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Charlo: ‘I want to fight Terence Crawford’
“I just felt like I wasn’t me in there,” Charlo says. “I don’t make excuses for myself so, it is what it is. Take my punches and roll with it. This is boxing. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.”
Asked what the difference was tonight compared to his previous performances, Charlo says it came down to the climb in weight.
“Truthfully, you could feel the difference in the weight,” he says. “I jumped up 14 pounds. I’m undisputed in my weight division [at 154lbs]. I was daring to be great right now. You fall short sometimes, but you got to just keep on pushing. My road don’t stop right here.”
Will he go back to the junior middleweight division where he consolidated all four major title belts?
“Absolutely,” he says. “I think this morning I weighed 172, 173. It is what it is. I’m proud of myself. He didn’t knock me out, [but] he knocked all those other guys. He hit me with some hard shots. I felt like I got mine off. But hey, I’m the little Charlo, I’ve got to represent.”
Asked what’s next at junior middle, Charlo first says that he’d be happy to fight the winner of next month’s WBO title fight between Tim Tszyu and Brian Mendoza … but then makes a sudden change of tack.
“I want to fight Terence Crawford,” an animated Charlo says. “Fuck that. I could fight Terence Crawford at my weight division. Let him fight Errol Spence, whatever they got going on, get that out the way. I’m waiting. I’m about to get right back in training. Tell him don’t worry about it.”
Álvarez: ‘Nobody can beat this Canelo’
“Nobody can beat this Canelo,” Álvarez says, giving his in-ring interview entirely in English. “I’m a strong fighter all the time. I’m a strong man.”
Asked why he spent so much of tonight’s fight dedicated to the body attack, Álvarez says that was all in the plan.
“We worked for that,” he says. “We worked to go to the body. We know he’s a great fighter and he knows how to move in the ring. So we worked that in the gym for three months. For three months in the mountains without my family, without anything. But I still love boxing. I love boxing so fucking much! Boxing is my life. Boxing made me the person I am today. Boxing is my love. That’s why I love so much, boxing. And I love boxing that much because of my fans, too. Thank you!”
Álvarez insists he is not disappointed that he failed to get the knockout: “I feel great. That’s why we fight 12 rounds right? If we don’t get that knockout, I get 12 rounds to show I am the best! I’m the better fighter. That’s why there are 12 rounds, to show who’s better.”
What’s next? Álvarez says he will return on Cinco de Mayo weekend in 2024, whether it’s his mandatory defense against David Benavidez or a different opponent.
“Whoever, I don’t care,” he says. “We’ll see who’s next. I don’t fucking care.”
Canelo Álvarez and Jermell Charlo embrace after Saturday’s fight. Photograph: John Locher/AP
Álvarez defeats Charlo to retain undisputed super middleweight title
Canelo Álvarez has won a unanimous decision over Jermell Charlo to retain his undisputed super middleweight championship. The official scores were 118-109 (twice) and 119-108. (The Guardian had it 119-108.)
It’s his 60th professional win.
Canelo Álvarez celebrates his latest successful title defense. Photograph: John Locher/AP
Álvarez looking to close the show. Charlo in complete survival mode. Charlo makes it to the bell. The fighters embrace after what’s turned out to be a total mismatch. In a few moments it will be official: Canelo Álvarez has retained his WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO titles at 168lbs.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Álvarez 10-9 Charlo (Álvarez 119-108 Charlo)
More of the same for Álvarez, whose effective pressure racks him up another round. He’s not even bothering to keep his guard up anymore. Three minutes to go.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Álvarez 10-9 Charlo (Álvarez 109-99 Charlo)
Álvarez is scoring at will to the head and body. When Charlo does land punches, his opponent walks through them like raindrops. Another easy round for Canelo and the sense of urgency in Charlo’s corner has heightened with two rounds to go. “You gotta go get him,” Charlo’s trainer Derrick James tells him after the round. “You’re losing the fight. You can stop him. He’s tired!”
Guardian’s unofficial score: Álvarez 10-9 Charlo (Álvarez 99-90 Charlo)
Charlo comes out for the ninth letting his hands go, landing only occasionally but keeping his opponent at bay with punch volume. Álvarez is sitting back, looking to time Charlo for the one big shot to close the show. He’s landing heavy shots to the midsection but Charlo is taking them well. After three minutes, Charlo’s volume is just enough to get him on the board on our card.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Álvarez 9-10 Charlo (Álvarez 89-81 Charlo)
Álvarez continues the hunt, cutting off the ring and keeping the pressure on. These combinations to the head and body when Canelo has his foe cornered are devastating, taking a toll on Charlo even when they’re partially blocked or parried. Another crunching one-two combo by Álvarez. Charlo is trying to fight back but he’s outclassed at this weight.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Álvarez 10-9 Charlo (Álvarez 80-71 Charlo)
Charlo down in round seven!
