Charlos Split in Championship Doubleheader

By Robert Ecksel on December 22, 2018
Charlos Split in Championship Doubleheader
He wasn’t knocked down. He wasn’t knocked out. (Frank Franklin II/Associated Press)

Korobov fought well. He can take a punch. But he is past his prime and no match for someone like Jermall Charlo…

Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, in a fight televised live on FOX and FOX Deportes, Jermall Charlo (28-0, 21 KOs), one of two identical twin boxer-punchers from Houston, Texas, successfully defended his WBC interim middleweight title by pummeling Matt Korobov (28-2, 14 KOs), the resilient 35-year-old southpaw from St. Petersburg, Florida, by way of Orotukan, Russia, over 12 lopsided rounds.

The final scores were 119 and 116-112 twice.

Korobov fought well. He can take a punch. But he is past his prime and no match for someone like Jermall Charlo. He wasn’t knocked down. He wasn’t knocked out. Both are Charlo specialties and knockouts are good TV. The card was a showcase for the twins to shine, and Jermall, while victorious, failed to close the show.

“I had fun in there with an opponent like that,” he said after the bout. “I got the win and that’s the main thing. I still feel I’m the best in the world. I just need to prove it to the rest of the world.”

Jermell Charlo (31-1, 15 KOs) had troubles of his own. He tasted defeat for the first time in his pro career, losing his WBC super welterweight title to Tony Harrison (28-2, 21 KOs), the clever underdog from Detroit, Michigan, who upset the champ by unanimous decision after 12 give-and-take rounds. It could have gone the other way. It was a heartbreaking loss for the younger Charlo. But heartbreak’s the name of game.

Fans are crying robbery. That’s what fans do. And so is Jermell Charlo. But the judges disagree. They scored it 116-112 and 115-113 twice for the kid from the Motor City. The rare time the house fighter didn’t get the benefit of the doubt.

“They took that fight from me,” Charlo said. “I was pressing the action. He didn’t win that fight. I’m going to get my belts back. I still want Jarrett Hurd. I know my brother knows I won that fight. I might have given away a few rounds, but I won that fight.”

Harrison might beg to differ, but he doesn’t beg.

“I dictated the pace,” the new champ said. “That’s what champions do. He wound up for big shots and I kept my defense tight. All we worked on was defense. I kept my composure and I did what champions do. I’m blessed. I told y’all, my family, everyone. He’s a great champion. I’ve seen him in the gym. He’s a hell of a champion. I used my ring generalship.

“I got back to my corner after every round. They told me to just keep doing what you’re doing, you’re dictating the pace. I dictated the pace. That’s what champions do. Champions don’t just try to knock people out. That’s all he wanted to do. I dictated it. I used my jab. I dictated the fight. That’s what champions do.”

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  1. NYIrish 02:38pm, 12/24/2018

    Henry Hank could have made all four of them look foolish.

  2. Lucas McCain 07:51am, 12/23/2018

    Not to take anything away from Jermell but “I know my brother knows I won that fight” is almost Dylanesque in its mixed modes of circularity and poignant absurdity.  Good luck to the Charlos, since I’m an identical twin as well, but memories of Henry Hank had my sympathies divided.

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