PBC on FS1 Results: Caleb Plant Dethrones Jose Uzcateguihas
By: Hans Themistode
The Super Middleweight division has a new champion to contend with.
Caleb Plant (18-0, 10 KOs) outclassed Jose Uzcategui (28-3, 23 KOs) tonight as he won a unanimous decision and picked up Uzcateguis IBF title in the process. The scorecards read 115-111 and two scores of 116-110 all in favor of the new champion.
Plant did an excellent job of boxing and moving all night. Uzcategui just couldn’t seem to find a rhythm as Plant made him miss countless shots. It was no surprise that Uzcategui would be at a major disadvantage in the boxing department. However it was believed that he had the edge in terms of power. That seemed to be in favor of Plant as well as he knocked Uzcategui down early in the second round. He then placed the former champion on the canvas for the second time in the fourth round. The rest of the fight played out mostly under Plants terms. Hitting Uzcategui whenever he wanted while causing his opponent to hit nothing but air.
The first half of the fight was all Plant but the second half however saw things become a lot more competitive. Uzcategui managed to his opponent with huge bombs as Plant seemed to be winded going down the stretch. Although Uzcategui came on strong during the championship rounds he gave away too many rounds in the first half of the fight to complete his comeback.
Just a few short months ago Uzcategui was viewed as possibly the best at the Super Middleweight division. His ability to come forward and land big power shots were thought to have a damning effect on anyone he would be matched up with. Tonight Plant showed that the former champion is too one dimensional and took full advantage.
A win over Uzcategui is impressive but it becomes even more eye opening when you consider just how dominant Plant was tonight. The Super Middleweight division has a ton of great fighters. However Plant might just be better than the rest.
PBC on FS1 Preview: Uzcategui vs. Plant
By: Hans Themistode
The first PBC on Fox card of the 2019 year kicks off this Sunday January 13th from Los Angelos California at the Microsoft Theatre when defending IBF Super Middleweight champion Jose Uzcategui (28-2, 23 KOs) takes on mandatory challenger Caleb Plant (17-0, 10 KOs) in a clash of completely opposites styles.
For Uzcategui he will be looking to defend his title for the first time and continue his recent run of domination. Since losing to Mat Korobov in 2014, Uzcategui has gone on to mow down his opposition. A flukey loss to Andre Dirrell by disqualification which he later amended in an immediate rematch, winning that bout by stoppage has the champion in the best form of his career. There has been very few that have been able to deal with the champions power and constant pressure.
Uzcategui’s mandatory challenger Caleb Plant however will present the champion with a different style. One that could ultimately prove to be tricky for him to solve. Plant is a pure boxer and one who would prefer to not get involved in slugfests. He has not scored a stoppage victory since a 2016 fourth round knockout win over Carlos Galvan. Plant’s game plan is simple, hit and don’t get hit in return.
The constant pressure that Uzcategui employs throughout a fight can make Plant’s game plan much more difficult to execute. The lack of power the challenger possesses will allow the champion to walk right through his shots and land crushing blows of his own. This may seem like a recipe for disaster for Plant but he has in fact shown to have a good chin and is very hard to hit cleanly. Both men will also be looking to close the mouths of their respective doubters.
After winning the IBF interim title last year from Andre Dirrell, Uzcategui was in prime position to challenge than title holder James DeGale. The aforementioned DeGale instead choose to drop the title in pursuit of more lucrative fights which led to Uzcategui receiving full champion status. Many believe that although Uzcategui is a great fighter he did not necessarily earn the gold that presently resides around his waist. A win over plant will go a long way in proving that he is indeed a worthy champion.
Plant on the other hand will be facing a completely different kind of pressure. Sure he has looked tremendous throughout his career but he has never faced someone the calibre of Uzcategui. Plant will be looking to prove that he does in fact belong at the world level.
Ultimately the path to victory for both men are entirely different. Plant will look to establish his jab and ring movement to box his way to victory while Uzcategui will look to apply his trademark pressure and accumulate enough damage to put an end to this contest before it reaches the final bell. How it plays is the burning question.
This Sunday night we will receive our answers.
Keith Thurman Plans To “Make A Statement” Against Lopez
By: Sean Crose
“I feel great physically,” says Keith Thurman. “We’re working really hard and just getting back into everything we did before the injury. It feels tremendous and I’m so happy to be able to do this back in Brooklyn. January 26, you will see the return of the number one welterweight in the world” Thurman, of course, is talking about his upcoming bout against well known vet Josesito Lopez at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center, in a PBC match that will be aired live on Fox. Thurman, who hasn’t fought since he defeated Danny Garcia via split decision in March 2017, will be defending his WBA super world welterweight title.
“I need to come back and stay active and healthy,” the 28-0, frequently injured fighter says. “I’m going to remind everyone this year why I’m one of the baddest men on the planet. At the end of the day, I’m here to make a statement that ‘One Time’ is back.” With fighters such as Errol Spence, Bud Crawford, Manny Pacquiao, and Shawn Porter occupying the welterweight division, Thurman is eager to reassert himself. “My legacy is not over,” he says. “Unification against Danny Garcia was not enough for me. Ultimately, I’m just waiting to be presented with a man who is better than me. There might not be one, but I’m not afraid to let my ‘0’ go.”
Lopez, 36-7, a well regarded warrior, would be happy to oblige Thurman by giving him his first loss. “I’ve been in this position before,” says Lopez, “and I’ve never shied away from big battles. This is another big one and I’m going to be ready for it and become world champion.” Thurman certainly won’t be the first big name Lopez has faced, for Lopez has also shared the ring with the likes of Canelo Alvarez, Andre Berto, Marcos Maidana, Jessie Vargas, and Victor Ortiz. “I’m sure Keith Thurman is as strong and skilled as anyone I’ve ever faced, Lopez says. “He’s undefeated for a reason. I give him his respect for that. I’m preparing for him to be the best fighter I’ve ever faced.”
Lopez certainly isn’t letting Thurman’s time out of the ring impact his mental and physical preparation for the fight. “No matter how active Thurman has been,” he says, “the importance of this opportunity doesn’t change. If anything we might see a better and healthier Keith Thurman than we’ve seen in years. I’m expecting the best Keith Thurman there is.”
DeGale-Eubank Jr. Feb. 23 Grudge Match Launches PBC UK Debut
By Jake Donovan
James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr. finally get to settle things in the ring.
The pair of British super middleweights and longtime domestic rivals will collide on February 23 at The O2 in London, with the bout formally announced at a press conference held on site Thursday afternoon.
