Given his last couple of performances, is Jermall Charlo ready for Canelo Alvarez?
On June 29, Jermall Charlo defended his WBC middleweight title against little known but champion of the “The Contender” televsion series Brandon Adams. It was to be a showcase fight for the new WBC champion to look good in front of his hometown.
Although he won easily, he didn’t impress as he went twelve rounds with a man many felt was he was several levels ahead in skill. Knocking out Adams was even a feat journeyman John Thompson achieved in the second round back in 2015. Understandably this was four years prior, however, Adams has not improved skill-wise on a tremendous scale.
Charlo’s performance was lackluster not because he didn’t get the knockout, but more because he was missing a lot of shots and was very susceptible to clean counters from the overhand right of Adams. This was not the same fighter of the junior middleweight division where he was dropping fighters with his jab alone.
What if He Fights Canelo the Same Way He Fought Adams or Korobov?
Canelo Alvarez recently demonstrated new dimensions to his defense. In addition, he has honed his ability to counter with pen-point accuracy. A duplication of Charlo’s performance on June 29 against Alvarez would likely result in a rude awakening.
The new champion repeatedly dropped his left hand and his jab seemed slow and seemed to follow the same methodical pattern. Additionally, he would leave it out there too long, giving his opponent the windows of opportunity for counters.
Such defensive mistakes against a fast and hard combination puncher like Canelo Alvarez will not go well. It could resemble when he fought Julian “J-Rock” Williams in 2016, only with Charlo possibly taking the place of “J-Rock”.
In all honesty, he was countered for nearly every jab he threw for dropped his left hand. Fortunately for Charlo, he was able to catch Williams overreaching to deliver a clean uppercut that settled matters.
However, with fighters like Brandon Adams now taking his punches, the mystique that the Houston native once had as powerful hard hitting fighter seems like an afterthought. He was never known for his speed, elusive footwork or defensive prowess so his power and ability to command behind the jab made up for a lot of these deficiencies.
His last two fights have gone the distance with underwhelming performances. Although, the champion stated he hurt his hand early in the fight with Adams, it is still this writer’s opinion that for now, a fight with Canelo should be something he hold off on. Of course, however, as the champion, one should always look to fight the best!
Ironically, the unified champion seems to not be too interested in the fight in the first place…go figure!
By: Jordan Whitehead