Álvarez drops Charlo to a knee with a heavy overhand right hand right on the dime early in the seventh round. Charlo makes it to his feet and is throwing punches in volume to keep Canelo off, but the Mexican is walking right through them. He makes it to the bell but this fight could be over soon.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Álvarez 10-8 Charlo (Álvarez 70-62 Charlo)
Jermell Charlo takes a knee during the seventh round. Photograph: Étienne Laurent/EPA
Álvarez continues to cut the ring off and back Charlo up with intelligent pressure, digging to the body and and landing shots upstairs when he gets his foe against the ropes. More chants of “Ca-ne-lo! Ca-ne-lo!” How much longer can Charlo withstand this mauling in-fighting? He did seem to appear more bothered by some of those combinations. A complete shutout for Canelo at the halfway mark on our card.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Álvarez 10-9 Charlo (Álvarez 60-54 Charlo)
Álvarez leads with a left hook that backs his opponent up. Charlo lands a counter left hook, but Álvarez seems to walk right through it and follows with a combination of punches that rock the smaller champion. Charlo finishes the round strong with a couple of promising combinations in the last 30 seconds, but it’s not enough to swing the round.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Álvarez 10-9 Charlo (Álvarez 50-45 Charlo)
A mystifying fight plan by Charlo, whose inactivity is donating one round after another to Álvarez. A left hook moved Charlo backward, maybe the best shot of the fight. Charlo begins landing with a couple of jabs through his opponent’s guard. But Álvarez almost immediately comes back with an overhand right that connects to Charlo’s temple. Another straightforward round for Álvarez.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Álvarez 10-9 Charlo (Álvarez 40-36 Charlo)
This is looking like a mismatch. An emboldened Álvarez is pressuring Charlo, landing heavy shots upstairs that leave the American hanging on. He’s out to prove a point tonight. Compubox’s punch stats lend numerical context to the one-way traffic: Álvarez has landed 21 of 65 shots, while Charlo has landed eight of 78.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Álvarez 10-9 Charlo (Álvarez 30-27 Charlo)
Álvarez picks up the pace in the second round, landing power shots to Charlo’s chin and midsection. Charlo is showing Álvarez way too much respect. He’s thrown only a handful of punches through the first six minutes, landing even fewer. An easy round to score for Álvarez, who stands in his corner between rounds instead of sitting on his stool.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Álvarez 10-9 Charlo (Álvarez 20-18 Charlo)
There’s the bell. Charlo immediately takes the center of the ring. Álvarez starts circling his foe amid chants of “Ca-ne-lo! Ca-ne-lo!” Scarcely a punch thrown by either man in the first minute as they feel one another out and collect data. Álvarez begins trying to cut off the ring and Charlo is countering with side-to-side movement. Álvarez catches Charlo with a compact left hook. A quiet opening frame with only 23 punches thrown between two fighters according to Compubox’s punch statistics (and only one landed for each), but Canelo did just enough to nick it on our card.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Álvarez 10-9 Charlo (Álvarez 10-9 Charlo)
The fighters have been announced. The final instructions have been given. The seconds are out. We’ll pick it up with round-by-round coverage from here!
Jermell Charlo is making the long walk to the squared circle. Round Here (Part One) by the Houston rapper Tobe Nwigwe plays at an ear-splitting volume as he enters the ring wearing a simple black hooded robe with sparkles. He rocks back and forth for about a minute in the red corner while he waits for …
… Canelo! The remix of Por Mi México by Lefty SM and Santa Fe Klan plays as he ambles toward the ring in a gold poncho-style robe with purple trim styled by Dolce & Gabbana. Huge roars from the sold-out arena as he climbs through the ropes. It seems he we enjoy the edge in crowd support tonight.
Anthem time at T-Mobile Arena. First it’s the national anthem of Mexico. Cameras show Álvarez standing at attention in his dressing room singing the words beside his team. Now it’s the Star-Spangled Banner. Good renditions, both. The fighters should be making their entrances momentarily.
Lubin defeats Ramos Jr in WBC/WBA super welterweight title eliminator
Erickson Lubin has won a unanimous decision over Jesus Ramos Jr in their WBC/WBA super welterweight title eliminator. The official scores were 115-113, 116-112 and 117-111. Now that’s a surprise. We had it 116-112 on our unofficial scorecard for Ramos, who has just suffered the first defeat of his professional career after a 20-0 start. The crowd is letting their displeasure with the result be known as a cacophony of boos and jeers rains down from the upper deck.