“I’d like to say how personally proud I am of this new relationship between Premier Boxing Champions and ITV,” stated promoter Richard Poxon, whose Poxon Sports will present the event live on ITV Box Office in the UK. “This is a fantastic all British super-middleweight fight that takes us back to the glory days on ITV.
“For the first British event (under the new deal between PBC and ITV), it’s probably the most anticipated event of recent years. This has every ingredient to be a great event. We’re looking forward to the buildup and of course looking forward to a great fight.”
There will be far less at stake than was the case when the two were first on each other’s radar. In the time that has passed since interest in such a grudge match first made the rounds, DeGale (25-2-1) has won, lost, regained and vacated a super middleweight title.
Meanwhile, Eubank Jr. (27-2, 21KOs) will enter fight night barely a year removed from his disappointing points loss to George Groves in their title fight last February. A win would’ve advanced the second-generation boxer into the World Boxing Super Series finals versus Callum Smith; instead, it left him without a career-defining win and a lot to prove.
It also made it easier to finalize terms to face DeGale, a fitting debut for PBC expanding its brand to the United Kingdom four years after its initial U.S. launch in 2015.
“At this stage of my career, big fights, fan-favorite fights are all that I’m after,” Eubank Jr. said during Thursday’s press conference. “This fight has been 4-5 years in the making.”
Of course, being the son of legendary former two-division titlist Chris Eubank Sr. made him recognizable name from the moment he turned pro in 2011. What caught the eye of his upcoming opponent, though, was Eubank Jr’s awareness of those around him at that time.
“This fight has been a long time coming,” acknowledges DeGale, a 2008 Olympic Gold medalist for Great Britain and two-tour super middleweight titlist. “A lot of people have been calling for this fight. Chris has been calling for this fight.
“When the guy first turned pro, he was calling me out. He’s very deluded and now I’ve finally got the chance to deal with this guy, good and proper.”
The moment will come without a major belt on the line. DeGale regained his title in a points win over Caleb Truax last April after suffering a shocking loss to the American in Dec. ’17, which initially ended his 2 ½ year title reign.
His first title win was a historic moment, becoming the first ever Olympic Gold medalist from Great Britian to win a major title in outpointing Andre Dirrell in their May ’15 clash.
The second tour was short-lived and without fanfare or even a single defense. DeGale opted to vacate in order to search for bigger fights rather than be contractually bound to a mandatory title defense versus Jose Uzcategui. Among the bouts discussed was an eventual showdown with Eubank Jr., a fight that was factored into PBC moving forward with its long-discussed plans of launching its brand in the U.K. market.
Both boxers took on separate tune-ups in the interim, each scoring 3rd round knockouts just two days apart. Eubank Jr’s return to the win column came in an uninspiring stoppage of JJ McDonagh last September in Saudi Arabia, on the undercard of Smith’s knockout win over Groves to win the WBSS super middleweight tournament.
Two days later, DeGale claimed an early hit of Mexico’s Fidel Monterrosa in a bout buried deep on the non-televised portion of a PBC on FS1 show in California.
Little was made of either contest, other than marking time for their eventual head-on collision. Whereas such a fight could have arguably declared the best super middleweight in the world a year or two ago, the February 23 clash has become must-win for both boxers.
“We can call this the retirement fight,” DeGale repeatedly insisted during Thursday’s press conference. “Whoever loses, can knock it on the head. Call it a retirement fight because whoever loses, game over.”
The sentiment wasn’t exactly shared on the other side of the dais.
“Speak for yourself, James,” Eubank Jr. quipped of the notion. “James is talking about retirement. That thought has never entered my mind.”
What has entered his mind, however, was getting game-ready for this bout and functionally for the rest of his career. The 29-year old admits to having been self-trained for his past few contests, but will enter this under the watchful eye of a new—and full-time—coach.
“I haven’t really had an official trainer,” Eubank Jr. confessed in regretting past decisions that have left him in must-win territory. “Ronnie Davies has always been with me, but was never my full time trainer, he was more of an overseer. I was basically training myself.
“This fight will be different. I’m training with a man named Nate Vasquez, who has been living with me full-time. He had to fly home for Christmas but is now back with me. It’s great to have a guy working with me full time, fixing the things I need to work on rather than someone just going through the motions. It’s going to take me to the next level.”
It will have to, as Eubank Jr. has yet to land the type of breakout victory that has advanced his career from potential to confirmed greatness. He was aggressively moved early in his career, perhaps not quite ready for “the next level” in dropping a dull 12-round decision to then-rising contender Billy Joe Saunders, who would go on to win a middleweight title.
The path was similar to that of DeGale, who was paired early in his career with Groves when both were unbeaten prospects. Groves won a tightly contested decision, but it was DeGale who would be the first to win a major title in outpointing Dirrell on U.S. soil.
Three successful title defenses followed, including a 12-round draw with Badou Jack in their Jan. ’17 war. DeGale—who turns 33 in February—remained with a belt around his waist, but the majority draw coupled with the upset loss to Truax that following December left the Brit without a win since barely getting past Rogelio Medina in April ’16.
He now enters this grudge match with two straight victories. The former two-time titlist is also equipped with the more proven track record in big fights and—he believes—has far more left to offer the sport, which he doesn’t believe to be the case for his future opponent.
“After he’s lost to me, I’m not too sure where he’s going to go,” DeGale wondered aloud. “Fortunately, we only have seven more weeks to wait. I’m ready to go.”
Tony Harrison Stars as the Grinch Who Stole Victory
By: Kirk Jackson
Leave it to Tony Harrison 28-2 (21 KO’s) to spoil plans for one particular family this holiday season. While the newly crowned WBC junior middleweight champion isn’t a Grinch per say, Harrison certainly ruined the evening of the Charlo twins, capturing his first world title in a well-fought, boxing master-class this past weekend.
Harrison placed together a great game-plan; consistently jabbing, fighting effectively on his back foot, moving offline, moving around the ring effectively controlling the range, distance and feinting effectively.
Harrison’s constant feinting and changing levels kept Jermell Charlo 31-1 (15 KO’s) from getting in position to attack because he had to reset his offense – which negated Charlo from landing combinations. Jermell displayed the tendency to lunge in as opposed to setting up his offense with his jab, or disguising his offense with his jab or even feinting himself. It was in an effect misplaced aggression.
Jermell displayed signs of this same style of attack in his previous bout against Austin Trout and Harrison was able to implement similar elements from Trout’s game-plan to obtain victory against Charlo.
“I showed championship composure. I didn’t have to do much. I used my jab. I used my ring generalship. I kept him at bay. He wound up for big shots and I kept my defense tight. All we worked on was defense,” Harrison said in a post-fight interview with FightHub.
