By: Sean Crose
WBC middleweight titlist Jermall Charlo’s return to the ring this weekend after a two-plus year absence is off to a less than stellar start. The 33 year old missed weight not once, not twice, but three times on Friday as he weighed in for his scheduled match on Saturday against the abrasive Jose Benavidez. Stepping onto the scale the first time on Friday, the undefeated Charlo weighed in a 166.4 pounds, a full three pounds overweight. Charlo went to the scales again a short time later, and weighed even more – 166.6 pounds. Suffice to say, Benavidez made the 163 pound weight limit easily, tipping the scales at 161.2 pounds.
Longtime boxing scribe Dan Rafael stated on Twitter afterward that a deal was being hammered out in order to keep the fight from falling through. By Friday evening, it was clear that a deal had been made, as Charlo had stepped onto the scales once more – this time weighing 166.5 pounds. Without doubt, Charlo will have to cough up some money to fight Benavidez without having made weight. It is, simply put, another bad moment in what has clearly been a rough few years for Charlo, who has admitted to struggling against mental illness.
Numerous fight fans, never known for being a particularly empathetic bunch to begin with, took to social media Friday to mock and sneer at Charlo’s inability to live up to his obligations on the scale. Whether one sympathizes with the Texan or not, however, there is little doubt Friday’s weight debacle is harming the man’s professional reputation. Indeed, Charlo has indicated that he hasn’t necessarily pushed himself for Saturday’s match. Even if he should defeat Benavidez on Saturday, Charlo’s victory will now likely be met with raised eyebrows.
Just a few months ago, Charlo was seen as a natural opponent for super middleweight king Canelo Alvarez. Canelo, however, ended up facing Charlo’s twin brother Jermell in a less than thrilling throwdown that saw the red haired star win easily. It’s uncertain where Charlo will go from here. Although he clearly is, or at least was, the presumed favorite against Benavidez, it’s now somewhat up in the air how things will transpire between the two men in the ring on Saturday. A loss would, of course, be disastrous, but even a less than impressive win would prove to do Charlo no favors. It’s a tough business, boxing, even for the most focused of individuals. Those who can’t, or won’t, focus as they should are putting themselves at considerable risk.
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