Charlo: ‘I showed myself that anything can be done

In the co-main event of David Benavidez-Demetrius Andrade, WBC 160-pound champion Jermall Charlo returned to the ring for the first time in 29 months with a dominant performance against José Benavídez Jr., the older brother of David Benavídez in their 10-round non-title bout contracted at 163 pounds.

Charlo(33-0, 22 KOs) weighed in at 166.4 pounds at Friday’s weigh-in, compared to Benavídez(28-3-1, 19 KOs) at 161.2 pounds, but the fight was allowed to continue after both camps agreed.

The WBC 160-pound champion was the much larger man, and he pushed Benavídez around the ring with his pole-like jab and hard right hands. It all added up to a wide decision for Charlo by scores of 100-90, 99-91, and 98-92.

    Photos: Ryan Hafey/PBC

    Charlo landed 116 of 334 total jabs for a 35% connect rate and landed 127 of 279 power punches for a 46% clip.

    The Houston native has battled issues with mental health, but he is back, and he feels he’ll be better going forward.

    “I’ll be back stronger, just know that,” Charlo said. “I thought about everything that I’ve been through every round. God’s got me. I want to thank everybody who never left my side. I want to thank Al Haymon for understanding me. I know when you’re a man, it’s hard to explain to somebody what you stand for, but I’m happy that I went through what I went through because I showed myself that anything can be done.”

    Benavidez was made to order for Charlo, but give Charlo credit. He looked sharp for a guy who had been out of the ring for 29 months. Hopefully, he can overcome whatever mental hurdles he has to be more active in 2024.

    Matias shines:

    In other PPV undercard action, IBF Junior Welterweight champion Subriel Matías broke down, battered and stopped previously unbeaten Shohjahon Ergashev in a brutal and entertaining slugfest that has become a staple of Matías’ career.

    After absorbing a barrage of punishment and looking completely overwhelmed and winded, Ergashev refused to come out of his corner to start the sixth round, as Matías notched his 20th stoppage in 21 fights and his fifth straight retirement stoppage. The official time of stoppage was two seconds into the sixth round, and it ended another dominant, ruthless showing from Matías, who improved to 20-1 with 20 KOs in his first title defense, while Ergashev dropped to 23-1 with 20 KOs.

    “When I started feeling [Ergashev’s] punches in the first round, I knew he didn’t have the power to knock me out. That’s when I started attacking,” Matías said. “For left-handed southpaw fighters, I just need three or four rounds to decipher them. Then, what happened tonight, usually happens. Teofimo Lopez, Gervonta Davis, Devin Haney, if you want that, come over here and fight.”

    Matías connected on 108 of 317 total punches for a 34% clip, compared to 44 of 235 and 19% for Ergashev, with 26 of Ergashev’s total connects in the first two rounds. Over five rounds, Matías landed 71 power punches and 37 jabs to complete the dominant performance.

    Roach becomes a world champion:

    In the PPV opener, former title challenger Lamont Roach wrested away Héctor García’s WBA Super Featherweight Title in his second attempt at a belt, dropping García in the 12th round and winning a split decision by scores of 116-111, 114-113 and 113-114 in a highly technical and strategic fight. The knockdown in the 12th was the difference as Roach avoided a split-draw on Saturday with the left-hook that landed on the top of García’s head with 1:20 left in the frame and drove García into the canvas for the second time in his career.

    “Man, I’ve been waiting to hear ‘And the new’ for a long time,” said Roach, who improved to 24-1-1, 9 KOs. “It’s about time though. All I needed was the spotlight. The first time I was a baby – I was 24 years old. Now I’m seasoned. I don’t think anyone can beat me. Nobody.”

    On the knockdown that decided the outcome: “We’ve been working on this shot for a long time, that hook,” Roach went on. “I’m the best and I want to show I’m the best. Anybody who wants to fight let me know because I want to fight all of you. There’s a lot of cool champions at 130. I’ll take whoever.”

    In 2019, Roach came up short in his first title shot against Jamel Herring, also a southpaw, but made good on his second attempt on Saturday, while García (16-2, 10 KOs) was unsuccessful in his first defense of his WBA championship after he rose in weight and was stopped by lightweight titleholder Gervonta Davis back in January when García retired on his stool before the ninth round, complaining of impaired vision.   