“I got back to my corner after every round and they told me to just keep doing what you’re doing. You’re dictating the pace they said. That’s what champions do. Champions don’t just try to knock people out. That’s all he wanted to do. I dictated it. I used my jab. I dictated the fight. That’s what champions do.”
Harrison’s victory places him in a unique position and potentially causes clutter in the junior middleweight division.
Although Harrison is an elite fighter and proved as much with his recent performance, his fight against Jermell was supposed to be a showcase fight for Charlo twin.
There were plans of a unification bout between Charlo and the current WBA and IBF junior middleweight champion Jarrett Hurd 23-0 (16 KO’s). Now that unification match is in question. Unification may still take place, but Harrison now has the opportunity to play dance partner and exact revenge in the process as he lost to Hurd last year in a fight for the vacant IBF title.
If it’s up to Jermell, he would prefer a rematch to take place and within four months.
“I definitely feel like I won that fight,” Charlo said. “I pulled out way more rounds than he did. But like I said, it’ll be a rematch and I promise you, like I’m gonna train harder, I’m gonna try to train different. I did a great job in training camp. I can’t take nothing away from what me, [trainer] Derrick [James] and everybody else game plan was,” said Jermell in a post-fight interview.
“I hit hard. You know what I mean?,” Charlo said. “I use my power. A lot of people use their skills and use their – I have skills, I have power, I have speed. So just going back in there, regroup and just replaying the fight in my mind, I tried my best to, you know, land that right shot, you know, and just get the night over with. You know what I mean? The check don’t change, so I know how to fight and I’ve done it before and I believe in my power, I still believe in myself. So it’s gonna take just another chance, you know, me getting out there, developing. I’m young. I’m 28-years-old. So, me getting out there again and developing as a fighter, and just growing and learning from that.”
The question remains if Jermell can make the proper adjustments to implement a game-plan allowing greater success in the rematch. Jermell, along with his twin brother Jermall are extremely talented fighters. But with that stated, they struggled over the weekend against tough, game opponents in Tony Harrison and Matt Korobov 28-1 (14 KO’s) respectively.
Can’t fault either twin for their offensive effort regarding aggressiveness and trying to produce a knock-out. The pressure of headlining a big event, may have effected their approach as far as the game-plan they had for their respective opponents. The Charlos want to show they are the best fighters in their respective divisions and they can still accomplish this feat heading into the next year. The Harrison bout threw a wrench in their plans but that’s boxing.
The Premier Boxing Champions event broadcasted on Fox was a showcase event designed and catered to the Charlo twins, in effort to display their talents to a wider audience and to continue the momentum boxing has been building over the past couple of years. More fighters across cable network television, an infusion of young talent ready to take the reigns and carry boxing into the future.
The twins echoed the sentiments of robbery in the aftermath of Jermell’s loss but that may not be the case. Why would the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) go through all that effort to promote the fighter (Jermell) only to have that fighter get screwed on the cards and lose?
Even the commentary team was extremely biased in favor of the Charlo twins that night. Compliments for Harrison and Korobov respectively were far and few. At times, it appeared like the commentary team demonized Harrison for his efforts in spite of a brilliant performance.
And let this be clear, this isn't disrespecting the announcers…I am a fan of some of them. I just don't want to be influenced while I watch a fight.
— Mimi Melendez (@MimiMel0417) December 23, 2018
I re-watched #CharloHarrison with more focus than last night and scored round by round (like a judge). I still scored it the same (close for Charlo) but that's a much closer fight than some people think. Not a robbery! #boxing #PBConFOX #boxeo
— Caryn A. Tate (@carynatate) December 24, 2018
Who truly won can be debated among the viewing audience, as many close fights are. But the biased criticism hurled at Harrison from professional analysts is uncalled for. But I guess that happens when you’re the Grinch.
First Two PBC shows on ITV to be Free to Air
By: Michael Kane
The UK has yet another option for big time boxing to look forward to in 2019.
Last week it was announced that ITV had signed a deal with Haymon Sports to show exclusive coverage of Premier Boxing Champions events in the UK. ITV had shown last season’s World Boxing Super Series on their ITV Box Office channel however this deal will have a mix of free and Box Office, it seems.
The first two shows that will be covered have been announced and will be free to air on ITV 4.
Before Sky and more recently BT Sport, ITV were the kings of boxing in the UK and it will be a welcome return to free to air boxing on the channel.
The first fight to be shown is the Jose Uzcategui v Caleb Plant for the IBF Super Middleweight World Championship on January 13th from the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles.
Then the following week it’s Manny Pacquiao v Adrien Broner for the WBA World Welterweight title.
Poxon Sport has been confirmed as the exclusive promoter of all UK PBC events on ITV. Richard Poxon of Poxon Sports, said: “This is an incredible opportunity for boxing and sports fans. On one hand we have a giant of UK broadcasting in ITV and on the other a giant of world boxing in Premier Boxing Champions. I’m looking forward to promoting all the fantastic PBC events in the UK on ITV. The quality of these first two free to air events should show UK fans exactly what they can expect to see over the length of this new deal, and they can expect more news in the following days about the first PBC UK boxing event.”
The deal between ITV and Haymon Sports/PBC is the first that Haymon Sports/PBC have partnered with a UK broadcaster to show regular events. In a three year deal, a minimum 15 events a year will be screened a year, with events being held both in the UK and U.S.
“This unprecedented deal between PBC and ITV is great news for boxing fans in the UK. We look forward to bringing viewers big events and superb action from some of the world’s best fighters in the coming years,” said Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport.
What a night for the Charlo’s
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.
PBC on Fox Results: Charlo Brothers Win One, Lose One In Tougher Than Expected Bouts
By: William Holmes
Premier Boxing Champions made their contract debut with the Fox Network tonight live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The main event featured a last minute replacement as former title contender Willie Monroe Jr. was flagged for possible performance enhancers and Matt Korobov agreed to take his place. Many felt Korobov was a tougher matchup for Jermall Charlo than Monroe, and the fight appeared to confirm that thought.
The opening bout of the night was between Dominic Breazeale (20-1) and Carlos Negron (20-2) in the heavyweight division. Breazeale looked a bit sluggish early on and may have given up some of the earlier rounds based on Negron’s activity alone. Negron landed some questionable punches at the end of the third round that appeared to land after the bell had rung.
Breazeale’s accuracy began to improve in the middle rounds and he made it clear that he was the more powerful puncher of the two. A thunderous right hand by Breazeale ended the fight in the ninth round as Negron crashed to the ring and had his head hanging over the middle rope.
