By Mark Elezaj
HOUSTON – Jarmall Charlo retained the WBC middleweight championship Saturday night when he unanimously outpointed Juan Macias Montiel at the Toyota Center.
The judges scored the bout for Charlo (32-0, 22 knockouts) 118-109, 119-109 and 120-108.
The Fighting Voice had it 119-109 for Charlo.
Montiel fought tougher than many expected and made the fight an entertaining one, but Charlo’s power and precision punching proved to be much in the fight.
Charlo came out and established his jab early. While working off of the jab, he started to find a home for the left hand and the straight right, which began to take effect on Montiel as the fight went on.
In the the fifth round, Charlo connected with a sharp right hand that staggered Montiel. Charlo, continued to push the action and unloaded a barrage of lefts and rights in the corner. Somehow, Montiel escaped and landed a left.
In the sixth, Charlo would continue the onslaught, landing a right hand that staggered Montiel again. Charlo unloaded lunch after lunch while Montiel told him to bring it on. Charlo landed two right hands followed by a five-punch combination and a sharp left hook at the end of the round.
Montiel continued to come forward and kept throwing punches, resulting in a cut over Charlo’s eye in the eighth round and landing a body shot in the eleventh that hurt Charlo.
In the final round, Montiel looked to press the action and tried to land something big. Charlo, boxing off of his back foot, landed two hard right hands as that final bell sounded.
Charlo landed 258 of a career-high 769 (34%) total shots compared to Montiel’s 127 of 427 (30%) and connected on 41 body shots compared to Montiel’s 4, according to CompuBox. The champion landed 46% of his power shots compared to 43% for Montiel, while Charlo connected on 57 of 330 jabs (17%), and Montiel connected on only 7 of 145 jabs (5%), according to CompuBox.
“It take a real warrior to get in the ring with me,” Charlo told Showtime’s Jim Gray. “And he fought each and every round hard as he could. I could tell in his eyes that, you know, he was a true warrior from the beginning and he wanted to fight. It don’t matter what I hit him with, he said, ‘Aw, come on!’ I love that spirit. Hey, man, he gonna be great, man.”
After the fight, when he was asked whether he might move up to 168 pounds to seek bigger names, Charlo declined and said his focus is on landing fights against fellow middleweight champions Gennadiy Golovkin and Demetrius Andrade.
“160 is my weight division. I want to unify. I want to get Golovkin in the win, I want to bring him to Houston,” Charlo said. “I want to bring Canelo down here to Houston if he wants to make 160. Golovkin is about to unify [against titleholder Ryoto Murata] so maybe we can fight for all of those belts if he wins. The other one [Andrade] is hiding in the weeds so we ain’t worried about him. There is a difference between chasing and hunting and we are on the hunt.”
Charlo also issued a challenge to WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade for a unification fight.
“He’s got a belt,” Charlo said. “Let’s go get him. He’s talking. … We’re all about that. I’m ready. I’m not worried about that. We’re going to clean up the division sooner or later. I’m really relaxed. You see me walking through it. … I don’t make the fights. I don’t pick the fights. Whatever circumstances he’s in, I’m not here for any of that. I’m a fighter.”
~ The Fighting Voice ~