LAS VEGAS — Jermell Charlo is still a top-10 pound-for-pound fighter despite his recent 12-round decision loss to Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, according to one of boxing's best coaches Bob Santos.
"He's a tremendous talent," Santos told ProBox TV earlier this month, days after the Canelo-Charlo bout at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Together with Alberto Puello and Hector Luis Garcia, Santos trains Mario Barrios who beat Yordenis Ugas on the same night Canelo dominated Charlo.
In the build-up to the event, ProBox TV asked a roundtable of coaches, which included Santos, where they would rank Charlo should he upset the odds and defeat Canelo.
Santos said he'd sit at the top.
When visiting Santos at his Pound-for-Pound boxing club near the infamous Vegas strip, he told us he still regards Charlo as one of boxing's top 10 fighters.
"He just jumped up too much maybe too soon," Santos told us. "He could have had a fight where he got his bearings, his feet wet at 168.
"Let's not forget, Canelo is an all-time great and if he's healthy, very, very dangerous. He's a tremendous fighter. Physically, mentally, and his confidence is second-to-none."
He added: "At a certain point, weight classes play a certain role."
Santos said: "I know Jermell could have did much more than that, for whatever reason I don't know if the moment got to him. I've watched him spar 1,000 rounds with Erislandy Lara, and I know what kind of talent he is.
"He's actually the naturally bigger guy [compared to Canelo], I told people that. But obviously Canelo has established himself at that weight, used to the punches and built himself up to that point.
"I don't know if getting hit by a guy for the first time who's a natural 168-pounder, I don't know what went into his head, when he got hit, if he thought, 'it's too much for me,' I don't know if it was the moment."
Santos was once manager to Robert Guerrero when 'The Ghost' boxed Floyd Mayweather.
He said that his experiences through the years from being involved in fights of all levels showed to him that there's a marked difference from a boxer's point of view when it comes to competing in a world championship fight, and competing in one of the biggest events of the year.
"I've talked about this with Floyd Mayweather in the past, and I've said it many times with him," Santos began, "People don't realize, yes, you've been in a world title fight, but until you get on the grand stage with that kind of pressure … it's different.
"We learned that with Robert Guerrero against Floyd Mayweather.
As for Charlo, it is unclear where Jermell goes next. He could dip to the middleweight division, or return to super welterweight — a weight class in which he remains a unified world champion.
Canelo, meanwhile, won't likely return until the weekend closest to Cinco de Mayo weekend, next summer.