Jermall Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs) had a much harder time than expected in winning a grueling 12 round unanimous decision win over #1 WBC contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-3, 10 KOs) on Saturday night in a highly competitive contest on Showtime pay-per-view.
The match took place behind closed doors at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Both fighters were hurt n the fight, but they handled it well. Derevyanchenko had eye problems like in his last contest against Gennady Golovkin, but that was predictable. With all the scar tissue around Derevyanchenko’s eyes, it was expected that he was going to have problems.
Derevyanchenko exceptionally well in the second half of the fight, and he looked like the winner at the end. However, the judges scored it for Charlo by the scores 116-112, 117-111, and 118-110.
Boxing 247 saw Derevyanchenko as the winner by a 115-113 score. He looked like he’d done enough to edge it, but not with these judges. The 118-110 score [10 rounds to 2] for Charlo was frankly disturbing and off-putting.
That was similar to the wacky 118-110 score one of the judges turned in for the first Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennadiy Golovkin contest. To listen to the Showtime broadcast, the commentators were on the same page as the three judges, viewing the competition as a one-sided win for Charlo.
That’s not how the fight looked. It was so close that it could have a draw or a razor-close win for either fighter. It’s shocking how complete the scores were by the three judges, as they saw the fight completely different the way this writer saw it.
As exhausted as Charlo was from the sixth round, you’d find it hard to give him more than one round in the last seven rounds. He was so tired, and that’s understandable.
The guy is arguably a super middleweight, who drains down to fight at middleweight. Fighting outside of your body’s natural weight category will catch up you sooner or later, and saw that tonight with Charlo dragging in the last half.
Charlo, 30, looked good when he was on the outside, controlling the action with his jab and long right hands. But after the first quarter of the fight, Derevanchenko adjusted and took the contest to the inside, where he was the better of the two.
Charlo gassed out badly in the last six rounds of the fight, and he looked like the older fighter of the two despite being four years younger than the 34-year-old Derevyanhenko. It’s starting to catch up to Charlo with him being so so huge for the middleweight division.
Some boxing fans attribute Charlo’s success to his size and his ability to cut weight to fight in a division that is below his size. A fighter can only make weight so many times before their performances are impacted from being drained.
If Showtime wants to turn Charlo into a PPV attraction, he’s going to have to do a lot better than he did tonight if he wants fans to continue to pay to watch him fight. Frankly, Charlo isn’t good enough to be a PPV draw or a star, and the fans aren’t going to pay to watch him beat up on guys like Dennis Hogan or Brandon Adams.
If Charlo wants to keep fighting on PPV, he’s going to need to fight guys like David Benavidez, Callum Smith, Caleb Plant, Demetrius Andrade, Canelo Alvarez, and Gennadiy Golovkin. I mentioned some super middleweights because that’s where Jermall should be fighting right now.
Some boxing fans view Charlo as a weight bully. If he can’t dominate guys that much smaller than him, then what is he going to do when he moves up to his natural weight class of 168? David Benavidez, Plant, and Callum Smith would all likely beat Jermall. I’d pick Canelo and GGG to beat him as well.