Jermell Charlo (32-1, 16KOs) knocked out rugged Mexican, Jorge Cota (28-4, 25KOs) on Sunday in his first win since dropping a decision (and WBC title) to Tony Harrison (28-2, 21KOs) last December. Charlo was back in impressive form, dropping Cota with a short right hook in the third round before drilling him with a picture perfect 1, 2 that left Cota laid out on the canvas.
Cota’s awkward style was on full display in the first two rounds, as he tagged Charlo with several uppercuts and hooks to the body but Charlo’s superior skill and athleticism took over. Charlo is sure to be highly satisfied with his performance but now what Does Charlo get the opportunity to avenge his loss next? And what happens after that? Could Charlo unify this division and establish himself as the best junior middleweight in the world?
The answer to that first question is yes. In fact, Tony Harrison was supposed to be in there on Sunday instead of Jorge Cota, but an ankle injury forced him out of the contest. There is very little doubt that Harrison-Charlo 2 will get made next and it will probably take place sometime later this year. Now, who should be the favorite going in? I personally thought Jermell Charlo clearly won the first fight and in my opinion, should be the favorite going in again. Harrison landed good jabs and was illusive, but his lack of output really hurt him in my eyes and Jermell will be sure to make an adjustment to go to the body instead of just head hunting. I expect him to get a clearer victory this time around and reclaim his WBC title.
Now could Jermell become the unified champion and establish himself as the best junior middleweight in the world? That answer is a lot more complicated. Should he get past Harrison, a fight with current unified champ, Julian Williams (26-1-17 KO) would await him. Williams is currently of a massive victory over former champion, Jarrett Hurd, in which he was a big underdog. Williams looked absolutely brilliant, landing combinations to the body and head, and didn’t seem to fatigue despite a huge output. It’s hard to picture that version of Julian Williams taking a loss to anyone in the division. In other fights, Williams has looked average but he really put it all together against Hurd.
Jermell Charlo is an absolute sniper, and could conceivably land and put Williams out. Charlo also has the advantage in that his older brother, Jermall Charlo fought Williams back in 2016, knocking him out in round 5. Jermall would undoubtedly aid in helping Jermall use the proper strategy to take out Williams, but the J-Rock from 2019 is a different fighter from the one back in 2016. If the Williams that showed up vs Hurd shows up vs Charlo I have a hard time seeing Jermell winning that fight. Charlo has a low output and has had close fights with fighters who outwork him. I believe that Williams would put out a much higher output than Charlo and use his slickness that was on full display versus Hurd to to slip most of the bombs coming his way.
Could Charlo beat him? Absolutely, but it would be surprising to me if he did and established himself as the best junior-middleweight. Then again, we also didn’t expect for Williams to beat Hurd so anything is possible. We will have to wait and see.