Jermell Charlo’s Title Reign Crumbles: Stripped and Beltless

By Tim Compton - 03/03/2024 - Comments

The former undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo was stripped of his WBA 154-lb title last week, leaving him beltless after just two years. It’s hard to believe that Jermell’s title reign was short-lived, as he had appeared to be a go-getter, the more ambitious of the Charlo twins.

But after getting a $10 million payday against Canelo Alvarez, he’s been missing in action, not fighting and losing his 154-lb belts left and right without defending them.

A Championship Undefended

Charlo become undisputed 154-lb champion in 2022, but never defended his championship. He went up to 168 to face Canelo for his undisputed championship in September of last year after sitting out of the ring for 16 months with a hand injury that prevented him from defending against his WBO mandatory Tim Tszyu.

The WBA voted to relieve Jermell (32-2-1, 19 KOs) of his title, giving him the ‘Champion in recess’ tag, which means he can fight for the belt against whoever ends up with it. Dan Rafael broke the news of the WBA stripping Jermall.

Champion in Recess, But for How Long?

Israil Madrimov and Magomed Kurbanov were supposed to fight for the vacant WBA 154-lb belt this Friday night on the Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou card in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. That fights not happening due to Madrimov having a medical problem.

It’s questionable whether Jermell will ever fight again, but if he does, it’s safe to say it won’t be to try and retrieve his WBA title. If Jermell does return, it would likely be for a money fight against Terence Crawford. The World Boxing Association isn’t keep Jermell as Champion in recess’ forever if he chooses not to use the opportunity battle for a belt.

If Crawford chooses not to fight Jermell, it could be over for him unless he blows all his money on living it up, spending sprees, going through divorces, or bad investments.

That’s why fighters should continue to make money until they’re literally at the end. The exception, of course, is if you’re one of the super wealthy fighters, like Tyson Fury, Canelo Alvarez and Anthony Joshua. Charlo hasn’t made that kind of money, so it doesn’t make sense for him to retire yet, especially if he can still pick up a million paydays.