By: Hans Themistode
Canelo Alvarez can run, but he certainly can’t hide. That was the gist of what Ronnie Shields, head trainer for WBC middleweight titlist Jermall Charlo, wanted to get across.
For years now, team Charlo placed a target on the back of Alvarez. The two division titlist called for a showdown with the red haired pound for pound star when the two campaigned at 154 pounds, and again once the surly Houston native moved up to 160 pounds in 2017.
Yet, Alvarez has paid him no mind. Electing to grab his pogo stick as he jumped around from weight class to weight class. At the moment, the Mexican native has seemingly settled into the super middleweight division after a successful run at light heavyweight.
While Charlo hasn’t exactly expressed a desire to jump up in weight, Shields did say that they would make an exception.
“We could fight him at 168, we could fight him at 175,” Shields said to Boxingscene.com. “Wherever he wanna fight, we could fight. It shouldn’t be no problem.”
For the fans of Alvarez, they would settle for simply seeing their man in a sparring match at this point. The normally active four division champion has been away from the ring for the entirety of the year for various reasons.
For one, the global pandemic that has wrapped its diseases ridden hands around the world has canceled numerous return dates that he had in mind. Secondly, and most importantly, Alvarez is currently entangled in a messy legal battle with promoter Oscar De La Hoya and streaming company DAZN.
A happy ending doesn’t appear to be on the horizon, but Shields is hoping that they can sweep their issues under the rug and give the fans what they want to see.
“I know Canelo’s going through some things right now with DAZN and with Oscar [De La Hoya]. Maybe if they get their situation together, they can call Al [Haymon] and we could make the fight. That’s probably the fight that makes the most sense for Canelo. I think for Canelo that makes the most sense, and for Jermall.”
The last time Charlo entered the ring, he was dominating perpetual middleweight contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Many were expecting to see him either struggle mightily or flat out lose. None of those thoughts came true as he pitched a near shutout.
A matchup with Alvarez would be an even higher level of competition for Charlo. But for Shields, he’s seen enough in his man to know that he is more than capable of stepping up to the plate.
“It’s a tough fight,” Shields said. “Canelo is a great fighter. But again, Jermall rises up to the competition. It would be a great fight. It’d be a fight that fans would definitely wanna see. And that fight needs to be made.”
By: Hans Themistode
Middleweight contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko has found himself on the losing end of two razor close decisions in championship contests. The first came against Daniel Jacobs in October of 2017 for the vacant IBF crown. The second, ironically enough, also had the vacant IBF title up for grabs in October of 2019 against Gennadiy Golovkin.
For Derevyanchenko, he’s hoping that the third time’s the charm. At the moment, he finds himself rated number one in the WBC sanctioning body. Standing in between Derevyanchenko and his first title reign, is belt holder Jermall Charlo.
There is interest from Charlo and his trainer Ronnie Shields in a possible showdown. However, if it were up to them, they would much rather a high profile fight with another belt holder in the division.
“I definitely want to see him fight Canelo,” said Shields to Ray Flores of Premier Boxing Champions. “Right now we have a guy that’s ranked at number one in the world right now, that’s Sergiy Derevyanchenko. We’re looking at him and I think right now he’s probably the frontrunner for who we’ll fight next. We just want to fight the best guys. Jermall says every day, he tells me every day ‘I just want to fight the best guys out there.”
A fight with Canelo was Charlo’s for the taking. Or at least, that’s what he believed just last year. The middleweight belt holder spent the better part of 2018 and 2019, running through his competition. Wins over Jorge Sebastian Heiland and Hugo Centeno Jr. netted him the WBC interim title and a number one ranking within the sanctioning body.
Holding the full title at the time, was none other than Alvarez. For Charlo, he believed that he backed his man into a corner where he was given no other choice but to face him inside of the ring. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman elevated Alvarez to “Franchise” champion, which left Charlo without a date with the man he had been chasing.
According to Sulaiman, a franchise champion is free from making mandatory title defenses. The elevation of Alvarez worked in Charlo’s favor as well as he was awarded full champion status, but a matchup with Alvarez once again slipped through his fingers.
“We really thought that once he became the number one contender, the fight would be easy to make,” explained Shields.
Charlo has now taken another route in order to face Canelo. He’s hoping that beating the likes of Derevyanchenko and whoever else is placed in front of him will “draw Canelo out.”
Even with Alvarez competing in several weight divisions, the six foot tall Charlo is alright with chasing him down.
“Maybe he will see that he’s beating all these guys and goes back down to 160 or we’ll go up to 168 to fight him.”