Jermell Charlo lost via a wide unanimous decision to Canelo Alvarez in late September. The judges ringside scored the bout (118-109), (118-109) and (119-108), which led to an element of regret for Charlo. The former undisputed junior middleweight champion moved up two weight classes to face Canelo, and the weight disparity was too much of a task for him to overcome across a twelve-round fight.
With that fight behind him, Tim Tszyu the new WBO junior middleweight champion, and IBF ordering Jermell Charlo to face Bakhram Murtazaliev, some prominent individuals are accusing Charlo of not ‘being hungry anymore’ and questioning whether he will return to the weight class he has dominated in.
“Charlo will not reign supreme at 154 because he’s not hungry anymore. That $20 million cash-out shot he had against Canelo showed already in his effort in the Canelo fight,” said Paulie Malignaggi.
“People are going say, ‘Oh, Canelo was too big, and maybe Charlo knew it, and so he just kind of floated around,’” Malignaggi continued . “But once you let your mind go to that place where you are no longer testing yourself when you’ve gone by this ‘Lion’s Only’ moniker and then fight like a kitten, that’s going to stay with you because the money you have in the bank account is something you’re going to be wanting to protect.”
The tale of a fighter who has lost their competitive edge after securing long-term financial security is as old as the sport itself, though Charlo should be given the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise given his callout for a matchup against Terence Crawford, the undisputed welterweight champion of the world.
A matchup of this sort would offer Charlo the opportunity to earn a hefty payday and challenge against an argued all-time great. To truly win fans over however, taking care of business at 154 should do the job.