By Sean Crose
On Saturday night, boxing will once more return to the pay per view business after a long break courtesy of the Covid-19 virus. Twin brothers Jermell and Jermall Charlo will ply their trade against high level opposition at Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun arena, which will be void of fans, but not Showtime cameras, which will air the festivities to a paying audience for a price of around seventy five dollars a pop. The last major boxing card to air on pay per view was February’s Tyson Fury – Deontay Wilder rematch. Much has changed in the world since that time, but Showtime and Premiere Boxing Champions, which is presenting the card, are betting fans will still be willing to pay for prestige matchups.
Older brother Jermall will be defending his WBC middleweight title against Sergiy Derevyanchenko in a scheduled 12 rounder. This is about as good a middleweight battle one could find that doesn’t have the words Canelo versus Golovkin attached to it. Jermall, who has built up a 30-0 record, looks to be on the cusp of stardom while Derevyanchenko’s two losses were not only competetive fights, but were against no less than Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs.
Younger brother Jermell, on the other hand, will be facing WBA, WBC, and IBF junior middleweight champion Jeison Rosario. Jermell has but a single loss on his 33-1 resume, and that was against Tony Harrison, who Jermell clobbered in their rematch. As for Rosario – the man rattled the boxing world when he dethroned the popular champion Julian Williams by knockout last January. There’s little doubt the 20-1-1 fighter, who hasn’t lost in three years and nine bouts, is looking to shake things up again this Saturday. Like his slightly older brother, Jermell looks to be in a real fight this weekend.
The question leading into Saturday, of course, is whether or not fans are going to line up to purchase the card in adequate numbers. While there’s no doubt Showtime and PBC are presenting a high quality lineup, the Charlos have never been under this kind of spotlight before. What’s more, boxing hasn’t been bringing big numbers to pay per view in a while. Last winter’s Fury-Wilder rematch, for instance, was said to be a financial disappointment. Worth noting, however, is the fact that most true pay per view draws become draws incrementally over time. Whether that will be the path for either Charlo brother remains to be seen.