Tonight Jermall Charlo will look to make a serious dent in the 154lbs division on the same night his twin brother also will.
Jermall’s shot at gold came last September where he emphatically destroyed an aging Cornelius Bundrage (TKO 3). His maiden defence came just two months later, and it took barely a round longer for Charlo to dispatch Wilky Campfort (TKO 4).
Jermall’s introduction to world level has been nothing short of impressive, but he will now face by far his toughest test against seasoned former world champion Austin Trout 30-2(17KO’s).
Trout is on a 4 fight winning streak after back-to-back losses to Saul Alvarez and Erislandy Lara – both unanimous decisions.
Since shocking the world himself by outpointing Puerto Rican legend Miguel Cotto, Trout has hit many crossroads. In defeats to both Alvarez and Lara the former WBA champion was dropped, and he also hit the canvas twice on route to beating Daniel Dawson (UD 10).
Now ‘No Doubt’ Trout must salvage his selling value as a world class fighter, and a victory over Jermall to become the new IBF Light Middleweight champion will accomplish exactly that.
The feeling coming into the contest is that Trout has already been written off. At 31 this September it seems as though most see Trout as a spent force who will merely be linked to the occasional world title attempt or otherwise paired up with up-and-coming fighters.
But the Trout that beat Cotto may not be such a distance behind us. Trout is vulnerable to being caught square, but that does not mean he has seen his bests days. He was schooled by Lara but he made Alvarez fight every second of every round to eke out a close win.
If Jermall wins then take nothing away from this victory through claiming Trout was past his best, a win here would be a very credible one for the champion.
A stoppage on the other hand would be a major statement, and while I envision the challenger touching the canvas I cannot see this fight finishing any time before the final bell.
The feeling is that Trout can survive the early trouble, clawing himself back into the fight before taking over down the stretch. Once Trout has the momentum, Charlo will struggle to take it back. But I will stay safe on this one when it comes to my final prediction.
Trout will indeed make a fight of it from the 5th round onwards, but he will be unable to overturn the early deficit, losing a close, maybe split decision to ensure he is still a force to be reckoned with at 154.
While Charlo could set himself up for a mouth-watering unification with Lara.
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