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Jermall Charlo knocks out Bottai, earns shot at Bundrage

Jermall Charlo is targeting K9 Bundrage after his win over Lenny Bottai.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Jermall Charlo will likely be the first challenger for IBF junior middleweight titleholder Cornelius "K9" Bundrage after demolishing overmatched Italian Lenny Bottai tonight on Showtime, scoring a third round knockout.

Charlo (20-0, 16 KO) won the first two rounds at an easy pace, and then stepped it up in the third, sensing no danger from 37-year-old Bottai (22-3, 9 KO), who was making his American debut. Bottai was dropped hard and took quite a tumble to the canvas after a left hook that ricocheted off his forehead and temple.

During the referee's count, Bottai's corner threw in the white towel, anyway, and referee Jay Nady called the fight as Bottai struggled to his feet around a count of eight or nine. The official time was 0:38 of round three.

Charlo, 24, earns a shot at Bundrage (34-5, 19 KO) with this win, which will be his first world title shot, if it actually happens, and given that the Charlos have both lost title fights that were scheduled this year, we'll see. Bundrage beat Carlos Molina on October 11 in Mexico to win the belt for a second time.