Jermell Charlo: “I’m Not Here To Fight Mandatories. I Want A Champion!”

Jermell Charlo Targeting Legacy Fights, Says Mandatories Are In the Way

Jermell Charlo with Derrick James and unified titles
Jermell Charlo with Derrick James and unified titles

Jermell Charlo Has No Appetite for Mandatories

Becoming an undisputed champion is very hard to do in the four-belt era due to the number of mandatory challengers that will pop up. Fighters often will step aside with the promise of getting their shot next. However, unified junior middleweight champion Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KO’s) would like to fight a champion over a mandatory.

Charlo was supposed to rematch WBO champion Brian Castano after their first encounter ended in a draw in 2021. The two champions had agreed to fight a second time to crown an undisputed champion on February 26. As fate would have it, within two weeks of the fight, Castano suffered a shoulder injury, bringing everything to a halt.

As of right now, the fight has not been rescheduled. Furthermore, Iron Man is on record not believing the injury excuse, and he has been calling for receipts from the WBO champion to prove the injury was legit.


However, Charlo has a bigger problem. With the fight for undisputed in disarray, the mandatory fighters will want their opportunity at the titles. It raises the issue that he could be forced to fight a mandatory next.

WBC top contender Erickson Lubin has been seeking a rematch with Charlo to avenge the only blemish on his record from a 2017 defeat. Lubin will lock horns against #2 ranked Sebastian Fundora on April 9. However, the winner of that fight will most certainly be calling for the champion.

WBA’s number one challenger Israil “The Dream” Madrimov won the right to challenge for the title after controversially stopping Michel Soro back in December 2021. The WBA has ordered the two men rematch, but that could very well change given the current circumstance.

The IBF is the one organization that can be the most troublesome. In 2021, they stepped in to kill any talks of a rematch for undisputed, ordering the champion to face mandatory challenger Bakhram Murtazaliev (19-0, 14 KO’s).


During an interview on The Last Stand Podcast, Charlo addressed the IBF mandatory situation. He admitted that he would rather fight for legacy instead.

“I got a very clear understanding with the IBF. Those are the main people pushing for the mandatory. The mandatory has already stepped aside and accepted his bread, that he received, and he’s understood. I’m gonna knock him the fuck out if I have to.

But, I want it very clear to understand that I’m not here to fight my mandatories. It’s all about making legacies and making dreams come true […] I don’t want to fight a mandatory, I want to go straight into a fight with a champion.”

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By: Garrisson Bland

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Garrisson Bland - Head of Public Relations/Senior Journalist. Garrisson is the Head of Public relations for as well as a senior writer. He is also the host of YouTube boxing show "Truth And Facts Sports Talk."