The last time Jermall Charlo defended his WBC middleweight title was on July 19, 2021, where he took care of the pesky Juan Montiel Macias in 12 rounds.
From this point on he has been absent from the ring due to personal issues which have caused some mental duress -- and quite frankly, from just being a modern day boxer.
He returns to the ring on November 25 as he faces Jose Benavidez. But it turns out that this bout is a non-title affair (yes, they still exist!!) and scheduled for 10 rounds on the David Benavidez-Demetrius Andrade undercard in Las Vegas.
In what was a very heated video conference call between the two combatants earlier this week, Charlo -- who is still the WBC belt-holder at 160 -- admitted that he really didn't care about that green 'trophy', and was contemplating moving up in weight in the near future.
The fact that the WBC has allowed any boxer to go so long without making a single title defense is mind-boggling. It actually goes against their own rules. But for whatever reason (and we all have our theories), the head of that organization has allowed Charlo to stay as their champion.
Keith Idec of Boxingscene.com tweeted about Charlo's statements on Wednesday.
Which then brought about this response from Sulaiman, who has taken on the role of Charlo's enabler throughout this whole process. No matter what their own rules and regulations may state, Sulaiman has made sure that Charlo can go well over two years without fighting and still keep their title.
It brings a whole new meaning to the term 'champion in recess'
But give the pugnacious Idec this, he didn't back down. He came back with these tweets. And yeah, I'd give Keith a clear 10-8 round, here. Because all Idec is stating is facts and a good deal of common sense, while Sulaiman is just defending the indefensible.
Charlo, who is now 33 years old, had been sidelined so long that the WBC made the June bout between Carlos Adames and Julian Williams an interim title bout. Adames stopped Williams in nine rounds, and it seemed that he would be in line to face Charlo next for his shot at the full-fledged title.
After all, that was why things like the 'interim' title were created, to allow other boxers to get their place in line as champions were sidelined for whatever reason. It has to be noted, boxers who participated in these bouts have to pay sanctioning fees.
It's clear that Adames, who is a very solid fighter and rated second in the division by Ring Magazine, is growing more and more disgruntled by what's taking place. He was probably of the belief that by winning against 'J-Roc' that he had earned his shot at Charlo. Instead, he is forced to wait around.
You wonder if Adames should take some legal action against this organization the way Graciano Rocchigiani did years ago, which nearly KO'd the WBC. For those of you unfamiliar with this case, here's a quick primer:
Regardless of what Adames wants to do, the reality is that in the PBC pecking order, Charlo is above him. And they are both essentially represented by the same group (PBC/Al Haymon). The harsh truth is that Adames' interest are being sacrificed for Charlo's. The best he can hope for is that Charlo at least drops the title sooner rather than later, before his next bout, which will probably take place by early 2025.
The personal troubles of Charlo are well-chronicled, there's really no need to rehash them here. The focus of this column is his inactivity. One of the most fundamental responsibilities of any champion is to regularly defend his title. And one of the reasons why sanctioning bodies exist is to make sure that worthy challengers are mandated their shots in due time.
In truth, not only is Adames career being held up, but so is every other boxer in their rankings at 160 to a certain degree. The sanctioning bodies are supposed to keep the flow off traffic going, but in this case the WBC is letting one boxer jam up the rest of the division.
This week on 'the 3 Knockdown Rule', Frank Stallone joined Mario Lopez and I in-studio to discuss his career, 'Sly', the 'Rocky' Franchise' and a lot of boxing. Here is the YouTube link to the show:
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Say whatever you will about Jake Paul, but he stays active -- or at least more active than most in todays game. It was announced that he will face Andre August on Dec 15....The last 'Golden Boy Fight Night' of 2023 from the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino will feature a main event between Jose Tito Sanchez and Walter Santibanes in a super bantamweight bout....So hold on, they really are doing an Andre Berto-Robert Guerrero rematch?!?!?....I can be reached at email@example.com.....