Dominic Breazeale could be seen challenging Deontay Wilder, who sat ringside, after the stoppage. Breazeale won by a TKO at 1:37 of the ninth round.
The next bout of the night was between Tony Harrison (27-2) and Jermell Charlo (31-0) for Charlo’s WBC Super Welterweight Title.
Charlo appeared to be more tentative than usual, and wasn’t throwing combinations like he normally does. He was the more aggressive fighter and pressed the pace, but a lot of his punches were missing and he was open to some of Harrison’s counters.
Charlo did land the harder punches throughout the night, and he appeared to have hurt Harrison on more than one occasion. But Harrison’s jab was active and accurate and he kept most of the rounds close and hard to score.
Harrison did appear to nearly knock Charlo down in the fifth round with a right hand, but Charlo was able to answer him later with a scorching right hand that had Harrison stunned.
Charlo’s best round of the night may have been the last two rounds, as he landed a beautiful uppercut in the eleventh and appeared to have hurt Harrison with a left hook in the twelfth, but the judges didn’t feel it was enough for Charlo to win the bout.
In a bit of an upset, Tony Harrison won the scorecards with scores of 115-113, 115-113, and 116-112.
The main event of the evening was between Jermall Charlo (27-0) and Matt Korobov (28-1) for the WBC Interim Middleweight Title.
Korobov was a cagey veteran who’s lone blemish on his record was a shocking stoppage upset to Andy Lee, in a fight that he was winning on the scorecards at the time. Despite not having a meaningful fight in over eighteen months, he showed no signs of ring rust early on and had Charlo bothered with accurate counters while showing good upper body movement to avoid Charlo’s power shots.
Charlo’s noticeable reach advantage worked to his favor in the middle rounds as Charlo became more active with his jab and kept it in the face of Korobov. But the later third of the fight Korobov’s right eye was nearly swollen shut.
The first four rounds could have been arguably scores for Korobov, but Charlo had a strong fifth round that was punctuated with a short right hand and he continued that momentum into the sixth and seventh rounds.
The ninth round featured both fighters landing hard combinations, but Korobov was starting to tire and Charlo was still able to throw hard shots. Charlo had Korobov covering up in the tenth round and the eleventh round was very competitive.
Charlo appeared to have a slight lead going into the final round, but his best round of the night was the last round as he had Korobov hurt with several hard shots and had the referee looking at Korobov closely with an eye towards a possible stoppage.
There was no controversy with this decision, though it was a close and entertaining fight. Charlo retained his title with scores of 116-112, 119-108, and 116-112.
PBC on Fox Preview: Charlo vs. Harrison, Charlo vs. Korobov
By: Hans Themistode
Loud, brash, cocky and arrogant are words that can be used to describe the Charlo twins Jermall (27-0, 21 KOs) and Jermell (31-0, 15 KOs). Explosive, confident, impressive and revered can be used as well. Whichever word you choose will lead you to the same conclusion.
They are must watch television.
Both will be returning to the big screen this Saturday night as they put their undefeated records on the line at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn New York live on the first PBC on Fox card.
Jermall, who is the number one contender for the WBC Middleweight title and also possesses the interim title was originally scheduled to take on two time title challenger Willie Monroe Jr (23-3, 6 KOs). However with less than one week remaining until the night of the fight Monroe was busted by VADA for an adverse finding in his urine sample. He was subsequently removed from the card and replaced with Matt Korobov (28-1, 14 KOs).
Although this is considered a short notice bout, it isn’t your typical one. Korobov was already in training for a matchup against Juan De Angel on this very undercard. The bout was scheduled to take place at 168 pounds but he had no trouble in trimming down to the Middleweight limit of 160 pounds as he weighed in at 159.8 this afternoon.
On paper Korobov will provide Jermall with his toughest opponent to date. Matt was a decorated amateur having defeated the likes of Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Oleksandr Usyk to amass a record of 300-12. In the pros he has been impressive as well. He handed current IBF Super Middleweight champion Jose Uzcategui his first defeat in his biggest win to date. Korobov’s lone defeat came in 2014 at the hands of now retired fighter Andy Lee. Matt was ahead on the scorecards and in complete control of the fight before a right hand by Lee followed by a flurry of punches put a halt to the contest. He has gone on to win four bouts in a row since then. In short this will in many ways present a much tougher task for Jermall then his originally scheduled opponent.
The interim champion has looked great thus far but many would venture to say that he is still unproven and not quite ready for the elite of the Middleweight division. A win over Korobov won’t silence his doubters but a dominant performance just might.
Speaking of dominance, that is the exact word that can be used when describing Jermell’s title run at Jr Middleweight. The younger by one minute Charlo has knocked out four of his past five opponents. He will be looking to add another highlight reel knockout to his name when he takes on Tony Harrison (27-2, 21 KOs) in the co main event.
Jermell has his eyes set on a future showdown with unified champion Jarrett Hurd. It would be a matchup of arguably the two best Jr Middleweights. As much as Jermell wants that fight to happen he would be foolish to overlook Tony Harrison.
Boxing ability, punching power, ring IQ. Tony has it all.
His biggest problem has always seemed to be his gas tank. He was stopped by both Jarrett Hurd and Willie Nelson in the ninth round of both contest while leading on the scorecards. Tony’s stamina failed him on both occasions. Coming in to this contest however, Tony has told anyone that will listen that he has solved his issues.
If he truly has found a way to keep a consistent pace for a full 12 rounds then he will pose plenty of issues for the champion.
Many have dismissed both Matt Korobov and Tony Harrison as easy fights for the Charlo’s. Both bouts will be anything but that. If the twins hope to continue their dominant run they will both have to overcome two great challenges ahead of them come Saturday night.
PBC on Fox Preview: The Charlo Brothers Are Ready to Headline in Brooklyn
By: Sean Crose
This Saturday night, the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York, will host the final major fight card of 2018. The fights begin airing live at 8 PM eastern standard time, on Fox, which has recently made a deal with Al Haymon’s Premiere Boxing Champions, the promoter behind the card. There will essentially be two main events, each featuring one of the Charlo twins, 27-0 middleweight Jermall, and 31-0 super welterweight Jermell. The Houston, Texas natives have a strong chance of landing notable fights at the pinnacle their respective divisions, provided they get past their respective competition this coming weekend.
