Who is Jermell Charlo and why is he fighting Canelo Alvarez? Highlights, fight record and more

A look at the career of boxer Jermell Charlo as he prepares to face Canelo Alvarez this Saturday, September 30 in Las Vegas.

By: Nate Wilcox | 2 months ago

Jermell Charlo is jumping up in weight to challenge Canelo

Jermell Charlo is the undisputed light middleweight world champion. He reclaimed the WBC title in 2019 (after previously holding it from 2016 to 2018). He added the the WBA (Super), IBF and Ring magazine titles in 2020, and the WBO title in 2022. All of those titles are fought at 154 pounds.

Canelo Alvarez currently fights at 168 pounds however so Charlo is making a big jump to challenge for Alvarez’ titles. He’ll leave his belts at home Saturday as they won’t be on the line.

At the open media workout his bout against Canelo Alvarez this Saturday, Charlo expressed no doubts about his qualifications (transcribed by Bad Left Hook), “I’ve been doing this my whole life and now it’s time to put on for my city,” Jermell Charlo said. “Put up or shut up and do what I do. I’m facing one of the best fighters in the world, you have to be excited for this moment.

“Now is the right time for this fight,” Jermell Charlo continued. “We’re in our primes and at our best. I wanna shake the doubters off and prove to the world why I’m in this position. There’s a reason I made it this far. I’m gonna show what I’m made of. Everything I’ve done since I was eight years old, I’m putting it all on the line now.

“I’m not going to have to worry about losing too much weight. I’ve been sparring bigger guys for a very long time and now it’s about bringing that same mindset that I have at 154-pounds and bringing it up with me to 168-pounds,” said Jermell Charlo.

“We’ve done so much sparring and conditioning. I’m working on the mental as well, because I know it’s not only about the physical. I’ve been training 14 weeks and making sure I do everything I need to,” Charlo concluded.

Claiming Floyd Mayweather’s vacant title with a KO

In 2015, Jermell Charlo had the opportunity to fight for the WBC light middleweight title which had been vacated by Floyd Mayweather, Jr. He faced John Jackson for the title, and despite being behind on the judges score cards, managed to win with a late and controversial TKO.

Bad Left Hook summarized the situation, “The finish came when Charlo caught Jackson with a good shot that dazed him, and Jackson pawed at his face, saying he was trying to adjust his mouthpiece. When he turned away, Charlo hit him again with a flush left hook, and Tony Weeks jumped in to stop the fight, as Jackson had stopped protecting himself.”

Let’s watch the fight:

Losing the title to Harrison

Charlo suffered his first loss to Tony Harrison via a unanimous decision. Harrison took the title as well.

Reclaiming his title with a KO win over Harrison

Harrison and Charlo met again in 2019 and this time Charlo left no doubt, ending Harrison’s title reign with an 11th round KO.

Unifying the titles against Rosario

Charlo took on WBA (Super), IBF, and IBO light middleweight champion Jeison Rosario in a unification match in 2020.

The method of the finish via a brutal body shot knock out surprised many observers. As Scott Christ wrote, “The win itself was not any big surprise, as Charlo (34-1, 18 KO) did come in as the favorite, even if not a huge favorite. But the KO itself was pretty unusual, a jab to the body early in the eighth round, which Charlo said was really more the result of him having softened up Rosario, breaking him down in the fight. Rosario had already been down two times, in the first and sixth rounds, and was hurt at the end of the sixth for sure.

“Still, it was a KO the likes of which a lot of people say they’ve never quite seen before, as Rosario was in a bad way for a couple of minutes, though he did get up and walk out.”

Thrilling but controversial bouts with Brian Castano

Most recently Charlo has been in a pair of fan-pleasing but controversy-stirring bouts with Brian Castano. The first fight was described by Bloody Elbow’s Harry Davies as an “incredible split decision draw.” Let’s take a look:

In the rematch, Charlo scored two tenth round knockdowns and forced a stoppage. Let’s see:

Don’t confuse him with his troubled twin Jermall Charlo

Jermell is exactly one minute younger than his twin brother Jermall. Jermall’s boxing record is even better than Jermell’s sitting at a perfect 32-0 and holding the WBC middleweight title since 2019 and was previously the IBF light middleweight champ for two years from 2015 to 2017.

Unfortunately, Jermall has had some legal troubles (although the charges were later dropped):

“The charge against Charlo stems from an arrest warrant that was issued over an alleged assault that took place on September 21, 2021. Court documents claim that Charlo punched and grabbed a man who is a member of Charlo’s “family or household”. Those documents also claim the alleged victim suffered injuries as a result of the assault.

“This isn’t Charlo’s first run-in with the law. Last August he was charged with three counts of felony robbery. Those charges came after Charlo was accused of taking cash from a waiter during an argument over a declined credit card. Those charges were later dismissed.

“In May 2020 Charlo was interviewed by police after an altercation took place during a party at his mansion near Missouri City, TX. Officers made a welfare check at that residence after an individual claimed that they had been assaulted and suffered bodily harm.

Charlo was named as a suspect in that investigation but was not charged with any crimes.”

Jermall also was involved in a scuffle backstage at this summer’s Crawford-Spence bout, getting slapped by Caleb Plant during a face-off.

Jermell has commented on his brother at the final press conference for the Canelo bout (transcribed by Bad Left Hook):

“This family affair thing has been really crazy and I try not to touch on that topic too much because at the end of the day I love my brother but I just think at this current moment we don’t see eye to eye,” said Jermell. ” And it has a lot to do with what he wants in his life and what I want in mines is two completely different things.

“Growing up and growing apart from each other is just part of the nature and I have to tend to accept things just like I accept certain people, and I accept the good that come with the bad.

“So one day hopefully we speak again but right now I’m just not in a moment or a mood to want to deal with that havoc that he brings and all that kind of stuff. But I’m a dog, I’m an animal for my brother too so I rock with him. If he’s not here for fight night, it’s okay. He can’t fight for me anyways so it don’t hurt my feelings.

“I hope he get ready, get back in the ring ’cause it seem like I been putting on for the Charlos. And that sort of stems to the issue. I did this for us, I did this for Lions Only, and so I don’t want nobody attaching the brand or bringing us down.

“I feel like we have had a bunch of hiccups on his end that has tarnished our character and our name a little bit. But I’ll be the one that bring it back up, I’ll be the one to continue to do it for us.

“I love my brother and I want the best for him. I want him to continue to be the world champion that he is.”

Share this story

About the author
Nate Wilcox
Nate Wilcox

Nate Wilcox is the founding editor of BloodyElbow.com. As such he has hired every editor and writer to work for the site. Wilcox’s writing for BE is known for its emphasis on MMA history, the evolution of fighting techniques and strong opinions. Wilcox developed the SBN MMA consensus rankings which were featured in USA Today from 2009 to 2011. Before founding BE, Wilcox was a political operative working for such figures as Senators John Kerry and Mark Warner and an early political blogger. He is the co-author of Netroots Rising, a history of the political blogosphere from 2003 to 2007. Wilcox also hosts the Let It Roll podcast on music history for the Pantheon Podcast Network.

More from the author

Bloody Elbow Podcast
Related Stories