NEW YORK – Jermell Charlo doesn’t think he’ll be a super middleweight permanently.
Boxing’s undisputed 154-pound champion plans to return to compete in that division. Charlo also is open to boxing at the middleweight limit of 160 pounds.
Charlo conceded after a press conference Tuesday in Manhattan, however, that he expects to have at least two fights at the super middleweight maximum of 168 pounds prior to boxing again in a lower weight class.
That’s because Canelo Alvarez has a rematch clause in his contract, which Charlo predicted Alvarez will exercise after he upsets the fully unified super middleweight champion in their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event September 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“I wanna be in a lane of my own, so I’ll go wherever I gotta be placed,” Charlo told a group of reporters at Palladium Times Square when he was asked if he’ll remain in the super middleweight division. “But, you know, making history at this weight would be a fascinating thing. I’m pretty sure after I beat him I’mma have a rematch, so I’ll be here for a little bit.
“But then I’ll, you know, go back to shoot towards, you know, the haters that’s talkin’ to me a little bit down the list. See if they gonna move up and come fight me wherever I’m at. It could be 160, it could ’54. I wanna knock whoever out that was runnin’ they mouth. That’s it. Simple.”
If Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs) comes back down to the junior middleweight division, he won’t officially be its undisputed champion anymore. The WBO has informed Charlo that he will be stripped of its 154-pound crown as soon as the bell rings for his showdown with Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KOs).
The Puerto Rico-based sanctioning organization will elevate Tim Tszyu from interim junior middleweight champion to full champion September 30 because Tszyu (23-0, 17 KOs) has long been the WBO’s mandatory challenger for one of Charlo’s championships. By allowing Charlo to keep the WBO junior middleweight title until he enters the ring to face Alvarez, their 12-round, 168-pound title fight can be promoted as “undisputed versus undisputed.”
Win or lose versus Alvarez, Charlo is expected to retain his IBF, WBA and WBC 154-pound championships.
Charlo, 33, has competed at or near the junior middleweight limit of 154 pounds for the past 13 years. He made his pro debut as a welterweight in December 2007.
Alvarez, also 33, turned pro as a junior welterweight in October 2005. The Mexican icon, who has won world titles in four weight classes, has competed as high as the light heavyweight maximum of 175 pounds.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.