Despite not getting the highlight reel knockout many initially believed would occur, WBC middleweight champion Jermall “Hitman” Charlo did what he needed to do to defend his title for the fourth time against unheralded challenger Juan Macias Montiel.
Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) dictated and controlled the action from the opening bell until the final bell using his high-level skill set to win almost every minute to take a unanimous decision (118-109, 119-109, 120-108) in front of his hometown fans in Houston, TX. Although some pundits are not giving Charlo high marks for his latest performance, there was nothing wrong with the WBC middleweight titleholder’s performance; he just ran into a demanding customer in the form of Montiel.
“It took a real warrior to get in the ring with me. He fought each and every round as hard as he could and I could tell by his eyes that he’s a true warrior from the beginning and he wanted to fight,” Charlo said in his post-fight press conference.
“It didn’t matter what I hit him with, he wanted more. I love that spirit. He’s going to be great.”
After a clash of heads in the early part of the eighth round caused a big cut over Charlo’s right eye, Montiel momentarily stunned Charlo in the middle of the round to cease his only big moment of the fight. Being the true champion he is, Charlo went back to fighting behind a stiff jab and ripping off great combinations to dominate the championship rounds and cruise to his big decision victory.
“I never got concerned, I just thought the best fighters in the world make the best adjustments,” Charlo said. “Each and everybody out there have to adjust. We all have to adjust and that’s why we’re still here. We make adjustments and that’s what I did tonight. I’ve never been cut before. I never look like this after a fight. I knew he was putting in the work to fight me.”
After the fight, Charlo let anyone who would listen to him know, he plans to continue campaigning in the 160-pound division and is looking for nothing but big fights. With Gennadiy Golovkin set for a unification bout at the end of the year, Demetrius Andrade looking for a big fight at 160 or 168, and Jaime Munguia coming off his big performance this weekend, Charlo has a realistic chance of setting up the biggest fight of his career to date in the coming months.
“One-hundred sixty is my weight division,” Charlo said. “I want to unify. I want to get (Gennadiy) Golovkin in the ring. I want to bring him to Houston. I want to get Canelo to come to Houston if he’ll come down to 160. This is my weight division and I’mgoing to stay here and reign here. This is my fourth title defense and I have many more to come. I’m young and I’m hungry.”
No matter what side of the fence you reside on when evaluating Jermall Charlo, one has to admit he has the potential to be near the top of the pound-for-rankings for years to come if he can start landing bigger fights and continue doing what he does in the ring.