Undisputed Super Middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez defeated undisputed Jr. Middleweight champion Jermell Charlo Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. At a time when some have started calling into question if father time was catching up to Canelo, he quelled the naysayers with a dominant performance.
The now 33-year-old Canelo was dominant from start to finish. From the first round through the fourth Canelo effectively cut off the ring and landed consistent shots to the body. Charlo’s defense showed cracks in the early rounds when Canelo’s signature power hooks to the body had a clear effect on him and forced him to focus largely on defense in the first half of the fight.
The action picked up in the fifth and sixth rounds. Charlo demonstrating ring movement and beginning to put combinations together. Round seven would prove to be a pivotal round that permanently shifted the momentum in the fight. Just as Charlo seemed to be implementing his game plan, Canelo broke through with a looping overhand right that stunned Charlo and forced him to take a knee. The rest of the seventh-round saw Charlo fight intelligently, and even land some of his cleanest shots to make it to the bell. Charlo initially showed more urgency but was unable to deter the surgical precision of Canelo’s offense and defense
From that point on Canelo walked and stalked Charlo who never seemed to mount any serious threat for the remainder of the bout that saw Canelo cruise to a unanimous decision victory.
In post-fight interviews Charlo stated, “I just felt like I wasn’t me in there, I don’t make excuses for myself, so it is what it is. I take my punches and roll with it. It’s boxing. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.”
He further said “[t]ruthfully, I could feel the difference in the weight, I picked up 14 pounds. I am undisputed in my weight division. You fall short sometimes, but you just have to keep on pushing. My roll don’t stop right here. I’m proud of myself. He hit me with some hard shots. I thought I got mine off. I’m the little Charlo and I represent that.”
As for Canelo, he said “[w]e worked on attacking the body…We know he’s a great fighter. He knows how to move in the ring. We worked on attacking the body for three months. For three months in the mountains without my family, without everything.”
So, what’s next? For Charlo, he was noncommittal deferring to what his team and management plot out for him. However, a return to Jr. Middleweight is the most likely scenario.
For Canelo, the sky is the limit. After thanking his legions of supporters, Canelo declared himself open to facing anyone next. “I still love boxing,” said Canelo. “I love boxing so much. Boxing is my life. Boxing made me the person I am today. That’s why I love boxing so much. And I love boxing so much because of my fans, too…Cinco de Mayo I’ll face whoever. I don’t care.”
Check out the highlights of Canelo vs. Charlo here.