By: Hans Themistode
Jermall Charlo can hear the demands. He can also feel the squeeze placed on him by the boxing fans. For the past several months, Charlo has engaged in a back and forth war of words with former super middleweight champion David Benavidez.
With the Houston native claiming that he will leave Benavidez comatose if they ever fight, Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs) has stood firmly behind his words. At the moment, however, Charlo doesn’t plan on facing him anytime soon. While he still believes he has work to do at 160 pounds, Charlo has become dumbfounded by the number of people who want him to move up to face the 24-year-old knockout artist now.
Regardless of the constant pleas from boxing fans, Charlo is in no rush to make the leap eight pounds north. In fact, if given the choice, he would much rather face someone else he has grown to detest instead.
“I campaign at 160 bro but the pressure is on me to move up to fight this clown?” said Charlo during an interview with Brian Custer on the Last Stand Podcast. “I’ll take the (Demetrius) Andrade fight before that. I’ll stay at 160.”
Although WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade has chased a fight with Charlo for years now, a deal between them has failed to materialize. In the mind of Charlo, a matchup with Andrade makes more sense on many levels. For one, Andrade, like himself, is a middleweight belt holder. In the case of Benavidez (24-0, 21 KOs) on the other hand, he is currently beltless.
While many have viewed Charlo as getting cold feet in an attempt to get out of the fight, the former two-division belt holder just doesn’t believe the fight makes any sense right now.
“I’m the WBC middleweight champion of the world. This dude fights at 168 and he has no belt, no title. I don’t get the duck situation. People just aren’t being smart but that’s part of the game. Me moving up to 168 to fight a nobody, with no belt, for nothing? I might as well go up to 168 and fight a champion.”