Jermell will be facing the 27-2 Tony Harrison for the WBC super welterweight title that he won in 2016 by knocking out John Jackson and has successfully defended three times since. Harrison, who hails from Detroit, will be coming off a split decision win over Ishe Smith last May. This will be Harrison’s second attempt at a world title. Back in 2017, he was knocked out by Jarret Hurd while competing for the IBF super middleweight title in Alabama. Since that time, the fighter has gone on to win three straight. The match with Charlo will be a scheduled twelve round affair.
Meanwhile, Jermell’s brother, Jermall, will be facing off against the 28-1 Matvey Korobov for the interim WBC middleweight title strap. Stepping into the ring at Barclay’s for his third fight in a row, Jermall recently bested Hugo Centeno Jr by knockout last April. Korobov, on the other hand, is coming off a March unanimous decision victory over Jonathan Batista in Miami. This will be Korobov’s second bout this year after taking all of 2017 off. Korobov’s one loss was to Ireland’s Andy Lee, who knocked the Russian out in December of that year in Las Vegas. Korobov will be facing quite the challenge in Jermall, who has stopped his last three opponents within the distance.
Jermall was originally set to face Willie Monroe Jr on Saturday, but the Monroe, who is best known for getting stopped by Gennady Golovkin in 2015, showed traces of a prohibited substance in a VADA drug test and the fight was subsequently called off. Fortunately for all parties involved, Korobov was able to step in and fill the void left by Monroe. Should he somehow emerge victorious in the scheduled 12 round affair with Jermall, Korobov will have most likely pulled off the upset of the year.
Fox’s ‘PBC Countdown’ Series Debut Exposes Charlo Brothers—And Boxing—To Wider Audience
By Jake Donovan
From brand inception through present day, the brass at Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) have looked past mounting criticism of its product with its eyes on the bigger picture.
Its parternship with Fox Sports has already begun to show why patience remains a virtue.
The rebranding of the PBC on Fox primetime boxing series—which was formally announced during a glossy press conference on November 13—is due to launch with a December 22 tripleheader live from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The event will kick off a lucrative multi-year agreement between PBC and Fox Sports, with live shows due to run monthly in primetime on Fox and FS1.
The first show under the new agreement is headlined by the Charlo twins—Jermall and Jermell—in separate title bouts, marking the first time either Charlo serves in the main event of a primetime boxing telecast after years of frequently playing in supporting capacity on cable giant Showtime. Jermall (27-0, 21KOs) defends his interim middleweight title versus Willie Monore, Jr. (23-3, 6KOs) in the main event, while Jermell (31-0, 15KOs) defends his 154-pound strap versus Tony Harrison (27-2, 21KOs) in the co-feature.
Both bouts served as the first offerings of Fox’s ‘PBC Countdown’ series, airing this past Saturday immediately following the network’s live coverage of Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup series. ‘PBC Countdown: Jermall Charlo vs. Willie Monroe Jr.’ drew a favorable 1.0 overnight rating (roughly 1.2 million viewers; final figures to come Tuesday morning) for its 11:00pm timeslot, doing well on an active sports night to hold the majority of the audience from MLS Cup, which at 1.35 million viewers drew its best televised audience since 1998.
The 11:30pm-slotted ‘PBC Countdown: Jermell Charlo vs. Tony Harrison’ special pulled a 0.6 overnight rating.
“The PBC’s entire mission has been to find a partnership that will allow boxing to reach a mass audience and we believe we’ve found that partner in FOX,” Tim Smith, vice president of communication for PBC told BoxingInsider.com. “Having an opportunity to reach a potential audience of 120 million viewers on a regular monthly basis with events and other shows is a real game changer for the sport.”
The launching of ‘PBC Countdown’ comes on the heels of network promos for the December 22 telecast having frequently run during every edition of NFL (National Football League) on Fox since the initial November 13 network presser.
The latest batch came in Sunday’s Game of the Week offering, where the Dallas Cowboys beat the Philadelphia Eagles in an overtime thriller which produced a 16.0 overnight rating, the best for any NFL afternoon game this season. Promos for the Charlos’ bouts were also part of network coverage which drew more than 50 million viewers for pro and college football a week ago, as well as back-to-back Thursday Night Football telecasts on Fox—both featuring the Cowboys in games watched by more than 53 million combined viewers.
Network promos will continue to run throughout this Thursday’s edition of NFL on Fox, pitting the 11-2 Kansas City Chiefs versus the 10-3 Los Angeles Chargers in a game with major playoff implications at stake. The Charlos will garner more exclusive coverage this Saturday afternoon, starring in the network’s debut of ‘PBC Face-To-Face’ series hosted by award-winning sports writer Mike Coppinger.
Similar coverage will come with every edition of PBC on Fox. The next primetime edition will air January 26—also live from Brooklyn, New York—followed by shows on February 14 and March 9 leading into the debut of “PBC on Fox Pay-Per-View”, headlined by Errol Spence Jr. in a welterweight title defense versus Mikey Garcia, who moves up from lightweight in a battle of unbeaten pound-for-pound entrants.
Spence and Garcia have both benefitted from NFL exposure, each making separate appearances at Cowboys Stadium for November 22 and November 29 games which aired live on Fox.
The November 22 Thanksgiving edition drew 30.8 million viewers, while the November 29 showing—in which the Cowboys upset the NFL-best New Orleans Saints—drew more than 21 million viewers, the best-ever showing for any NFL Thursday Night Football installment (excluding Thanksgiving games) since the primetime series debuted five years ago.
“Our boxers have made in game appearances on NFL broadcasts that have been viewed by tens of millions of people,” Smith points out. “[T]he Charlos, who fight on December 22 have been the beneficiaries of the first Countdown show and teases of their upcoming fights during each NFL game on FOX since the fight was announced.
“That’s the kind of complete commitment that will foster real growth in the sport. We’re excited about the 2019 season of PBC on FOX.”
The PBC is Primed to Take Over the PPV Market
By: William Holmes
Much has been written about in the past several months about the arrival of streaming as a viable platform for boxing promoters. Top Rank has aligned themselves with ESPN+, which is available to subscribers for $5 dollars a month. Golden Boy Promotions and Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing have aligned themselves with DAZN, which is available to subscribers for $10 dollars a month.
Both platforms seem intent on convincing promoters to abandon the traditional Pay Per View(PPV) model in favor of the newer streaming model.
Photo Credit: Stephen Espinoza Twitter Account (@StephenEspinoza)
However, there’s still one major player in the sport of boxing that isn’t aligned with any streaming service, and they appear to be focused on their relationship with Fox Sports and Showtime with an eye towards PPV for their bigger fights.
That player is Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC).