    After feeling each other out for most of the bout, Roach came alive in the 11th round, hurting García with a right hand that pushed García into the ropes. The 28-year-old Roach followed up with a right uppercut that also stunned García. Roach connected on 118 of 490 total punches, a 29% connect rate, compared to 93 of 468 or 20% for Garía, according to CompuBox. Roach also held a 79 to 62 connect advantage in power punches and an edge in jabs 39 to 31.

    In other action:

    Preceding the pay-per-view, exciting contender Michel Rivera (25-1, 14 KOs) recorded the biggest win of his career, upsetting former world champion Sergey Lipinets (17-3-1, 13 KOs) by three scores of 97-93, 97-93 and 96-94 in their 10-round super lightweight match in action In his first bout at 140, Rivera was the sharper and more dynamic of the two as his superior hand and foot movement confounded Lipinets, who could never quite catch up to his fleet-footed foe.

    Prospect Vito Mielnicki Jr. dropped Mexico’s Alexis Salazar three times in the first round, causing referee Robert Hoyle to stop the bout at 2:27 of the initial frame in a scheduled 10-round super welterweight attraction. Salazar was supposed to be perhaps the toughest opponent of Mielnicki’s career. Instead, the 21-year-old, with trainer Ronnie Shields in his corner for the first time, was razor shape and pinpoint with his punches as he improved to 16-1 with 11 knockouts, while Salazar showed little punch resistance and fell to 25-6 with 10 KOs

    Charlo on Benavidez Jr.: ‘I don’t have respect for him’

    Undefeated WBC Middleweight World Champion Jermall Charlo discussed training camp and more ahead of his showdown against exciting contender Jose Benavidez Jr., which serves as the SHOWTIME PPV co-main event on Saturday, November 25 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. 

    Charlo will take on Benavidez in a 10-round non-title WBC special event as he looks to end an over two-year layoff with an emphatic victory.

    Here is what Charlo had to say from training camp in his hometown of Houston:


    “I’m excited to be back – back where I belong. I’m really re-learning boxing, like in the amateurs all over again. I feel new to it. It’s a thrill at the same time. I’m putting my life on the line once again, to shock the world and let people know that I’m on top.

    “A lot of people consider mental health when can’t stabilize your mind and think forward. And that’s kind of where I was at. I was in a place of not being able to explain it to anyone and kind of always shielded it and I had to fight through that through my learning experiences. The main thing I’ve learned this whole time is patience. I got ready on my own terms. I’m back in the ring on my own terms. I feel better at my own pace and I’m going to go in and face my battles on my own timing.

    Andrew Hemingway/SHOWTIME

    “Benavidez is just one of those guys who has to make a name for himself. Of course, talking s— to me would be the best thing you can do because you’re only amping the fight up. I mean, I guess he is trying to sell the fight, but I’m taking it personal and I’m taking it seriously. I’m not taking his words lightly.

    “He wants to fight me I guess in revenge for his brother. There’s a lot of brother-brother stuff going on, you know, the Charlo brothers and the Benavidez brothers. So it’s the battle of the brothers and if you want this to be your biggest rival, let’s do it. I’m coming back after two years, no excuses. I’m here to fight.

    “I don’t have respect for him. I have respect for myself to go out there and dictate the fight, be patient. Of course, if I hit him flush, I’ll knock him cold out. Walking all over him, AI (Allen Iverson) s—. I’m going crazy. I’m just trying not to let the excitement overpower me.

    “I actually want to be more active next year, take on two or three fights. I’m ready to stay in the gym and stay focused and hopefully I can land one of those big fights you want to see. Maybe the winner out of the main event or maybe Canelo, YouTubers coming up. You know, I really don’t care. I just want to fight.”

    Jermall Charlo: ‘I won’t be rusty at all’

    Undefeated WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) makes his long-awaited return to the ring when he battles Jose Benavidez Jr.(28-2-1, 19 KOs) in the co-main event headlined by David Benavidez and Demetrius Andrade on Saturday, November 25 from Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas(SHOWTIME PPV). 

    Charlo-Benavidez is a 10-round non-title fight that will take place at 163 pounds.

    The Houston native, who has battled issues with mental health, has not fought since June 2021. However, the 33-year says the layoff won’t matter against Benavidez Jr.

    “I won’t be rusty at all,” Charlo said during a virtual press conference on Tuesday. “There’s no excuses in this fight. I hope Benavidez isn’t thinking that I’m gonna be rusty. Because I’ve been working. You’ll see…

    “My mental abilities have caught up with my physical abilities, so you’re gonna see the best of me. I’m naturally stronger, and I’ve really been working on my twitch and my speed. I’ve sparred strong guys, so I should be at the top of my game. I’m ready to blow this dude out.”

