Jermall Charlo is an unbeaten champion who will turn 33 in May. He holds the WBC middleweight championship, but has not fought since a June 2021 unanimous decision victory over Mexico’s Juan Macias Montiel in his hometown of Houston, Texas.
Although Charlo clearly won the fight, Macias performed better than expected and touched up the champ down the stretch. In the eighth round, Charlo was cut over the right eye and damaged in the 11th round from a body shot.
To the chagrin of fans, Charlo hasn’t defended his belt since. But WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman made it clear that the sanctioning body will continue to recognize Charlo as its 160-pound world titleholder despite his prolonged absence from the ring.
In an interview with Izquierdazo, Sulaiman revealed that he met with Charlo during last month’s WBC interim super middleweight battle between David Benavidez and Caleb Plant in Las Vegas.
“It was a wonderful meeting, very nice,” Sulaiman stated. “He has been through complicated personal issues. He thanked the WBC for the support that we have given to him. He is our champion, and he is coming forward.”
Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) revealed on February 13 that he would return to the ring in June to defend his belt.
“Practice makes perfection,” Charlo stated on social media. “I needed some time away from the sport. Back in my bag. “I’ll be defending my WBC title in June. Sorry for the wait.”
Charlo was scheduled to make a defense last June 18 against perennial title contender Maciej Sulecki, but the fight was canceled after he suffered a back injury in training. Following that setback, undisclosed personal issues have kept Charlo out of the ring for a longer period of time.
Charlo vs. Bivol?
Last November, Charlo and WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol attended the Jose Zepeda-Regis Prograis junior welterweight bout at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. The 32-year-old Charlo proposed to Bivol the idea of a catchweight fight at the super middleweight limit of 168-pounds, and Bivol laughed at the idea.
“Do you have belts [at] 168?” he asked Charlo.
Charlo responded, “No belt. Just an attraction. I’ll do it. Let’s do it. I’ll do it.”
Approximately six months after their conversation, Charlo has still yet to fight, but that will reportedly change in June.
Charlo is currently in training with head trainer Ronnie Shields along with his stablemate, unbeaten WBA ‘regular' 168-pound titlist David Morrell.
Charlo—a former IBF junior middleweight titlist—has made just four title defenses since an upgrade to full WBC titlist from interim beltholder in June 2019. The latter occurred when Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez was elevated from WBC world champion to Franchise Champion. While Alvarez went on to win world titles in two additional weight classes, including undisputed at 168-pounds, Charlo has fought just twice since September 2020, an alarming yet continuous trend of inactivity for young fighters in the sport.