HBO’s retreat from the Pay Per View Boxing business left a hole that the PBC appears to be more than ready to fill. On Saturday December 1st they’ll put on Heavyweight Title Fight on PPV between undefeated Tyson Fury and undefeated champion Deontay Wilder.
The Heavyweight division was considered to be boxing’s golden division in the Pay-Per-View business before Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. came along, and it is still the division that attracts casuals to the sport with its propensity for knockouts.
But the undercard for December’s heavyweight pay per view attraction shows the PBC’s serious commitment to PPV.
There appears to be at least nine different fights which showcase a boxer who has previously headlined a big event, holds a world title, or is line for a future title shot.
Jarrett Hurd will be defending his junior middleweight title in the co-main event with a possible shot against one of the Charlo brothers hanging in the balance. Luis Ortiz is looking for another title shot and will be facing Travis Kauffman in the heavyweight division. Anthony Yarde and Joe Joyce are two boxers who have been making a name for themselves in the United Kingdom and will be fighting stateside on December 1st in separate bouts. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is still a big name that carries a lot of attention, and he’ll be facing the always tough and former title challenger Alfredo Angulo.
Wait, there’s more…
Mark Barriga and Carlos Licona are also fighting on the undercard for the vacant IBF Strawweight Title. Chris Arreola is still a big name in the heavyweight division, and he’s facing Maurenzo Smith. Former world titlist Robert Guerrero is coming out of retirement to make his return in the welterweight division.
There’s a lot of fights and fighters on this card that are capable of headlining their own card on Showtime or Fox Sports that will be featured on this PPV. A card stacked with this much talent shows PBC’s commitment to the PPV model.
But, their PPV commitment doesn’t stop at the heavyweight division.
The PBC is expected to announce an upcoming PPV fight with Manny Pacquiao and Adrien Broner. Pacquiao, a long time client of Top Rank Promotions, is still a big pay per view draw if he is matched up with the right opponent. The only viable pay per view opponent Pacquiao had with Top Rank was Terence Crawford. Even though Crawford’s skills as a boxer and undeniable and he would probably be considered a favorite if he fought Pacquiao, he hasn’t shown that he has the name recognition to sell pay per view.
Broner is just one of many fascinating matchups that the PBC has for Pacquiao. Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter, and even Mikey Garcia are all possible opponents for Pacquiao that could eventually wind up on pay per view.
Most importantly, a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a more realistic possibility now that Pacquiao has signed with the PBC.
The PBC has also announced a PPV fight between Errol Spence Jr. and Mikey Garcia. Garcia brings the loyalty of the Mexican boxing fan base into play when it comes to pay per view buys and Spence is considered by many to be one of the top pound for pound talents in the sport today. It’s a good fight worthy of pay per view, but probably won’t sell as well as most Pacquiao or Mayweather PPVs.
What about the Charlo brothers? They’re highly entertaining and have engaging personalities. They’re two other highly talented boxers on the PBC roster with PPV potential, provided they can find quality opponents.
The co-main event of December 1st features one such opponent, IBF/WBA Junior Middleweight Champion Jarret Hurd.
The talent that the PBC has on their roster is undeniable. Can they turn that talent into PPV success? Wilder vs. Fury and the signing of Manny Pacquiao shows they’re certainly going to try.
Spence-Garcia Highlights PBC Rollout
By: Sean Crose
Premiere Boxing Champions announced a major lineup of fights on Tuesday in Los Angeles, California. The highlight of the afternoon? The announcement of an Errol Spence – Mikey Garcia IBF welterweight title bout, which will go down on March 16th at AT&T Stadium in Texas. Garcia, 39-0, will be making a notable jump in weight divisions to face the 24-0 Spence, and will most likely step into the ring a prohibitive underdog, even though both fighters are known as world class talents.
Other notable PBC fights will appear on Fox, which recently made a deal with PBC. On January 26th, Keith Thurman, 28-0, will be making his long awaited return when he faces Josesito Lopez, 36-7, in a bout which will be aired live from the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. Leo Santa Cruz will be defending his WBA featherweight tile when the 35-1-1 Californian faces the 23- 2 Miguel Flores in another live Fox broadcast, this one from Los Angeles on February 16th. Another major bout will feature WBC welterweight champ Shawn Porter, 29-2-1, as he battles the formidable Yordenis Ugas, 23-3, live in front of Fox cameras in Las Vegas on March 9th.
According to PBC, Fox will air “eight televised world title fights in the first three months of the new deal, featuring eight world champions and more than two dozen of the world’s best boxers going toe-to-toe. The schedule includes five world-class boxing fight nights live on FOX and FOX Deportes, four more on FS1 and FOX Deportes, and the first FOX PBC Pay-Per-View in March.”
PBC also “announced the on-air personalities who will call all the thrilling action.” Needless to say, some of the names are well known and quite respected. “Former heavyweight world Champion Lennox Lewis and former lightweight world champion Ray ‘Boom Boom’ Mancini join FOX Sports as boxing analysts,” PBC stated, “while Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Chris Myers and Emmy Award-nominee Kenny Albert serve as blow-by-blow announcers. Seasoned FOX broadcaster Kate Abdo joins as a studio and fight night host. Plus, Boxing Hall of Famer Larry Hazzard works as a Rules Expert/Unofficial Scorer.”
Fox Deportes can now boast of having “International Boxing Hall of Fame member and former four-division world champion Erik ‘El Terrible’ Morales,” on the team, “working with Jaime Motta and Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award winner Jessi Losada.” PBCs fight schedule will begin on December 22nd, when the Charlo brothers showcase their skills in Brooklyn, against Willie Monroe Jr, and Tony Harrison respectively, and will end on April 20th, when Danny Garcia, 34-2, makes his comeback fight against Adrian Grenados, 20-6-2, at a location to be announced.
Fox Sports and Premier Boxing Champions Announce Eight Title Fights Over First Three Months, Spence Jr. vs Garcia, March 16th
FOX Sports and Premier Boxing Champions today announced eight televised world title fights in the first three months of the new deal, featuring eight world champions and more than two dozen of the world’s best boxers going toe-to-toe. The schedule includes five world-class boxing fight nights live on FOX and FOX Deportes, four more on FS1 and FOX Deportes, and the first FOX PBC Pay-Per-View in March.
“We’re thrilled to have Premier Boxing Champions’ brightest stars coming to FOX Sports reaching the biggest audiences on broadcast television,” says Mark Silverman, FOX Sports President, National Networks. “The 2019 PBC schedule kicks off with high-stakes action and excitement, making FOX the premier home for boxing and the continued leader in live sporting events.”
