There are numerous stories throughout Boxing history where world champions in one weight division in seeking a challenge will opt to move up in weight to fight for another world championship. While the fact that there are multiple world sanctioning organizations and thus, multiple world championships per weight division has made the process of a champion moving up to challenge for another world title a bit easier, it is still an accomplishment that can prove difficult to pull off.
In the case of former Undisputed Jr. Middleweight world champion Jermell Charlo, he is preparing to take what some would call a bigger risk as he will move up in weight by two weight divisions to challenge Undisputed Super-Middleweight world champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez for the Undisputed Super-Middleweight championship of the world on September 30th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.
The fight, which can be seen here in the United States on Showtime Pay-Per-View, has been marketed as the first time in Boxing history that two undisputed champions have faced off against each other. Charlo will technically still be the undisputed champion of the 154lb. Jr. Middleweight division when he enters the ring to face Alvarez, when the bell rings for round one, he will no longer be an undisputed champion of the Jr. Middleweight division as he will be stripped of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) championship for failing to defend his title against undefeated WBO number one contender Tim Tszyu.
The technicalities and elements of the business of Boxing aside, Charlo is nevertheless attempting something that few have attempted by leaping up two divisions to challenge one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world in Alvarez, as well as one of the top drawing cards in the sport. What type of fight we might see from a stylistic standpoint may come down to who is able to dictate the pace early on as both Alvarez and Charlo are boxer/punchers who can do a little of everything, but each also has the ability to adapt during the course of a fight.
While some may point to the weight issue in that Charlo is moving up fourteen pounds to face Alvarez, this observer feels the more telling issue might be Charlo's lack of activity going into this encounter. Charlo has only fought twice in the last two years and while that is due to both his suffering a broken hand while in training for a scheduled title defense against Tim Tszyu, as well as the current state of the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) group of promoters that have seen many of those who have fought under the PBC banner seek other opportunities in an attempt to stay active, the biggest enemy of any fighter is inactivity and this in addition to the moving up fourteen pounds might work against Charlo.
In contrast to his challenger, Alvarez has been quite active for a fighter considered to be on the elite level of the sport in fighting six times over the last two years with the only blemish coming against undefeated WBA Light-Heavyweight world champion Dmitry Bivol in May of last year in a failed attempt by Alvarez to become a two-time Light-Heavyweight world champion. Despite that setback and otherwise being dominant in the 168lb. Super-Middleweight division over that stretch, there are some who might wonder if Alvarez is approaching the twilight of his career in that he has only scored one knockout during that stretch, which came against Avni Yildirim in February 2021. Although some might question whether Alvarez might be in decline because of a perception that he might not be able to end a fight inside the distance, he has nevertheless been dominant and in comparison, he would appear to have the advantage going into this fight.
It can be all too tempting at times to fall into the hype they surrounds a fight. In this case, this could be viewed as a landmark moment in the history of the sport because of the fact of at least on the surface of two undisputed champions facing each other, but with Boxing fans once again being asked to shell out funds at an expensive price to see this encounter, one can only hope that it turns out to be a competitive fight if not a great one. With so many events of a similar price falling to live up to such hype, a competitive bout where each fighter brings the best of what they have into the ring would be seen as a success even if it is at the expense of the Boxing fan.
"And That's The Boxing Truth."
Alvarez vs. Charlo takes place on Saturday, September 30th at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. The fight can be seen on Showtime Pay-Per-View in the United States for $84.99 at 8PM ET/5PM PT and will be available through traditional cable/satellite providers and the Showtime app on mobile, tablet, and connected streaming devices and Smart TVs. Contact your cable/satellite provider or visit www.SHO.com/PPV for information on how to order and view this event via the Showtime app as well as a list of compatible devices.
(*Card and Start Time Subject To Change.*)
(*Check your local listings Internationally.*)
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