Jermell Charlo: “I made history, you got to respect me now”

Jermell Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs) was ecstatic after defeating Brian Castano by a tenth-round knockout to become the first undisputed champion at 154 last Saturday night at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

It’s too bad Jermell didn’t make history against a better fighter than Castano because it would have meant a lot more. If Charlo had beaten Terence Crawford, Sebastian Fundora, or Israil Madrimov, his accomplishment would have meant more.

Charlo wiped out the previously unbeaten WBO 154-lb champion Castano (17-1-2, 12 KOs) in the tenth round after knocking him down twice with left hooks to the head.

The referee Jerry Cantu didn’t do Castano any favors by allowing the fight to continue after the first knockdown because he was badly hurt and defenseless after he got up.

After the fight, Jermell, 31, didn’t elaborate on which direction he’ll go in for his next fight. It’s great that Charlo made history by becoming the undisputed champion at 154, but if he wants to hold onto those belts, he’s going to need to get busy defending his four straps against these top contenders:

  • Sebastian Fundora
  • Israil Madrimov
  • Tony Harrison
  • Tim Tszyu

WBO mandatory Tszyu (21-0, 15 KOs) was at the fight last Saturday, and he said he’s going to break Jermell down with pressure.

It’ll be a more difficult fight for Charlo compared to what he’s gone through in his two matches against Castano because Tszyu is a huge puncher, and he’s capable of doing damage with his shots.

Jermall Charlo said last Saturday that Jermell may move up to 160 and fight in that weight class now that he’s moving up to 168.

“You got to get your s*** together. You always hating on people and s***,” said Jermell Charlo in going off during the post-fight press conference after being asked a question by the media.

“I made history. No one has ever been undisputed champion at 154,” said Jermell.

“Castano’s punches were sliding off the gloves. I was blocking the majority of those punches. It just sounds good because of the crowd. But when you’re a fanboy, and you’ve never been inside the ring before, you’ll never understand what’s going on in there.

“Punches were slipped, punches were ducked, punches were blocked, and that’s what Derrick James teaches. I was durable, and I was going all 12. Unfortunately, my power gets stronger by the rounds. How about that?” said a gloating Jermell.

“You got to come back to me now. You got to respect me now. I did what I had to do. Yeah, now what? I’m high on IQ then. That’s what ESPN wanted to hear. IQ is really high and great.

“I’m a clean fighter, I try not to throw rabbit punches, and I try to use effective punches in boxing like a jab. I try to use strong punches, and I’m a strong 154-pounder. I’ve been at this weight for years.

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