Schedule highlights include world champion twins Jermall and Jermell Charlo defending their titles in separate fights live in primetime on FOX on December 22; followed by welterweight champion Keith Thurman’s ring return on FOX January 26; featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz headlining on FOX February 23; 147-pound Champ Shawn Porter defending his world title March 9 on FOX; and the blockbuster showdown between welterweight Champ Errol Spence Jr. and four-division world champion Mikey Garcia, on FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View March 16, live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
FOX Sports and FOX Deportes also announced the on-air personalities who will call all the thrilling action. Former heavyweight world Champion Lennox Lewis and former lightweight world champion Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini join FOX Sports as boxing analysts, while Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Chris Myers and Emmy Award-nominee Kenny Albert serve as blow-by-blow announcers. Seasoned FOX broadcaster Kate Abdo joins as a studio and fight night host. Plus, Boxing Hall of Famer Larry Hazzard works as a Rules Expert/Unofficial Scorer.
FOX Deportes taps International Boxing Hall of Fame member and former four-division world champion Erik “El Terrible” Morales, working with Jaime Motta and Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award winner Jessi Losada.
More on the FOX Sports PBC Schedule:
Jermall Charlo vs. Willie Monroe, Jr. and Jermell Charlo vs. Tony Harrison, Saturday, December 22, 2018, 8:00 PM ET on FOX. Barclays Center, Brooklyn
Twin titans kick off the new season of PBC on FOX, as Jermall Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs) defends his WBC interim middleweight title against top-rated contender Willie Monroe, Jr. (23-3, 6 KOs), while Jermell Charlo (31-0, 15 KOs) makes the fourth defense of his WBC Super Welterweight Championship against hard hitting former title challenger Tony Harrison (27-2, 21 KOs). Rounding out the evening, WBC mandatory challenger and 2012 U.S. Olympian Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale (19-1, 17 KOs) battles Carlos Negron (20-1, 16 KOs), a member of the Puerto Rican boxing team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Jose Uzcategui vs. Caleb Plant, Sunday, January 13, 2019, 8:00 PM ET on FS1. Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live in Los Angeles
IBF Super Middleweight Champion Jose Uzcategui (28-2, 23 KOs) battles undefeated, top-rated challenger Caleb Plant (17-0, 10 KOs).
Keith Thurman vs. Josesito Lopez, Saturday, January 26, 2019, 8:00 PM ET on FOX. Barclays Center, Brooklyn
Undefeated WBA Welterweight Champion Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) ends a long injury layoff to defend his title and starts to reclaim the division against battle-hardened veteran Josesito Lopez (36-7, 19 KOs). Also that evening, Adam Kownacki (18-0, 14 KOs), one of the fastest rising stars in the heavyweight division, takes on his toughest challenge to date when he steps in against U.S. Navy veteran and USC football standout Gerald Washington (19-2-1, 12 KOs).
Leo Santa Cruz vs. Miguel Flores, Saturday, February 16, 2019, 8:00 PM ET on FOX. Los Angeles
WBA Featherweight Champion Leo Santa Cruz (35-1-1, 19 KOs), one of the highest volume punchers in the sport, defends his title against the always tough Miguel Flores (23-2, 11 KOs). Plus, former WBC Lightweight Champion Omar Figueroa Jr. (27-0-1, 19 KOs) returns after a long injury layoff to face former title challenger John Molina Jr. (30-7, 24 KOs).
Anthony Dirrell vs. Avni Yildirim, Saturday, February 23, 2019, 10:00 PM ET on FS1. The Armory, Minneapolis
Former WBC Super Middleweight Champion Anthony Dirrell (32-1-1, 24 KOs) battles once-beaten Avni Yildirim (21-1), who faces the stiffest competition of his career, in a clash for the vacant WBC Super Middleweight Championship.
Shawn Porter vs. Yordenis Ugas, Saturday, March 9, 2019, 8:00 PM ET on FOX. Las Vegas
WBC Welterweight Champion Shawn Porter (29-2-1, 17 KOs) makes his first title defense against top-rated mandatory challenger Yordenis Ugas (23-3, 11 KOs), who gets his first world title shot.
Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia, Saturday, March 16, 2019, 9:00 PM ET on FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View. AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
In one of the most highly anticipated and intriguing matches in boxing, IBF Welterweight Champion Errol Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) will defend his title against four-division world champion and current WBC Lightweight Champion Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs), who is moving up two weight classes to challenge Spence.
Lamont Peterson vs. Sergey Lipinets, Sunday, March 24, 2019, 8:00 PM ET on FS1. MGM National Harbor, Oxon Hill, MD
Former junior welterweight and welterweight world champion Lamont Peterson (35-4-1, 17 KOs) clashes with former junior welterweight champion Sergey Lipinets (14-1, 10 KOs).
Caleb Truax vs. Peter Quillin, Saturday, April 13, 2019, 10:00 PM ET on FS1. The Armory, Minneapolis
Former super middleweight champion Caleb Truax (30-4-2, 19 KOs) meets former middleweight champion Peter Quillin (34-1-1, 23 KOs) in a battle to determine who climbs back into title contention.
Danny Garcia vs. Adrian Granados, Saturday, April 20, 2019, 8:00 PM ET on FOX.
Former junior welterweight and welterweight champion Danny Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs) wants to rebound from a razor-thin loss in his last bout to take on battle-tested Adrian Granados (20-6-2, 14 KOs).
FOX Sports PBC Additional Dates:
(Fights confirmed on a later date.)
Saturday, May 11, 2019, FOX
Saturday, May 25, 2019, FS1
Saturday, June 1, 2019, FS1
Sunday, June 23, 2019, FOX
Saturday, July 13, 2019, FS1
Saturday, July 20, 2019, FOX
Saturday, August 3, 2019, FOX
Saturday, August 24, 2019, FS1
Sunday, September 1, 2019, FOX
Saturday, September 21, 2019, FS1
Saturday, November 9, 2019, FS1
Saturday, December 14, 2019 on FOX
Saturday, December 21, 2019 on FS1
With the recently announced four-year deal, the FOX broadcast network will feature 10 marquee fight nights in prime time each year, while FS1 and FOX Deportes will telecast 12 fight nights annually. The package includes FOX Sports-PBC Pay-Per-View events. The Emmy Award-winning FOX Sports production team will produce more than 175 hours of original PBC boxing content per year across its channels.
All PBC on FOX Sports events and programming will be streamed live on the FOX Sports app, available in English or Spanish through the FOX, FS1 or FOX Deportes feeds. FOX Sports will offer a platform inside the app to allow viewers to stream the PPV events. In addition, FOX Sports Digital will have a dedicated FOXSports.com and FOX Sports App page for PBC coverage, in addition to dedicated YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels.
