Bakhram Murtazaliev and his promoter Kathy Duva are waiting to find out if Jermell Charlo will vacate his IBF 154-lb title or agree to fight him following the International Boxing Federation has ordered the two to fight last week.
The timing of the IBF ordering Charlo to defend against mandatory Murtazaliev challenger isn’t ideal, but that’s the way it is. Jermell, 31, and his management at PBC need to decide whether they want to take this fight or vacate.
Giving up the IBF title would signal defeat on Jermell’s part, as he was hoping to become the undisputed 154-lb champion in 2021.
Jermell (34-1-1, 18 KOs) has until August 20th to negotiate the fight with his IBF mandatory Bakhram Murtazaliev (19-0, 14 KOs) before a purse bid on August 20th.
IBF/WBA/WBC junior middleweight champion Charlo wants to face WBO champ, Brian Castano in a rematch after the two fought to a controversial 12 round split draw on July 17th in San Antonio, Texas.
Castano (17-0-2, 12 KOs) looked like the winner at the end, but the judges surprisingly scored the fight a draw.
Given how much flak the judges have been given from the boxing world, particularly the one that shockingly scored it 117-111 for Jermell, they would have been better off giving the victory to Castano.
“The IBF USBA boxing has ordered Twin Charlo to begin negotiations with mandatory challenger Bakhram Murtazaliev effective July 21. The negotiation period ends on Aug. 20,” said Lance Pugmire @pugboxing.
“From Murtazaliev promoter Kathy Duva on these mandatory talks with TGB’s Tom Brown: “We have agreed on all terms for them to fight each other later this year. All we are waiting for is for PBC to tell us if Charlo plans to defend his title or give it up instead of defending it.”
It’s a big decision Jermell must make by choosing whether to give up his IBF title or take the fight with the little-known Murtazaliev.
The problem is if Jermell does choose to fight Murtazaliev, he’ll likely lose money because right now, there’s a lot of interest from boxing fans in seeing a rematch with WBO champion Castano.
Jermell must strike while the iron is still hot to take advantage of the fan interest in a rematch with the Argentinian Castano. If Jermell fights Castano in the next three to four months, he can make good money on Showtime or FOX pay-per-view.
But if he chooses to defend his IBF belt against Murtazaliev next, it means he won’t fight Castano again until next year in 2022. That fewer fans will be as excited at seeing the two fight at that point because too much time will have elapsed since their July 17th fight.
Another problem that Jermell has is the WBO will be ordering Castano to defend against Tim Tszyu before the end of the year. That’s a fight that Castano might lose.
If he gets beaten, the rematch between him and Charlo won’t be worth much. Jermell and PBC won’t be able to market a rematch with Castano, with him coming off a loss to Tszyu.