WBO Stripping Jermell Charlo Of 154-lb Title After Canelo Clash, Tszyu To Be Elevated – SolSportHQ
By Adam Baskin: The WBO plans on stripping Jermell Charlo of his 154-lb title after he enters the ring for his challenge of undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez on September 30th at a still-to-be-determined location.
Once Jermell (35-1-1, 19 KOs) is stripped, WBO interim 154-lb champion Tim Tszyu will be elevated to complete champ, a move that will make him happy, but that’s not the method for which the unbeaten fighter wanted to become champion. He tried to fight Jermell to beat him and capture ALL the belts.
In a ruling by the World Boxing Organization, they said that Jermell “will be allowed to enter the ring as WBO champion and announced as such” for his contest against four-belt 168-lb champion Canelo Alvarez on September 30th
Undisputed vs. Undisputed
For marketing purposes, Jermell will be allowed to hold onto his WBO 154-lb title until he enters the ring for the Canelo fight, allowing the promotion of the contest to be ‘Undisputed vs. undisputed.’
However, it wouldn’t matter even if Jermell came into that fight with Canelo beltless, as the boxing public would still view him as the #1 fighter in the 154-lb division.
The titles that Jermell holds validate him in the eyes of the casual fans because the hardcore fans recognize him as the top guy at 154.
If the Canelo-Jermell fight needs to be postponed for any reason and doesn’t take place on the September 30th date, Jermell will still be stripped, and Tszyu will be elevated to full champion.
What will be interesting to see is if the other three sanctioning bodies – IBF, WBA & WBC – soon begin stripping Jermell Charlo of his 154-lb titles well, eliminating his belts one by one until he’s a mere contender.
The real problem is Jermell hasn’t defended his undisputed 154-lb championship since his victory over WBO champ Brian Castano last year in May 2022.
Jermell has been dealing with a left-hand injury that has taken an unusually long time to heal, preventing him from defending his WBO and his other three straps against Tszyu.
Jermell could rule the 168-lb division
If Jermell defeats Canelo on September 30th, he’ll be the new undisputed champion at 168, and he’ll likely hold onto the belts for a rematch with the Mexican superstar and then face him in a lucrative rematch. Moreover, if Jermell wins the second fight with Alvarez, big-money fights are available against David Benavidez & Caleb Plant.
Losing the WBO 154-lb belt will be inconsequential to Jermell because he’ll be the top dog at 168 after beating Canelo, and the dough that he can make in that weight class is far superior to what he would make returning to 154.
In an ideal scenario, Jermell runs the table, beating Canelo twice, Benavidez, Plant & David Morrell Jr. If that were to happen, Jermell could call the shots, telling Terence Crawford to move up to 168 if he wants to fight him. If not, Crawford would be out of luck.
As for Canelo, if he loses twice to Jermell, his career will effectively be over, and he may retire. His ego is too big for him to stick around and suffer repeated losses against the young lions.