Jermell Charlo doesn’t believe Terence Crawford has any business fighting at 154-pounds, but that doesn’t mean the undisputed junior middleweight champion isn’t against the idea of fighting him.
Despite their intense confabulations over the years, when asked about future opponents, Charlo named the WBO welterweight titleholder as a possibility. Their brewing feud, coupled with the fact that Charlo is a training stablemate to Errol Spence Jr., the three-belt welterweight champion who has unsuccessfully attempted to lure Crawford into accepting a deal to fight for the undisputed 147-pound championship, has compounded the situation.
While moving up in weight has become more mainstream in boxing throughout the last couple of years, Charlo, on the other hand, appears to be satisfied to remain the king of the junior middleweight division. Crawford, however, has teased a potential move up to 154 pounds for over a year, and Jermell Charlo is leaving the door open for a possible fight.
“I see guys moving up,” Jermell Charlo said in an appearance on The Last Stand Podcast with Brian Custer. “I told you, you got the Crawfords and stuff calling you out; they’re moving up in weight. Whatever is the big money [fight] is the big money. At the end of the day, we don’t fight for free. It’s a prize [fight]. Being at this top level, I just want my recognition. I want that love I deserve. I’m still one of them most underrated of the highest-rated fighters, so that gives me the hunger. I gotta continue that.
“We could still make some money. I can still get to the bag at 154. The windows is still open for me. Whatever, guy, you get your paperwork right, talk to Mr. Haymon, and we’ll get a fight going,” Charlo said. “You damn right it’ll be easy [to make]. Let’s get a big fight going, matter of fact. And I’ll show you better than I can take. Ain’t nothin’ easy in the ring with me.”
Jermell Charlo, who has been sidelined since December with a broken left hand, also criticized Crawford for his “sloppy” business deals. For instance, passing on an undisputed, legacy bout with Spence to take what many considered to be a tune-up fight against fringe contender David Avanesyan on BLK Prime Pay-Per-View. The event, which generated less than 40,000 buys, was the lowest-recorded total in over 62 years. The 1960 rematch between Floyd Patterson and Ingemar Johannsson produced just 25,000 buys, which is comprehensible for obvious reasons.
To boot, BLK Prime received several one-star reviews because several people who purchased the $39.99 pay-per-view didn’t get to watch the fight due to a playback error. One customer, Rasheed Hakim, even complained through the Google Play Store that he attempted to contact support through their app, only to find out the page didn’t even exist.
The 35-year-old Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs), a three-division world champion, knocked out Avanesyan cold in six rounds at CHI Health Center in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
Despite Crawford’s accomplishments, including the undisputed junior welterweight world championship, which he earned with a third-round knockout of former titleholder Julius Indongo on August 19, 2017, at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska, Charlo isn’t impressed by his résumé, suggesting that fighting Spence is the only way to tell if he is truly as elite as he proclaims to be.
“These kids, they just talking,” Jermell Charlo said of Crawford. “He ain’t fought nobody, for real, for real. He just got out of Top Rank contract because [Top Rank head] Bob [Arum] didn’t want his ass, so he just got rid of him. It’s just like; I don’t know. Why don’t you make the fight with the man that’s in front of you? Errol been calling you out. Get in the ring man. We don’t know who these last guys are, signing deals with BLK. He’s just doing his business wrong. He’s sloppy with his business.
“I don’t know what he want to do, but I’m down to fight. I’m down to fight. I don’t got time to go back and forth with him. You a lil boy, you come from 140, you’re not even strong enough to handle my sh!t that I be throwing at you. I’m not none of these guys that you fought before. I’m undisputed for a reason.”
The 32-year-old Jermell Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs) is expected to return to the ring in the summer against WBO mandatory challenger Tim Tszyu, who knocked out Tony Harrison, the only fighter to defeat Charlo, earlier this month in his native Australia.
As for Crawford, who became a free agent at the end of 2021, he was ordered by the WBO last month to face his mandatory challenger, Alexis Rocha, who is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions.