IBF junior middleweight champion Jermall Charlo (25-0, 19 Kos) is moving up to middleweight to go after the big names in that division. Charlo revealed the news after his last fight against Julian Williams last December. Charlo has become too big to fight at 154, and it’s taking too much out of him to make the weight limit for the division.
Charlo, 26, still hasn’t officially vacated his International Boxing Federation junior middleweight title yet, but that’s expected to take place shortly. Unfortunately for Charlo, there’s no one in the division for him to fight at 154 for him to want to sacrifice so much to melt down to that weight class.
Now that Charlo has beaten Julian Williams, the only fighters that remain as potential opponents for him are Demetrius Andrade and Erislandy Lara. Charlo isn’t going to fight Lara. They know each other, and they’re not going to fight. Charlo vs. Andrade isn’t big enough fight to be worthwhile for him to stay at this weight class. Andrade is a talented fighter, but he’s not a big name with the casual boxing fans.
Charlo is going to be an immediate threat to the existing top fighters at 160 in Gennady Golovkin, Daniel Jacobs, and Billy Joe Saunders. You can include Saul Canelo Alvarez among that group now that he’s taking on Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in their catch-weight fight at 164.5lbs on May 6. Canelo will come down to 160 to campaign as a middleweight after that fight. He obviously isn’t going to fight Charlo, but he’s going to have to deal with him sooner or later as he becomes a permanent fixture in the division.
Charlo isn’t going to fight Golovkin and the other top middleweights immediately. He’s going to slowly build up to those fights and get ranked. It’s going to be interesting once Charlo does face the likes of Golovkin, Jacobs, Saunders and Canelo. I don’t know that Canelo will ever face a talent like Charlo. I think he’ll avoid him permanently. He’s too good. But, Golovkin will definitely fight him, and maybe Jacobs and Saunders. I see Charlo taking Jacobs’ place as the No.2 middleweight in the division just by moving up. Charlo is a much better fighter than Jacobs in my opinion, and I see him knocking him out when/if that fight happens in the future.
Charlo will have six extra pounds to play with in moving to 160. He’s said to rehydrate into the 170s, so it won’t be quite as hard for him to get down in weight compared to when he was melting down to get to 154. That weight class is one that Charlo has always fought at since he turned pro, and his body has outgrown it.