Our friends at CompuBox put out a doc which had us thinking. The subject was ring rust, and Jermell Charlo and how that might play in to the 168 pound clash pitting the man at 168, Canelo, vs the man at 154, Jermell Charlo.
CompuBox noted that Jermell hasn't fought for 16 months. Wow, it's been that long since he beat Brian Castano in a rematch battle?
WILL RING RUST REEK HAVOC ON JERMELL CHARLO TOO?
Jermall Charlo returns after a 16 mo. layoff. Will Ring Rust reek havoc on Mel as it did with these 3 elite fighters?
JOSH TAYLOR (16 mo. layoff) L 12 Teofimo Taylor landed 7/28 vs. Teofimo prev. 7: 13/46
Teofimo landed 40% of his power shots vs. Taylor after Taylor's previous 7 opponents landed 31% of their power shots
STEPHEN FULTON (13 mo. layoff) KO by 8 Inoue Fulton landed 6/30 vs. Inoue prev. 5: 21/62
Inoue landed 39% of his power shots vs. Fulton after Fulton's previous 5 opponents landed 30% of their power shots
ERROL SPENCE (15 mo. layoff) KO by 9 Bud Crawford- Spence landed 11/53 vs. Bud Bud
prev 9: 21/69
Bud landed 60% of his power shots vs. Spence after Spence's previous 9 opponents landed 31% of their power shots
OK, so this line of thinking may be moot. It may be that the efficacy of Teofimo, Inoue and Bud meant they would have flummoxed their foes even if the rivals hadn't been rusty coming in…
But in general, activity is needed to keep even top-tier athletes in peak order.
And 16 months away from a live fight, with no headgear, and big money at stake…that's a long spell.
Check it out, here's a fun thread on Reddit which touches on ring rust.
All things being equal, I think I'd prefer to have had the schedule Canelo did, as rust won't be a factor to his detriment. Now, age/wear and tear, that might be a different story.