What is next for Charlo?

Following a unanimous decision loss to Canelo Alvarez after moving up two weight classes from junior middleweight to super middleweight Jermell Charlo swiftly announced his intention to return to the junior middleweight division on Saturday night.

This came on the heels of a forgettable performance against a star of the sport, Canelo Alvarez, in which Charlo looked at outgunned from the first bell, and seemed just too small to compete with the Mexican legend. CompuBox stats Canelo landed twice as many total shots as Charlo landing 134 punches out of 385 compared to Charlo who landed 71 out of 398 punches. That stat makes the fight seem somewhat close though. The power punches tell an even better story as Canelo landed 78 out of 196 power shots compared to Charlo who landed only 31 out of 115.

The big question now after every big fight is…what is next? For Charlo, it is clear he is in the ‘big fight’ business, the event business. It is also clear given his 17-month lay-off prior to the Canelo Alvarez fight that he will fight on his terms and will not rush himself back to the ring.

Here is a list of suitable and interesting opponents for Charlo to face in 2024.

Terence Crawford

Given Charlo’s temperament and his inability to adjust against Canelo, which seemed to be brought on by the size and power of Canelo, a fight with Crawford seems like a very big risk. Crawford handed a legendary one-sided beating to Errol Spence Jr. on pay-per-view on July 29th, and Charlo seemingly fought Canelo in good portions of this fight just to survive. Against a fight like Crawford, you can’t do that since he is relentless. 

Though the outcome might now heavily favor Crawford, the natural dislike between the two fighters given their back-and-forth banter could make for some exciting moments in the build-up, and given Crawford’s exciting fighting style - the fight would be thrilling. The question is…would Charlo mentally be there after being outclassed by Canelo? Even more so, would Charlo jump into such a dangerous fight after losing to Canelo?

Crawford has taken to social media to let the world know that given Charlo’s performance on Saturday, Charlo is no longer on his ‘hit-list’, which is both good trash talk and food for thought on whether a future bout could happen.

Tim Tszyu

The fight was supposed to happen a year ago and has been delayed. Tim Tszyu is one of the hardest punchers of this generation given the reports from Las Vegas, Nevada gyms, and Charlo still holds the label as being the best junior middleweight despite losing to Canelo.

Charlo, for now, holds three of the four major world titles at junior middleweight, with Tszyu getting the WBO junior middleweight title the minute the bell rang on Saturday night as the WBO stripped him of the title for not defending it against Tszyu. 

Given the ongoing fight talks and the fact that both have risen up the ranks to be the best in the division, a fight between the two would be an interesting big-money fight and would answer needed questions for hardcore boxing fans. 

One is, does Charlo still have it? Two, is Tszyu the next boxing superstar? 

A win over Jermell Charlo would put Tszyu in position to be the next great boxer from Australia, whereas a win over Tszyu would signal that Charlo's loss to Canelo was as simple as fighting in the wrong weight class for a massive payday.

Jaron Ennis

“Boots” Ennis is coming. He is a welterweight for now, but he will be a junior middleweight soon. Given Charlo’s slow returns to the ring, it would not be out of the realm of possibility that by the time Charlo returns, Ennis could be a top name in the junior middleweight division. 

Though this seems fantastical to some, the rise of Ennis has largely been halted by the log jam at the top of the welterweight division by Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. being delayed in fighting each. With that saga starting to end, Ennis should win a world title in the near future, and target future great in other divisions. 

Ennis has all the traits of a superstar, and Charlo having fought on pay-per-view could see a match-up that presents itself as Ennis’ first fight on a pay-per-view platform if the stars align.

Keith Thurman

Thurman seemingly was a hall-of-fame boxer, who got two great wins over Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia then slowly stopped fighting. For whatever reason, Thurman just hasn’t been active and has hurt his legacy compared to other fighters of his era. 

Thurman is looking for big fights, but the big fights have yet to present themselves for him. A fight between himself and Jermell Charlo would be two great talkers, who have complimentary styles that could lead to both entertaining press conferences and a good fight. 

Thurman is going on nearly two years out from action, as his last fight was a win over Mario Barrios in February 2022. If Thurman intends to return on pay-per-view or in a big fight, moving up to junior middleweight and facing Jermell Charlo could be an interesting bout.

Erickson Lubin

The start of Jermell Charlo's greatness run came with essentially stunting the development of Erickson Lubin, who he stopped in one round. Lubin got a decision win over Jesus Ramos Jr. in a sleepy twelve-rounder. 

A half-decade later, the two could rematch for some world titles, and see if the outcome is different. For Lubin, the first-round knockout loss to Charlo has loomed over his career like a shadow, and now Charlo has a heavy burden of an awful performance on pay-per-view against Canelo. 

Though it might not fit the ‘big fight’ label, it is an interesting and compelling match-up worthy of entertaining.