By: Hans Themistode
Number one contender and current WBC interim titleist Jermall Charlo (28-0, 21 KOs) scored a unanimous decision victory tonight over Mat Korobov (28-2, 14 KOs) tonight. Two judges scored the bout 116-112 while one judge had it fairly wide 119-108. In the what was perceived to be an easy nights work for Jermall turned out to be anything but that.
Korobov, who came in tonight as a late replace for Willie Monroe Jr gave Jermall everything he could handle. The size difference between the two was noticeable but the skill was comparable. The match started with Korobov landing shots on Jermall that has seldom been done by anyone. Often times Jermall would shake his head and acknowledge Korobov for the shots he was landing. Defensively Korobov was on his game as well.
Charlo had a hard time finding the target tonight. When he did however Korobov to the surprise of many was able to take the powerful blows and not seem visibly distraught. In the 12th however Jermall seemed moments away from ending the contest. A series of hard shots from the interim WBC champion landed on the chin of Korobov which placed him on unsteady legs. Jermall followed those shots with a flurry of hard punches which all landed on the chin of Korobov. To the challengers credit however he managed to weather the storm but could not get the decision.
Although Jermall won he did not look as impressive as he had in the past. Sure Korobov is a tough and skilled competitor but something seemed off and understandably so.
In the co main event Jermall’s twin brother and now former WBC Jr Middleweight champion Jermell Charlo (31-1, 15 KOs) suffered his first defeat at the hands of Tony Harrison (28-2, 21 KOs).
The bout between the two saw long stretches of both men having plenty of success. Harrison seemed to box effectively and used the ring to his advantage. For Jermell he hurt Harrison several times throughout the fight and seemed confident that he had done enough to earn a decision. However a win for Jermell was not in store for him tonight.
When speaking after the fight about what his next move will be Jermell made it known exactly what he plans on doing next.
“There’s a rematch clause in the contract. We’ll be fighting within four months.” Said Jermell.
Both Charlo twins had less than memorable performances tonight. Jermall did not seem as sharp as he normally is and Jermell suffered the first defeat of his career in what is quite possibly the biggest upset of the year.
Both twins have plenty of work to do. They are both still terrific fighters but will have to rebound quickly from subpar performances.