    Benavidez Jr. two losses have come against undisputed welterweight champion Terence Crawford and two-division world champion Danny Garcia. Charlo feels when Benavidez Jr. steps up in competition, he never wins.

    “He loses at the top level,” Charlo said. “He’s not his brother. He keeps trying to be his brother, but he’s not that. I respect his brother. I’m not worried about Jose. I’m gonna straight up fight him like a man.

    “I’m gonna stand in the pocket and fight you. So you better not run. Come to me. Don’t try to do that awkward southpaw stuff. You’re not like that, and you’re not ready for me.”

    According to Charlo, after this fight with Benavidez Jr., he’s looking to fight his little brother David Benavidez Jr.

    “This is my first step toward potentially fighting at 168 pounds and fighting his brother,” Charlo said. “This guy here has got little man syndrome. He’s gonna see when he starts eating right hands and jabs.”

    This is a fight Charlo should win; he will be rusty, but again, he should have no issues defeating Benavidez Jr.

    Undercard announced for Benavidez-Andrade

    Undefeated WBC Middleweight World Champion Jermall Charlo will battle exciting contender José Benavídez Jr. in a 10-round non-title WBC special event in the co-main event of a stacked SHOWTIME PPV undercard on Saturday, November 25 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

    The pay-per-view will also see hard-hitting IBF 140-pound world champion Subriel Matías against unbeaten mandatory challenger Shohjahon Ergashev, plus WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Héctor Luis Garcia duels top-rated mandatory challenger Lamont Roach in the telecast opener at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

    The event is headlined by undefeated two-time super middleweight world champion David “El Monstruo” Benavídez defending his Interim WBC Super Middleweight Title against unbeaten two-division world champion Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade in one of the most intriguing matchups in the star-studded 168-pound division.

    The 33-year-old Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs) will return from a layoff of over two years, having held the WBC middleweight belt since 2019 with a run that includes a dominant victory over top middleweight contender Sergey Derevyanchenko in their September 2020 showdown. Charlo’s 160-pound victories have come after a championship reign at 154-pounds that lasted from 2015 through 2017. He has compiled a perfect 7-0 record since moving up to middleweight and owns victories over former champions Julian Williams, Austin Trout and Cornelius Bundrage at super welterweight, with both Williams and Bundrage succumbing to highlight-reel KO defeats.

    “It’s been a long road to this point, but only the strong survive and I’m built different,” said Charlo. “I’m looking forward to reminding everyone that there is a reason why Jermall Charlo is an undefeated world champion and one of the best fighters today pound-for-pound. This is the next chapter of my life and it’s going to be my best, so I want all my fans to tune in on November 25, because I’m going to light up Las Vegas.”

    Phoenix’s Benavídez (28-2-1, 19 KOs) is the older brother of headliner David Benavídez and is trained by his father José Sr. A long-established contender who was a highly decorated amateur, Benavídez moved up to super welterweight after dropping a 2018 world title challenge to Terence Crawford, concluding a long run at 147 pounds. He moved up to 154 pounds in July 2022, battling two-division champion Danny Garcia for 12 rounds before losing by a close majority decision. Benavídez made his 160 pound debut in August, blasting out veteran Sladan Janjanin in round five.

    “I’ve been working hard and I feel strong and ready to take him out,” said Benavídez. “I’ve been wanting to fight Charlo for a while. I’m going to come that night and show him what I’m about. But I’m not here trying to use words. I don’t need to say anything. I’m going to let my fists do the talking in the ring on November 25.”

    The 31-year-old Matías (19-1, 19 KOs) captured the IBF 140-pound championship in February, stopping the previously unbeaten Jeremias Ponce after five rounds of fast-paced, back-and-forth action on SHOWTIME®. Matías has shown that his power lasts throughout a fight, as his last seven victories have come via stoppage in round five or later. The lone loss of his career came against Petros Ananyan via 10-round unanimous decision in 2020 and was later avenged. Matías, of Farjado, Puerto Rico, faced two unbeaten boxers after the loss, defeating Malik Hawkins and Batyrzhan Jukembayev by stoppage. In the rematch with Ananyan, Matías emerged victorious by ninth-round TKO, methodically wearing his opponent down and exhausting him before dropping him and ending the action.

    “I would always rather let my hands do the talking inside of the ring, but I’m very excited for this fight,” said Matías. “This is a great opportunity to be a part of a big event in Las Vegas. I had my only loss there, so I’m going to avenge that defeat on November 25 and show everyone that Subriel Matias is here to stay. I’m dedicating this fight to my hometown of Maternillo and the people of Puerto Rico.”

