lead to a seven to ten million dollar payday with a fight with Canelo Alvarez, but it doesn’t make you believe that Charlo wants to fight the top competition.
“Whether it’s Demetrius Andrade, whether it’s Caleb Plant unless it’s a Canelo Alvarez fight, I don’t think Jermall Charlo is interested in being in a big fight,” said Mannix.
It would be out of character for Charlo to take a risky fight with Plant because he does seem to be milking his WBC middleweight title against exclusively weak opposition.
I don’t think Charlo is facing weak opposition because he’s waiting for Canelo to fight him. It’s more of a case of Jermall wanting to keep the dough rolling in as the WBC middleweight belt holder.
I don’t think Charlo is concerned about facing good opposition. He looks like he wants easy money, and the best way to do that is to defend against weak sub-level opposition that can’t beat him.
Charlo needs to make a statement
“Yeah, but you’re not going to get that Canelo Alvarez fight unless you make a statement,” said Mora about Jermall Charlo. “When was Charlo’s last statement?”
“He is in the mix. He’s probably one of the top three guys right now to face Canelo in May,” said Mannix of Charlo. “There’s a pretty good chance he will get that fight. It’s maddening to me because I agree with you. You should have to earn the fight to get a fight like that.
“It should be a meritocracy, but it’s not in boxing. Caleb Plant, who I don’t think did much at all against Canelo in that fight, but Caleb Plant won his title and then fought a bunch of mandatories while he waited for Canelo to call his name.
“Jermall Charlo has kind of been doing the something. He had that title at 160 lbs, and has been a pretty decent name in the U.S and held on to it by not fighting Demetrius Andrade, not fighting Gennadiy Golovkin, and not fighting any of the guys that are his peers at 160 in the hopes of Canelo calling his name.
“I don’t think there’s any motivation for guys to take the fights when they know they can protect their record and keep that belt,” said Mannix about Charlo.
“Protect the record and keep the belt, and you’re going to collect tens of millions of dollars, and I think that’s what Charlo is waiting for because he still has that zero,” said Mora.
“He hasn’t made a statement since 2016 when he knocked out J-Rock Williams in sensational fashion. Since then, he’s had some ups and downs as far as performances go. Yeah, he needs to make a statement, but he needs to make a statement.
“He has that belt [WBC 160-lb title], he has that zero, and he’s a popular fighter in Houston, and he’s a popular fighter, period because he brings that bad boy image and he’s easy to promote, and he has that power.
“Caleb Plant has a little bit of everything. A little bit of bad boy, a little bit of clean-cut. He can box, and he proved he can be a tough guy as well. He’s carrying that big promotional push from that Canelo fight.
“So, I think it makes really good sense [for Charlo to fight Plant] next. They’re both in-house PBC. I really, really like this fight,” said Mora.
Charlo can make a statement against Plant in December, but in the meantime, he needs to stay busy by fighting the best possible opponent right now.