Jermell Charlo looks to keep up with his twin brother and retain his 154lb light middleweight WBC world title. He defends against his mandatory challenger Charles Hatley on February 18th.
In 2012 the big talking Hatley was brutally knocked from pillar to post by Lanardo Tyner in a knockout loss. Tyner despite being a teak tough man could never hack it when he stepped in the ring with prospects like Jesse Vargas and even Kevin Bizier. Top level prospects tend to deal with these type of fighters.
However Hatley didn’t learn from that fight. In sept 2014, he was dropped heavily to the canvas again in the fight against Richard Gutierrez with a hard right hand over the top. He is so open to this punch because he too often throws out a ponderous jab which lack the sting and authority and is almost an open invitation to bang the right hand counter.
His tendancy to drop his right hand low means he is also susceptible to the left hook. It wouldn’t surprise me if Jermell has success in dispatching him with this punch. Gutierrez is a solid journeyman campaigner but I was not at all impressed with the way Hatley dealt with him.
He showed a big heart to come through the fight but at times he look out on his feet. Even when he finally got back on top he was ragged and wild rather than being composed in his approach. He was simply winning the firefight with his increased punch volume.
This surprised me because he has a decent amateur pedigree with over 250 fights and a US national title victory in 2007. His main strengths are that he is capable of throwing power shots in flurries.
He reignited his career with a win over Anthony Mundine but Mundine at 40 years old was a spent force and on the way out of the game. He was again dropped in the tenth round by Mundine. This fight was back in November 2015 so he has not stayed active which can only serve as poor preparation.
Although he is yet to face the best out there, Jermell Charlo has had more fights against higher calibre opponents such as Gabe Rosado and Vanes Martirosyan. In his last fight back in May of 2016 he sensationally brought the dangerously hard hitting John Jackson to a standstill with some huge shots to close the show with a TKO.
I think he is the sharper, crisper puncher of the two and fully expect him to retain his title and undefeated record.