    Born in Uzbekistan and now fighting out of Detroit under the tutelage of renowned trainer SugarHill Steward, Ergashev (23-0, 20 KOs) has dominated his competition since turning pro in 2015, earning his shot at the world title. After the 31-year-old made his U.S. debut in late 2017,  he stopped the previously unbeaten Sonny Fredrickson in three rounds in January 2018 in his second bout stateside. He’d follow that up in 2019 by winning a unanimous decision over Mykal Fox, handing him the first defeat of his career.  Ergashev most recently scored a pair of victories in 2022, shutting out Luis Alberto Veron on his way to a unanimous decision in May, before stopping Angel Martinez Hernandez in the fifth round in August.

    García (16-1, 10 KOs) followed up his spectacular 2022 in January by challenging boxing superstar Gervonta Davis for his lightweight world title on SHOWTIME PPV, giving Davis a competitive bout before losing in round nine. García has fought professionally since December of 2016 after a stellar amateur career that included representing his native Dominican Republic in the 2016 Olympics and a runner-up finish at the 2015 Pan-Am Games in Toronto. Now training in Las Vegas under the watchful eye of respected trainer Bob Santos, García scored one of the biggest upsets of 2022 ,  dropping and defeating then unbeaten Chris Colbert in February of that year. Nearly six months later, García captured the world title with a one-sided unanimous decision over incumbent Roger Gutierrez in August.

    The 28-year-old Roach (23-1-1, 9 KOs) enters this fight on a four-bout winning streak, earning his position at 130 pounds by defeating Angel Rodriguez via unanimous decision in their July 2022 title eliminator. Roach’s current run comes after he dropped a November 2019 130-pound world title fight via decision against Jamel Herring. A native of Washington, D.C., Roach began his pro career in 2014 with 16straight victories following an impressive amateur run that included a 2013 National Golden Gloves Championship and the honor of being named USA Boxing’s Most Outstanding Boxer.

    “He couldn’t run for long, but we’re finally here,” said Roach. “I’m extremely excited for this fight and this opportunity. The world is going to get used to their new world champion and it starts when I get my hand raised on November 25.”

    Canelo on Jermell Charlo: ‘Him and his brother didn’t believe in my skills’

    Undisputed 168-pound undisputed champion Canelo Álvarez has never really ducked or dodged a challenge. In fact, he runs right into it.

    That mentality continues to be on full display as Alvarez(59-2-2, 39 KOs) will battle undisputed 154-pound champion Jermell Charlo(35-1-1, 19 KOs) on Saturday, September 30 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas(Showtime PPV).

    Whether it’s Jermall or Jermell Charlo, both fighters have tried to get their hands on Alvarez, and according to the Mexican star, he will show the Charlo brothers all the things he brings to the table.

    Saul Canelo Alvarez media workout/Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

    “I always want to make the best fights out there,” Canelo said at his virtual media workout in Lake Tahoe on Wednesday. “I’m excited to be in this fight. This is a fight that people have talked about for a while. I’m excited to show the Charlos my skills. Now Jermell is gonna feel my skills.

    “I think Jermell Charlo is the perfect fight right now. He’s been calling me out for a long time, and I never forget. He’s said a lot of things. He never believed in my skills, but he’s gonna find out soon. Him and his brother didn’t believe in my skills, and that motivates me for this fight.”

    Charlo is moving up two weight classes, which is something Alvarez did when he fought and stopped Sergey Kovalev at 175 pounds in 2019. Canelo thinks Charlo won’t have any issues with the weight.

    “Charlo will be good at 168 pounds,” Alvarez said. “I’ve made that jump before, so I know. I think that when you’re a great champion like he is, it doesn’t matter.

    “These kinds of fights motivate me. I like being underestimated. That’s what makes me excited for this fight.”

    In his last fight in May, Alvarez defeated John Ryder by unanimous decision; however, he wasn’t at his best. For this training camp, the 33-year-old Alvarez says he’s healthy and convinced that this has been one the best training camps of his career.

    Saul Canelo Alvarez media workout

    “I feel great,” he said. “This is really one of the best camps I’ve ever had. I feel great to be able to train 100% now with my left hand. That’s made me more confident. When you train knowing that you’re healthy, you’ll be more confident in the fight.”

    Canelo can add yet another benchmark to his already historic career with a triumph over Charlo and, in doing so, become the first man during the four-belt era to defend all four titles successfully three consecutive times.

