IBF Orders Jermell Charlo To Face Bakhram Murtazaliev

Jermell Charlo has been ordered by the IBF to defend his belt against Bakhram Murtazaliev at 154 pounds.

The news comes after Charlo was stripped of his WBO belt at 154 following his fight with Canelo Alvarez. The American had jumped up two weight classes in an attempt to become undisputed at 168. However, the boxer lost via a unanimous decision in a one-sided fight. But by facing Canelo, Tim Tszyu became the full WBO champion at junior middleweight. The latter had been Charlo’s mandatory, only for him to fight Canelo instead. But now Charlo faces another tough fight in the form of Murtazaliev. The latter is currently undefeated with 21 wins, 14 by way of knockout. Murtazaliev’s last fight was a unanimous-decision win over Roberto Valenzuela Jr.

The news leaves Charlo with a tough choice to make. Following the loss to Canelo, Charlo did express his desire to secure fights that made the most money. A fight with Murtazaliev is unlikely to do that. The former has not fought any big names, but a world title win would change all that.

Meanwhile, does Charlo have the hunger to pursue a tough fight, having already won everything at 154? The boxer could vacate his belt in favor of having a big fight against Terence Crawford. However, the latter did rule himself out following Charlo’s below-par performance against Canelo. So, moving forward, Charlo has plenty to consider.

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