Home Boxing News Derrick James doesn’t want Jermell Charlo coming in too heavy for Canelo...

Derrick James doesn’t want Jermell Charlo coming in too heavy for Canelo Alvarez bout

Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez and Jermell Charlo. Photo credit: Esther Lin/Showtime

Mystery surrounds what undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell ‘Iron Man’ Charlo 35-1-1 (19) will weigh when he hits the scales ahead of his ambitious challenge to WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF super middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 59-2-2 (39) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night.

The 33-year-old Texan started his career as a welterweight before growing into the 154-pound weight class. Listed as six-foot tall and with broad shoulders, Charlo has always looked large for the junior middleweight division as he has established himself as the dominant force across two world title reigns dating back seven years.

But to jump up two full weight classes to take on not only the undisputed champion at the weight, but one of the best boxers on the planet pound-for-pound? That’s another challenge entirely.

Mexican superstar Alvarez, 33, began his own career as a junior welterweight when he was just 15 years old. His first world championship was at junior middleweight where he made six title defence before running into a redhot Floyd Mayweather Jr a decade ago and losing a majority decision.

Alvarez flirted with the middleweight division for the next three years before eventually challenging WBC, WBA and IBF 160-pound champion Gennadiy Golovkin in the first bout of their trilogy.

From 2018 to 2021 Alvarez collected the WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF belts at 168-pounds. During the same period he jumped up to light heavyweight to wrest the WBO 175-pound belt from Sergey Kovalev too.

Charlo will have a four-inch height and similar reach advantage over Alvarez, but the question remains: what is the optimum weigh for Charlo to come in at?

Charlo’s trainer Derrick James does not want his boxer to compromise his natural advantages by coming in too heavy, but he remained coy about what their target weight is.

“I really don’t follow what everybody’s saying because I’m not on the internet like that,” James said. “But you said those numbers – ’64, ’63, ’65 – somewhere in that area.

“But I think that just because you’re moving up two weight divisions doesn’t mean you have to be [168 pounds], you have to gain all that weight. I think that his advantage is his size and I think that you have to maximise what you have. And you don’t have to [go all the way up].

“You know, we see smaller guys sparring bigger guys every day of the week. And the smaller guys are not getting to the heavier guys’ size to be able to deal with ’em. It’s just like I have something that you don’t have. And so, he doesn’t have to become that guy to be that guy. And I think, hopefully, that’ll be what he understands and knows the night of the fight, so he’s not so heavy.”