Home Boxing News Jermall Charlo returns from the wilderness with points win over Jose Benavidez...

Jermall Charlo returns from the wilderness with points win over Jose Benavidez Jr

Jermall Charlo and Jose Benavidez Jr. Photo credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime

WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo 33-0 (22) made a successful return to the ring comfortably outpointing Jose Benavidez Jr 28-3-1 (19) at the Michelob Ultra Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night.

The 33-year-old from Houston, Texas had not boxed since his near-shutout victory over Juan Macias Montiel in June 2021 after a combination of injury and mental health issues kept him on the sidelines.

The Benavidez bout was scheduled as a 10-round non-title bout at a catchweight of 163-pounds but Charlo missed weight by a large margin, coming in at 166.5-pounds at the official weigh-in the day before the fight.

Charlo’s timing looked a little off early, but as the rounds progressed he settled into his rhythm. Benavidez Jr largely failed to mount a sustained offensive and when he did connect, the naturally smaller boxer didn’t have the power to do any real damage, allow Charlo to walk through any artillery coming his way.

Judge Max DeLuca had Charlo winning every round 100-90. Judges Dave Moretti and Zachary Young saw it slightly closer at 99-91 and 98-92 respectively.

It was a solid hit-out for Charlo, who will benefit from the rounds. He plans to continue an active career next year but the weight he will campaign as remains a mystery.

“There’s no grade (for my performance). We don’t gotta grade this one. I’ll be back stronger, just know that. I’m proud of myself, though,” Charlo said.

There was a war of words in the lead-up to the bout, one that Charlo believed he won.

“I’ve got him shook,” Charlo insisted at the final press conference. “He’s shook right now. He doesn’t know what to expect. He can’t size me up. He doesn’t know where I’m at in my mind. He doesn’t know where I’m at physically.

“It’s going to be a fight. It’s going to be a war… I’m going to break him down inside the ring and outside the ring. I’m going to make sure I keep doing what I’m doing. In 2024, I’m going to give you all a lot more action and a lot more Jermall Charlo. I’m the new Jermall.”

But despite his bluster, Charlo admits to feeling the pressure to perform.

“I’m a little anxious,” he said. “A little nervous, see how I’m gonna do. I just want everything to be how it always been.”

Benavidez Jr was looking for just his second win in his past five bouts going back to October 2018. Before the fight, he was confident that he would get it.

“I’ll leave all of the talking in the ring,” he said. “I don’t really care what Charlo is doing, what people think, I’m ready. I’m going to show him who the real champion is at 160.

“I’m going to show the world what I’m made of… I’m going to take Charlo out. I’m going to stop him. One hundred percent guaranteed. I’ll put money on it.”