    Charlo: ‘My whole career has kind of been all about chasing Canelo’

    For undisputed 154-pound champion Jermell Charlo(35-1-1, 19 KOs), the thought was after his hand injury was healed, he would fight Tim Tszyu. However, an opportunity to fight the biggest name in boxing came calling, undisputed 168-pound champion Canelo Alvarez(59-2-2, 39 KOs), so now he’s moving up two weight classes to battle Alvarez on September 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas(Showtime PPV).

    After kicking off the fight promotion in New York on Tuesday, the undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo and undisputed junior middleweight champion Charlo hit the west coast to preview their showdown.

    Many thought Jermell’s twin and 160-pound WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo was going to get the fight with Alvarez, but due to issues going on outside the ring, he was not ready, so Jermell got the call, and he says he’s been chasing Alvarez his whole career.

    Canelo Charlo Press Conference/Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

    “When I got the call for this fight, there was nothing I could say other than ‘let’s go,’” Charlo said on Wednesday. “My whole career has kind of been all about chasing Canelo. He’s been the top guy for a long time. The fight has presented itself now, and I just have to get in there, do my job, and be the best that I can be.

    At 154 pounds, Charlo is a big puncher; he has stopped four out of his last five opponents and believes his power will travel to 168 pounds.

    “He’s gonna find out that I’m the big Charlo,” he said. “I am what I say I am. Canelo will see that I pack good punching power, that I have good lateral movement, and that I’m a ring general, just like he is. He’ll see that it won’t be a walk in the park. He says he’s gonna be better in this fight, and it’s the same thing for me.”

    The 33-year-old expects to put on a show for the fans in Las Vegas on September 30.

    “After September 30, people are gonna appreciate my skills and what I’ve been doing for so long, ever since I was a kid. With every fight, I come to put on a show, and I’m dangerous the whole fight. I want to be known as great.

    Charlo(5’11) is taller than Canelo(5’8), but Alvarez looks thicker. The Houston, Texas native is moving up two weight classes, so you have to say advantage Canelo. However, Charlo will not lie down, so expect a great night of boxing.






    Jermell Charlo is daring to be great

    After Canelo Alvarez(59-2-2, 39 KOs) reportedly signed a three-fight deal with PBC, the thought was that WBC 160-pound champion Jermall Charlo(35-1-1, 19 KOs) was going to move up eight pounds and battle the undisputed champion at super middleweight.

    However, Jermall Charlo has been inactive for over two years after reportedly dealing with injuries and personal issues, so according to reports, he won’t be ready to fight Canelo, but someone in his family is willing and prepared to battle Alvarez.

    Undisputed 154-pound champion Jermell Charlo will move up 14 pounds to battle Alvarez on September 30 in Las Vegas, both fighters announced last Friday.

    Jermell Charlo was expected to fight Tim Tszyu in January, but he had to pull out due to hand injuries; instead of fighting Tszyu, he’s daring to be great and going up two weight classes to conquer another division.

    On paper, the fighter moving up two weight classes would be at a disadvantage; however, Charlo(6-0) is taller than Alvarez(5-8), and the weight cut might be easier as he moves up instead of going down. Plus, Mell has a lot of heart. As we’ve seen in his career, he appears to have that “Clutch Gene.” He stopped both Tony Harrison and Brian Castano late in fights.

    However, Alvarez has been at the weight longer, so again, you must give him the advantage.

    Regardless of what happens, this is better than Canelo-Jermall Charlo. Jermall has been out of the ring too long and appears to be dealing with many things. In the end, Jermell has nothing to lose. If he loses, well, he dared to be great, and failed. If he wins, he’s conquered two divisions.

    Andrade wants Charlo twins, Benavidez, Plant

    “Hello, it’s me again.”

    Those are the familiar words of former WBO middleweight world champion Demetrius Andrade(31-0, 19 KOs), who hasn’t fought since November of 2021, but he’s back and, after fighting on the DAZN/Matchroom Boxing platform, has returned to ShowtIme/PBC, where he will move up to 168 pounds to battle Demond Nicholson(26-4-1, 22 KOs) on the undercard of Gervonta Davis-Hector Luis Garcia on Saturday night at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.(Showtime PPV).

    “I jumped on the opportunity to be on this card with all these young stars,” Andrade said at the media workout on Wednesday. “I know everyone is coming to do what they do, and I’m gonna set the stage right. I respect what Nicholson can do, and I know he’s leaving it all in the ring. But my skills will speak louder than my words.”

