Jermell Charlo makes the first defense of his WBC junior middleweight title against mandatory challenger Charles Hatley on March 11, 2017 as the co feature of Gary Russell Jr vs Escandon at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
Hatley is best remembered for crashing Jermall Charlo’s post fight interview during the latter’s IBF title defense against Austin Trout. Hatley, together with promoter Don King, gate crashed the interview and announced himself as Jermall’s next foe. Unfortunately, Hatley was barking at the wrong tree. He was mandatory challenger for the WBC belt which Jermell won earlier that night. The incident caused a commotion and led to some shoving between the opposing parties. That has since transformed to something personal between Jermell and Hatley who will meet inside the ring next month during the former’s first title defense.
A former Olympic alternate and US amateur welterweight champion, Charles Hatley is one of the top prospects in boxing’s rising 154 pound division. Known as the Future, Hatley has a record of 26-1-1 with 18 KOs. He’s won nine fights in a row and is coming off knockout wins over Saul Roman and Anthony Mundine. At 5-10, Hatley utilizes his length to keep his opponents at bay. He’s knocked out four of his last five opponents and is coming off his biggest win against Mundine. However, he last fought in November 2015 and it will be interesting how the long layoff will come to play against Jermell Charlo.
Jermell Charlo is one half of the Charlo Brothers. Twin brother Jermall is the IBF 154-pound king. The Charlos are the first twins in boxing history to hold world titles in the same weight class simultaneously. So that’s where Hatley’s confusion was rooted. Jermell won his WBC title by knocking out John Jackson last May. He’s got one of the quickest hands in the division and is tough to beat when he’s in the zone. Charlo’s and exciting fighter with lightning combinations. He has knocked out his last two opponents.
Jermell and Hatley have gone back and forth verbally. The incident with Jermall seems to make this personal for the two who are incidentally both from Texas. Charlo though is a big -1200 favorite to defeat Hatley who is at +775. Given that this is only Jermell’s first title defense and the bad blood between the two, Hatley is live underdog here perhaps worthy of a look. But if you dig deep into the match-up, Charlo seems to be stronger, faster and better skilled than Hatley. Jermell’s power and quickness should be the difference. We’re picking Jermell Charlo to win by late stoppage or unanimous decision.