FOX Sports and PBC launched the highly regarded primetime boxing series TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and FOX Deportes in the fall of 2015, featuring PBC’s brightest up-and-coming boxers. The deal was expanded to include several fight nights on the FOX broadcast network, including exciting title fights such as heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder defending his title in February of 2016, July of 2016, and again in February of 2017, plus the exciting welterweight showdown between Danny Garcia and Robert Guerrero in January of 2016.
Charlo Brothers To Defend Titles in 12/22 PBC on Fox Doubleheader
By Jake Donovan
The biggest complaint among the cult following for twin brothers Jermall and Jermell Charlo is that they’ve yet to headline a Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) telecast in primetime.
While that problem will be resolved for at least one of the two in their next ring appearance, the next batch of complaints will come in their respective opponents.
Photo Credit: Jermell Charlo Twitter Account
The unbeaten twins will defend their separate alphabet titles on a December 22 edition of PBC on Fox, live from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Jermall Charlo will make the first defense of his interim middleweight strap as he faces Willie Monroe Jr. Meanwhile, Jermell Charlo attempts the fourth defense of his 154-pound belt versus Tony Harrison.
A coin toss will determine which Charlo gets to headline the primetime doubleheader, which will kick off the rebranded model of PBC’s renewed three-year deal with Fox.
The show had promised to make a big splash given the renewed deal, but—beyond the prospect of seeing both Charlos on the same card (and one in the main event)—neither bout really moves the needle.
Even though he only holds an interim version of the World Boxing Council (WBC) title, Jermall (27-0, 21KOs) remains in a favorable position given all of the recent movement in the middleweight division. The 28-year old from Houston, Texas moved up from super welterweight (154 lbs.), where he’d held a title for nearly two years prior to vacating ahead of his July ’17 stoppage win over a hobbled Jorge Heiland.
The win—which took place at Barclays Center, where he will now make his third straight appearance—was supposed to guarantee Charlo a crack at the winner between Gennady Golovkin and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in their Sept. ’17 clash. However, the bout ended in a controversial draw, leading to what was supposed to be an immediate rematch.
Charlo wound up fighting for and winning an interim title in a stoppage victory over Hugo Centeno this past April. By that point, the Alvarez-Golovkin rematch had already been postponed until September, with Alvarez taking a decision win. At its annual convention in early October, the WBC granted Alvarez an optional fight while ordering Charlo-Golovkin in a bout to determine the next mandatory challenger to the full title.
Obviously that fight won’t materialize next, if ever at all.
Golovkin—beltless for the first time since 2010—is currently fielding offers both in the ring and the platform which will broadcast his next fight. It’s obvious a December showdown with Charlo was a non-starter on his end, leaving PBC brass to keep its client busy.
A title defense versus Monroe Jr. provides that very opportunity, though is a bit of a letdown given how much attention has been afforded the division just in recent weeks.
Monroe Jr. (28-3, 6KOs) figured to surface in a significant event under PBC, which has housed his last two bouts. The veteran contender from upstate New York—who will turn 32 just ahead of fight night—is coming off of a 10-round decision over Javier Maciel in August, his second straight win following a 12-round loss to then-unbeaten titlist Billy Joe Saunders last September.
The bout—which was painfully tough to watch—marked his second failed attempt at a middleweight crown. He parlayed his ESPN2 Boxcino Middleweight Tournament crowning into a lucrative May ’15 crack at Gennady Golovkin, suffering three knockdowns en route to a 6th round stoppage defeat live on HBO.
Surrounding the title fights are respectable wins over Brandon Adams (in the aforementioned Boxcino finals), Brian Vera and Gabriel Rosado.
Jermell Charlo (31-0, 15KOs) has emerged as a cult favorite over the course of his title run. The 28-year old had to rally from way behind in stopping John Jackson to win his portion of the 154-pound crown in May ’16, the win going in the history books as he and Jermall became the first twins in boxing history to simultaneously hold major titles in the same weight division.
Whereas Jermall has moved up the scale, Jermell has punched his way to the top of the division. Highlight-reel knockout wins over Charles Hatley and previously unbeaten Erickson Lubin both made their way to several 2017 year-end awards lists, the latter marking his 5th consecutive stoppage win.
A close-but-clear points win over former titlist Austin Trout this past June ended that streak, but put Jermell alongside Jarret Hurd—whom outpointed Erislandy Lara in their unification bout on that same card—as the best 154-pound boxers in the world.
PBC brass along with the fine folks at Showtime—the industry-leading premium cable outlet who has invested heavily in the 154-pound division—have not at all been shy about the prospect of Charlo and Hurd colliding in a bout to determine the super welterweight king. However, both sides have steadily acknowledged that such a fight wasn’t likely until 2019 as Hurd is rebounding from rotator cuff surgery.
Much like his twin, Jermell was forced to realize that seeking bigger game would have to give way—for now—to remaining active.
Enter Harrison (27-2, 21KOs), once high among the most lauded prospects under the PBC umbrella. The Detroit-bred middleweight has since fallen to middle-of-the-pack contender, suffering knockout losses to Willie Nelson and Hurd on the undercard of high-profile events.
The defeat to Nelson—in which he was winning every round before falling apart late—came in the chief support to PBC’s first primetime card on ESPN in July ’15. A modest three-fight win streak followed, leading to his first career title fight.
A Feb. ’17 clash with Hurd aired live on Fox in primetime, as the co-feature to Deontay Wilder’s heavyweight title-defending stoppage win over Gerald Washington. Harrison was competitive until he wasn’t, with Hurd coming on strong late in scoring a 9th round stoppage to claim the vacant title.
Harrison has rebounded with a pair of wins including narrowly outpointing Ishe Smith this past May on Bounce TV. His forthcoming showdown with Charlo will mark his second crack at a major title.
Meanwhile, one of the Charlos will get the honor of headlining their first PBC primetime event. Both have topped the bill in lesser advertised cards, Jermell on a Halloween ’15 edition of PBC on NBC Sports and Jermall in his first defense of his 154-pound title on a Nov. ’15 afternoon installment of PBC on NBC.
They’ve since fought a combined eight times, all of which have aired live on Showtime-televised undercards. Included among the lot was the last time they appeared on the same show—in May ’16, a card that was topped by Lara’s 12-round win over Vanes Martirosyan.
Now, their only competition for top billing on the marquee is each other. Sadly, the forthcoming coin-toss to determine such status is perhaps more enticing to boxing fans than either matchup on the announced show.