“I’m tired of being called a gatekeeper,” says Lubin, who connected on 92 of 532 punches (17%), compared to 145 of 199 punches for Ramos (29%). “I’m one of the top dogs in the division.”
Says an impossibly upbeat Ramos: “I think I did a little more, but that’s all right. Congratulations to Erickson Lubin. He came in sharp. So it’s back to the drawing board. We’ll talk this loss come back and learn from it.”
Erickson Lubin, left, lands a punch on Jesus Ramos Jr during their super welterweight fight. Photograph: John Locher/AP
Jesus Ramos Jr and Erickson Lubin are eight rounds into their scheduled 12-round junior middleweight scrap. It’s the final preliminary bout ahead of tonight’s main event … and let’s just say they won’t be sending this tape to Canastota. Ramos is ahead by a lopsided margin on the Guardian’s scorecard, but there hasn’t been a whole lot of action to speak of.
Meanwhile in Canelo’s dressing room, an adorable scene between the Mexican star and Saul Jr:
How confident is Charlo? The 33-year-old has already been talking about the rematch that will be automatically triggered should he win tonight.
“We finally made it to this moment. Training camp was really hard and I had to really focus,” Charlo said at Wednesday’s final press conference. “Canelo is the kind of fighter you can’t take for granted. He’s done everything in this sport of boxing and he’s got nothing to prove.
“I have so much on my plate and in order to continue my legacy, I have to be equipped with every tool. I know that the fans are gonna win on Saturday night. You’re gonna see us back again for a rematch, because this is my moment.
“I don’t think Canelo has faced a fighter of my caliber. He’s been in there with great fighters, but there’s something I bring to the table that’s a lot different than anyone he’s seen.”
Canelo Alvarez, left, and Jermell Charlo are both the undisputed, four-belt champions of their respective weight classes. Photograph: John Locher/AP
Álvarez has remained as even-keeled and brimming with quiet confidence as ever, the only difference this fight week being his ever-improving English.
“I feel great and ready for this fight,” Álvarez said. “Jermell is right, I have nothing to prove. But this time, I have something to prove to him. He never believed in my skills. He’s been calling me out. Now I have the opportunity to show him my skills. And that motivates me. I had a great camp and I’m ready to show everybody my new skills.
“I always train 100% and motivate myself, but it’s even more for this fight. He’s called me out for a long time and I’m gonna show him what I can do in just a couple days.
“He’s gonna feel it. It’s hard to explain it, but it’s just something different. He’s not used to being in there with a fighter like me.”
Barrios defeats Ugas for WBC interim welterweight title
Mario Barrios has just won a unanimious decision over Yordenis Ugas for the vacant WBC interim welterweight title. The ringside judges handed down scores of 117-108 and 118-107 (twice) in a fight that devolved into a one-sided beatdown over the second half and really should have been stopped by the referee well before the final bell. Barrios dropped his Cuban foe twice, closed his right eye almost completely and had him out on his feet by the end.
“I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy fight,” says an elated Barrios, who landed 193 of 810 punches (24%) compared to 101 of 484 for Ugas (21%), according to Compubox’s punch statistics. “But we had a great training camp and I was prepared.”
Yordenis Ugas, right, takes a knee after getting knocked down by Mario Barrios during their fight on Saturday night. Photograph: Sarah Stier/Getty Images
In the first televised undercard bout, Elijah Garcia defeated Armando Resendiz by eighth-round TKO in their scheduled 10-round middleweight fight.
Hello and welcome to T-Mobile Arena for tonight’s showdown between Canelo Álvarez and Jermell Charlo. We’ve got a fascinating main event in the offing as Charlo, the undisputed champion at 154lbs from Houston, is moving up two weight classes to challenge for Álvarez’s WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO titles at 168lbs. Yet while Charlo is the fighter moving up, it’s the Mexican star who is conceding four inches in height and two and a half inches in reach.
Álvarez will go off as a roughly 4/1 favorite, but tonight’s fight should go a long way toward showing us where the 33-year-old Mexican star really stands at this point in his career. He suffered his first defeat in nearly a decade with a unanimous-decision loss to Dmitry Bivol in May 2022 – which took place at 175lbs and didn’t cost him his super middleweight belts – and has since rebounded with easy wins over a faded Gennady Golovkin and an outclassed John Ryder. But Charlo expects to offer a different caliber of test, regardless of the weight difference.
We’re about halfway through the pay-per-view undercard with the Álvarez and Charlo expected to make their ringwalks in about an hour’s time.
Canelo Álvarez, left, and Jermell Charlo look on during Friday’s ceremonial weigh-in outside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Photograph: Sarah Stier/Getty Images
Bryan will be here shortly. In the meantime here’s Thomas Hauser’s retrospective from this week on heavyweight boxing’s battle scars.