    For Andrade, who vacated his WBO 160-pound title rather than fighting Janibek Alimkhanuly and withdrew from a fight at 168 pounds with Zach Parker, it’s been challenging getting some of the top guys in the ring. He’s called out Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin, but for whatever reason, he could not get those fights, but according to him, everything happens for a reason.

    “I was trying to get the big names at middleweight, I was knocking on everyone’s door, but at the end of the day, it didn’t happen,” he said. “Everything happens for a reason, and I believe that this is the best division for me.”

    The 34-year-old Andrade made it clear; he wants one, if not both, Charlo brothers, David Benavidez, and Caleb Plant.

    “I want to give the sport what they’re looking for,” he said. “Because that’s also what I want with myself. Me and Jermall Charlo have had this rivalry brewing for years. It’s nothing but respect, but I want to take care of it in the ring. Who else is calling him out the way I am?

    “I want the Charlo twins; I want David Benavidez and Caleb Plant. I’m ready for anyone who wants to put on a big show.”

    Janibek Alimkhanuly: ‘(Jermall)Charlo would be easy work for me, and he knows that’

    Janibek “Qazaq Style” Alimkhanuly (12-0, 8 KOs) was officially named WBO middleweight world champion after the organization’s previous champion, Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade, elected to leave the division instead of making a mandatory defense against Janibek.

    According to Top Rank, Janibek will make the first defense of his world title later this year on ESPN.

    Janibek (12-0, 8 KOs) made his Top Rank debut as a 2-0 prospect in 2018 and quickly moved up the ranks with victories over Vaughn Alexander, Steven Martinez, and Albert Onolunose. He broke through in 2021 with one-sided knockouts over former world champions Rob Brant and Hassan N’Dam.

    In May, Janibek fought Danny Dignum for the interim WBO middleweight title after multiple prospective opponents turned down the opportunity. Janibek knocked out Dignum in the second round. 

    “I would pick Janibek over any middleweight in the world,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “He is a southpaw with tremendous power and will reign over the division for a very long time.”

    This is what the new WBO middleweight world champion had to say:

    On being the WBO Middleweight champion:

    “I am honored to be the first WBO world champion from Kazakhstan. As middleweight champion, I will represent my nation with great pride.”

    On Andrade:

    “Demetrius Andrade had no interest in fighting me. I wanted to fight him because I know I would knock him out. He ran away to super middleweight to avoid fighting me. But don’t worry, Demetrius. After I unify the belts at middleweight, we can fight.”

    On Jermall Charlo:

    “I’d have no issue fighting Jermall Charlo for his WBC title. We are both champions, so let’s unify the belts. Charlo would be easy work for me, and he knows that. Champions should fight other champions. It’s too bad the other so-called ‘champions’ do not feel that way.”

    Munguia on fight with Charlo: ‘I think it would be great for boxing’

    Former world champion and undefeated Jaime Munguia (40-0, 32 KOs) got off to a slow start Saturday night against former world title challenger Jimmy “Kilrain” Kelly (26-3, 10 KOs) in their scheduled 12-round super middleweight fight at Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

    Kelly was in control for the first few rounds, but Munguia started to land strong power punches as Kelly tried and often failed to counter. By the fifth round, Munguia attacked, dropping him three times to be declared the winner by knockout at the 2:57 marker.

    “It was difficult in the beginning since he’s a slippery, tough fighter, and he could take a punch,” said Munguia. “He was trying to do his plan of attack, but I had to do my thing and work the body. My mentality was that I was losing the first three rounds. So I had to follow my plan of slowing him down by attacking the body. I figured out that I had to work through the middle and throw punches like the uppercut. I think it was the punch that I knocked him down with.” 

    After the fight, the 25-year-old Munguia, who, like his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, did earlier this week, called out WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo. Recently, the two were in talks about a fight, but they could not come to an agreement. 

     “I think this fight helped me out a lot,” he said. “I’m ready to go back to 160 to fight for a world title or move to 168. I’m ready for any challenge. There are a lot of people who are supporting me. I want to say what Oscar said for Charlo to grow some balls and stop hiding behind Haymon. I think it would be great for boxing. We hope that by the end of the year, we can get a big fight.”

    A fight with Charlo would be great, but the business of boxing makes it difficult. Charlo is with PBC/Showtime, and Munguia is with Golden Boy/DAZN, so we’ll see if it happens. 

    Photo: Tom Hogan / Golden Boy