By Elliot Worsell
IF you remove its context, and if you managed to avoid seeing any of the first act, the thought of Jermall Charlo fighting Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on May 4 in an attempt to avenge his brother’s defeat in 2023 would sound like quite the plot synopsis.
In fact, forget a boxing match, it makes a good storyline for a Hollywood movie: Jermell, the smaller of the two twins, loses against Alvarez when stepping up two weight classes, yet in the end takes the fight only because his brother, a natural middleweight, isn’t quite ready for it at the time; now, though, he is ready for it. Now Jermall Charlo, competing at super-middleweight, is not just ready for his money-making night against Alvarez but suddenly has a greater incentive than he would have before, what with his brother having since been beaten by this same man.
However, to simply view the fight in those terms strips it off its context and omits some key details. The first of these details, of course, is the fact that Jermell, while disadvantaged physically against Alvarez last year, didn’t exactly offer a lot to suggest he – or for that matter his brother – had anything with which to bother the Mexican either in that fight or any future ones. As well as that, his brother, Jermall, has not exactly been in a rich vein of form in recent times and indeed was overlooked in the Canelo conversation first time around on account of his personal problems and overall inactivity.
True, he has since then returned with a win – a 10-round decision against Jose Benavidez Jnr in November – but it’s still fair to say his form is hardly indicative of someone primed to fight, let alone beat, Alvarez in 2024. Frankly, to even hear he is in the running to fight Canelo – and, according to The Ring, set to be announced as his opponent for May 4 – is a little baffling and disappointing.
After all, it appeared as though the whole Charlos vs. Canelo story had run its course back in September. That was when Jermell tried to do the unthinkable but ultimately failed; doing so in a way that had nobody begging for his brother, Jermall, to step in at a later date and try to rectify matters. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that sort of fight; it wasn’t that sort of storyline; Jermall wasn’t that sort of brother.
More than that, when there are clearly other fights for Canelo which feel more compelling, or at least fresher, the idea of him fighting another Charlo on Cinco de Mayo weekend does little to inspire. For example, there are fellow Mexicans like David Benavidez and Jaime Munguia in the very same weight class (super-middleweight), both of whom still wait for the call to fight Canelo and experience the feeling of having their lives changed overnight.
That Jermall Charlo, 33-0 (22), now gets this opportunity ahead of them, less than a year after his brother won the same golden ticket, will no doubt stick in the throat of both Benavidez and Munguia. But, if reports are to be believed, that is precisely what is going to happen.