Jermell Charlo came up well short tonight, losing a clear 12-round decision to Canelo Alvarez as he challenged for Canelo’s undisputed super middleweight championship in Las Vegas.
Charlo (35-2-1, 19 KO) said he was proud of his effort in defeat, and gave Canelo (60-2-2, 39 KO) full credit for his win.
“Canelo’s a motherfucking beast. He’s an ox,” Charlo said at the post-fight press conference. “Maybe I felt that more because of the fact that it was my first time in this division. I wish I could have gained a little more weight in between the weigh-in and (the fight), but I can’t control my body. But I’m glad that I was in there with him.”
He did not shy away from some criticisms of his performance, admitting he could have been more aggressive, and that he “never got to a point where I could get into my bag like I wanted to, truthfully.”
Charlo also addressed his in-ring call-out of Terence Crawford, and said that fight will be “on his radar.”
“I think he’s already probably been on Twitter lip-wrestling with the internet just to get some clout, some fans, and that’s fine,” he said of Crawford. “But he’s a champion, he’s great at what he does, and my brother Errol’s gotta get it on with him. He wants his (win) back, and that’s what boxing is about.
“In due time, you guys will be completely entertained, and maybe I’ll talk a little bit more shit, because that’s what you all want from me. Terence Crawford’s been talking shit, so it’s gonna bring out a different animal in me. I don’t know which animal. (laughing) But yeah, man, I could fight Terence Crawford.”
Crawford had, indeed, already been on Twitter, saying that Charlo “didn’t try to win” and “should be ashamed of himself.”
More from Jermell Charlo
“Shit, what a night. I’m proud of myself. I took a chance, jumped out there strong right off a hand injury. I was out there with one of the best guys on boxing. My head is held high. I’m proud of myself, I’ve done an awesome job for Lions Only, for my crew and my team. I love boxing, so I’m not going nowhere.
On Canelo’s strength: “You can’t just charge at any fighter. His power did play a (part), but it wasn’t too dominant to where I couldn’t have come forward, and I should have come forward a little bit more in this fight. But I’m a human and I get tired, and like I said, I felt some of his punches.”
On his weight in the ring: “(Another) five lbs possibly (could have made a difference). I felt the same strength he normally has, like we usually see. I was testing myself in there.”
On the knockdown: “That was like my true first time feeling, like, a woozy shot. I’m the one always giving them. But I knew best (to take a knee), I watch boxing and have been a part of it so long. If I would have just jumped out there, I would have just embarrassed myself. I was smart enough to regroup, recover and I recovered really fast. I probably could have stayed up or whatever, but I would have just been fighting, trying to clear my head, and still getting hit with shots. ... I was good. I got back up. Get back up and continue to fight.”
On Canelo controlling the tempo: “I really don’t know what round it was, but one of the later rounds, I felt like I hit him with a solid 1-2 that was effective. I hit him with a good hook that was blinding, that he maybe didn’t see. But I feel like I never got into a point where I could get into my bag where I wanted to, truthfully.”
On fighting at super middleweight: “I’m going back down to 154. That’s going to be major. I can do it, I can make the weight easy.”
“The experience was amazing, it was cool. I appreciate fans of boxing, period, but you gotta take your hats off to the Mexican fans that support boxing and come out to shows like this. I never want to leave my African-American fans, my American fans period. They come out just as well as the Mexican fans, it’s just one is crazier than the other.”
On feeling sluggish at the weight: “A little tad bit. I’m used to moving around much lighter, of course, but it was fine. I was just trying to follow my game plan and my coaches, and part of that was really coming forward, but moving around was part of the game plan, too. I felt the weight, of course.”
On whether the Tszyu-Mendoza winner is next: “I just follow the plans and fight whoever. It’s about being great, and I’m already a legend in boxing. Hopefully y’all put me in the Hall of Fame, I don’t know who the hell controls that, but I deserve it. I’ll just listen to my coaches, let them tell me what to do next, and I’m on it. ... Of course (I’d like to go undisputed again). But it’s about fighting the best fights and making the most money at this point in my life or career. So fighting Brian Mendoza or Tszyu, who’s got an Australian fan base, it’s just not as a satisfying to me sometimes. But like I said, I’ll listen to my coaches and follow the plans of my management and go from there.”
On Canelo’s skills surprising him: “Just watching his skills in the ring with me, I felt like I could have done a lot more than I did. I’ve seen it before. I’ve been in the ring with a lot of different fighters. I’ve seen skills. He has some great skills in the ring, you gotta give it to him. But I don’t even know the last time I talked about his skills. Like, that’s just something he needed to motivate himself, and so be it. So skills? If you’re at the top in the pound-for-pound, and you’re one of the best fighters in the world, you gotta have some type of skills. Did I not believe in his skills? Shit, I don’t know when I didn’t believe in his skills. I don’t care about that. I don’t believe in nobody’s skills, you know, I think I’m the best fighter in the world. I still think that right now. So I’m cool with that.”
On things never changing for him in the fight: “Yeah, it didn’t, and it sucks. Derrick let me know I slipped up (early), and I was, like, ‘Damn.’ I just never got to a point where I could put more pressure on him. That’s part of it.”
On Canelo’s “headlocks” bothering him: “Not at all. I do remember the headlocks a few times, but I felt like he was a clever fighter. Maybe I can steal that from him in the future. (smiling) ... I could have been more aggressive, honestly.”
On Canelo cutting off the ring: “I actually thought that I was rotating pretty well, getting around, and I was actually able to catch a lot of shots with my gloves. I did rotate well, it was just about my attack. After I rotated and get out of the shot, my return was my issue.”
On his WBO 154 lb title situation: “I don’t know, truthfully. I would like to talk to somebody from the WBO and see what kind of issues they can resolve. I don’t know if they already made their decision, but that was already taking from me before the fight, and that sucks. Part of life. But Jermell Charlo never gets the fair end of the stick, I gotta go and fight for mine. But I believe that moving up two weight classes to fight for undisputed and continue to stay active — of course, I wasn’t active for a year, because I was off with a hand injury. From the moment my hand got injured and the (Tszyu) fight got canceled, the WBO sent me, like, 30 letters and had me going back-and-forth to the doctor randomly. Just having to prove to them (with) MRIs and CAT scans and X-rays. They must really got a relationship with the people in Australia, and that’s OK with me. I just gotta continue to be a champion and continue to fight, and put my heart on the line every time I get in there.”
[Editor’s Note: The WBO’s ruling is very clear, although it is still a sanctioning body, so yes, it’s a bit goofy. Charlo was stripped of the WBO 154 lb title tonight after he was announced as their champion. That title is now held by Tim Tszyu.]