By Mark Elezaj
Saturday night in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center was supposed to be a massive night for both the Charlo Twins, Jermall and Jermell. They were going to send a message to everyone in the 154 and 160-pound divisions. But, the only message that was sent was a controversial one.
Both Charlo brothers were heavily favored to blow past their opponents, looking to secure future fights with the likes of Jarrett Hurd and Canelo Alvarez. Instead, the brothers finished the night 1-1 with controversy surrounding both fights.
The controversy started when Jermell Charlo lost his WBC Junior Middleweight title to Tony Harrison via unanimous decision. Jermell came out focused, looking to score a statement-making knockout but that was not the case. Charlo, who out landed Harrison 160 to 128, felt he won the fight easily.
Harrison, on the other hand, came out to prove a point of his own. He out jabbed Charlo 57 to 52, landed a higher percentage of his punches and looked to counter Charlo all night.
The fight many felt Jermell had won, left the arena as well as many fans watching at home stunned when Harrison was announced the winner. The three judges scored the fight in favor of Harrison (116-112, 115-113, 115-113).
“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 belt back. I still want Jarrett Hurd. … I might have given away a few rounds, but I won that fight.”
Harrison said he was willing to give Charlo an immediate rematch.
“I dictated the pace,” said Harrison, who was at least an 8-1 underdog, according to most Internet sports books. “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.”
Next Up, Jermall Charlo vs Matt Korobov.
Jermall Charlo vs. Matt Korobov was actually a late change, being that Charlo was originally going to face Willie Monroe. Unfortunately a failed drug test by Monroe caused him to be pulled and Korobov was called up to face the champion.
Charlo looked unimpressive in the ring with Korobov, winning by a controversial 12 round unanimous decision.
During the fight, Korobov was able to land his left hand almost at will. He was able to the confuse Charlo, who was unable to answer with anything of significance early. Going into the 7th round, it appeared that Korobov was ahead at that point.
In the championship rounds, Korobov began to fade, enabling Charlo to come back and win those rounds. In the 12th Korobov came out slugging and ended up getting caught and hurt from the clean power shots Charlo landed. Charlo, however, was unable to put Korobov away.
FOX and Ring Analyst Mike Coppinger said he scored the fight even. Many felt Korobov did enough to win the fight. The judges however scored the bout 119-108, 116-112 and 116-112, all in Charlo’s favor.
With Jermall’s victory, he remains the interim champion as well as the mandatory challenger for Canelo Alvarez.
~The Fighting Voice~