Jermall Charlo has decided to vacate his IBF junior middleweight title in order to move up to middleweight, giving an opening for Jarrett Hurd and Tony Harrison to fight for the vacant belt on February 25.
Charlo (25-0, 19 KO) said that he was looking for a big fight to keep struggling with weight at 154, and since one wasn’t available, he’s moving up. From ESPN:
"It was either going to be a big fight for me at 154 pounds, like against Miguel Cotto or Canelo Alvarez, something big like that, or move up. It had to be something big to make it worth staying at 154 pounds. I know a lot of people mentioned maybe me fighting (Demetrius) Andrade. As far as competition, I wanted that fight too, but staying at 154 wasn't the healthiest move for me. I've been making 154 since I was an amateur in 2007. My body is growing and it was a little bit of a struggle to for me."
The 26-year-old Charlo won the belt from Cornelius “K9” Bundrage in September 2015 via third round TKO, and defended it successfully three times, against Wilky Campfort, Austin Trout, and Julian Williams.
Charlo has in the past mentioned a willingness to fight Gennady Golovkin, so his move to 160 could be very interesting. Or maybe not, who knows?
As for Hurd (19-0, 13 KO) and Harrison (24-1, 20 KO), that’s a good fight on paper and perfectly solid as a vacant title bout, too. It will air on FOX as part of the Deontay Wilder-Gerald Washington PBC card.