By: Hans Themistode
Jermall Charlo had a tougher than expected time in his last ring appearance. The current WBC middleweight belt holder took on fringe contender, Juan Macias Montiel, in the backyard of Charlo in Houston, Texas on June 19th.
While the stoppage was expected, Montiel left many with their jaws wide open as he pushed the truculent knockout artist like never before. Despite his struggles, Charlo still cruised to a unanimous decision win on the night. Immediately after, Charlo turned his attention to current unified super middleweight titlist, Canelo Alvarez.
For a number of years now, Charlo has called for a showdown against the Mexican product. But while he’s made it clear that he’ll face Alvarez at any weight class, former super middleweight champion David Benavidez continues to interject. The two-time belt holder has made it clear that he wants Charlo as soon as possible.
With the WBC titlist showing little to no interest in moving up in weight to take on Benavidez in the immediate future, fans have claimed that Charlo is terrified to take on the heavy-handed knockout artist. Yet, in Ronnie Shields opinion, Charlo’s trainer, he finds the notion that his fighter is scared of Benavidez completely laughable.
“Who are we avoiding?” Asked Shields during an interview with Fight Hype TV. “Business says, we don’t need Benavidez to get to Canelo. If we needed Benavidez to get to Canelo, then we would’ve done that. Jermall is already champion of the world. Benavidez is nobody, he has nothing, he has nothing to offer Jermall.”
At the moment, Shields believes that the fame and notoriety of Benavidez mean very little. What does matter, however, is championship hardware, something Benavidez is currently lacking.
“It would’ve been better if Benavidez would’ve still been champion. If Jermall beats him now, he just beat another opponent. Benavidez brings nothing to the table, he doesn’t have anything. He was champion of the world but lost his belt on the scale. Now he’s chasing and trying to get the belt back. If we fight him, it doesn’t mean anything.”
After regaining his title in September of 2019, Benavidez, 24, had an unfortunate mental lapse. In preparation for his showdown against Roamer Alexis Angulo in August of 2020, Benavidez failed to make the 168-pound limit and was subsequently stripped of his world title. He’s since vowed to make amends and is working diligently to regain what was once his.
The road to a third world title for Benavidez starts in just a few more weeks against former titlist, Jose Uzcategui. At the moment, Benavidez ranks number one in the WBC sanctioning body. Alvarez, who holds the full title, is a matchup that both Benavidez and Charlo would love to have sooner, rather than later.
Recently, Benavidez offered to stage an elimination bout of sorts against Charlo, with the winner receiving the ultimate prize.
“We both want Canelo,” said Benavidez on his Instagram account with a picture of himself and Charlo. “Let’s earn the shot at him by fighting each other. Winner gets Canelo, how about that?”
The suggestion of a winner take all matchup, however, has left an incredulous look on the face of Shields. Regardless of whether Charlo takes on Benavidez or not, Shields fully expects his man to land a mega showdown with Alvarez extremely soon.
“Jermall is already in the conversation with Canelo. Why would Jermall need to go fight Benavidez to get to Canelo? What sense does that make? Why would he need Benavidez when we’re already going to get Canelo. He needs Jermall to get to Canelo and we don’t.”