WBC junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo’s power came through for him in the 8th round with him knocking out IBF/WBA champion Jeison Rosario (20-2-1, 13 KOs) in the 8th round on Saturday night to add two new belts to his collection at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.
The boxing fans that ordered the Charlo doubleheader for $74.95 got their money’s worth on Saturday, both Charlos winning and a lot of excellent undercard action.
Jermell’s highlight reel knockout of Rosario was the final coup de grace on the night. Charlo took a fight that was very much in doubt, and he turned it around in landing a stabbing jab that was too much for Rosario.
Going into the eighth round, the outcome was still very much in doubt, as Rosario was walking Charlo down and pounding him to the head and body. In the eighth round, Charlo landed a nice jab to the body that badly hurt Rosario, sending him down on his back. Rosario, 24, wasn’t able to get up to beat the count.
Besides the knockdown in the 8th, Charlo also dropped Rosario in the first and sixth rounds. When Charlo wasn’t scoring knockdowns, he was having a devil of a time with Rosario, who was coming forward and working him down.
Rosario looked impressive through the first seven rounds. Who knows what would have happened if Charlo didn’t score the knockout in the 8th. Maybe if he didn’t, Rosario would have gone on to get the victory.
The first round knockdown was a slip by Rosario, but the referee still gave Charlo credit. You can argue that the referee wasn’t giving Rosario any breaks tonight. In addition to the blown call on the knockdown by referee Harvey Dock, he warned Rosario for his body shots.
Charlo had his trucks pulled up above his belly button in what appeared to be a way of limiting the body shots from Rosario. The referee was warning Rosario for body shots that should have been legal. It’s nice to be the A-side, and Charlo had things his way tonight.
In the 6th, Charlo legitimately hurt Rosario with a big shot that put him down. But rather than going after him to finish the job, Charlo let him off the hook. One got the sense that if Charlo had gone all out on Rosario in the sixth round, he would have stopped him because he was there for the taking after the knockdown.
“I definitely proved that I’m more than just a puncher, but I also showed again that I’m a big puncher,” said Charlo at the post-fight news conference. “I’d give myself an A tonight. I stuck to my game plan and listened to my coach.
Everything we did in camp, I used it in this fight. I pushed myself the whole way through training camp. It’s been a journey for me. I’m bringing the straps home to my family like they told me to.”
You can argue that the only thing that Charlo did prove tonight is that he IS mostly just a puncher. He looked like he was losing rounds when he wasn’t knocking Rosario down, and he was getting out-boxed and outworked by him.
But it had already been established in the past by Tony Harrison that Charlo is just a puncher because he out-boxed him twice. Although Harrison lost the rematch with Charlo, he was still the superior fighter in terms of skills.
After the fight, Charlo said he’s not sure who he’ll be fighting next. Says he’s going to speak with the three sanctioning bodies and listen o what they have to say about his next title defense. This could mean that Charlo gets a soft touch.