By Tom Donelson (BWAA)
Member Boxing Writers Association of America
Contributor to dmboxing.com since 2008
The Charlo twins made history as both brothers hold titles in the same weight class. Jermell Charlo faced John Jackson, the son of former boxer Julian Jackson for the vacant WBC title. John Jackson came out boxing and Jermell Charlo ineffectually tried to cut off the ring but he kept getting nailed with quick combinations. Charlo struggled to close the gap as Jackson provided a boxing lesson to the young Charlo.
Charlo worked hard in closing the distance, using his jab and body shots and in the eighth round, he handed a right hand that nailed the left side of Jackson’s head. Jackson reeled backward with his hands down and Charlo jumped on his wounded opponents and the referee stopped the fight. It was a good thing for Charlo since at this point of the fight, Charlo was down on all three cards.
His twin Jermall fought the tough Austin Trout, a slick boxer and former junior Middleweight title holder. Over the first half of the bout, Charlo used his height and reach advantage as he showed good defense while landing the harder punches. Charlo pressured Trout and every time Trout landed solid combinations, Charlo countered.
Over the second half of the bout, it was Trout who took the momentum as he landed his straight left consistently while avoiding many of Jermall’s punches. Trout’s punches had snap and Charlo looked befuddled while Trout made this a close bout. I had the bout 115-113 for Charlo but a draw was not out of the question as there were many close rounds. One judge agreed with me and two judges had 116-112 in favor of Charlo. Trout had a right to be disappointed but Charlo did manage to do enough to keep his title.
In the third bout, it was Erislandy Lara in a rematch against Vanes Martirosyan. In their previous bout, both fighters felt they won and it went to the judges’ scorecard due to an accidental head butt. This bout was a typical Lara bout as he outboxed his opponent and while the bout featured many close rounds and a controversial point deduction for a low blow, Lara was the more accurate puncher. Lara moved out of danger all night and used his superior boxing skills to neutralized Martirosyan attempt to nail him in the body.
Using angles, Lara countered effectively all night but there were times that Lara simply moved as oppose to throwing punches so he managed to keep rounds close. Lara showed superior defensive skills but he didn’t provide much fireworks or excitement to have fans tell themselves, “Yeah I want to see that fighter again.”
What we learned is that Jermell needed a knock out to win a bout and he did it. He found a way to win a bout that he was losing decisively on the scorecard. If Jackson managed to survive and go the distance, he most likely would have won an easy decision.
Jermall’s, the other half of the Charlo twins, fought an experienced and tough boxer and won a close decision. The twins still have much to learn but they also showed that they are worthy champion. Lara showed that he is one of boxing best master technician but he also showed why no one likes to fight him. He is a boring fighter that fails to bring in bucks and his style does not lend itself to exciting fights since Lara live by the golden rule of boxing, “Don’t get hit and hit the other guy with slick combinations.”