Former WBC 154-pound champion Jermell Charlo returns to the ring to face Mexican Jorge Cota on June 23, 2019, in the main event of a PBC fight card at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Boxing" Rematch Will Have To Wait

Jermell Charlo is the former WBC light-middleweight champion who, along with twin brother Jermall are the first twins to become world champions and also the first to do so simultaneously. Jermell successfully defended his 154-pound belt three times against Charles Hatley, Erickson Lubin, and former world champ Austin Trout before losing it last year.

Jermell has a professional record of 31-1 with 15 knockouts to his credit. The 29-year old from Richmond in Texas stands 5-11 and has a reach of 73 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance. Charlo suffered the lone loss of his career in his most recent bout, a 12-round unanimous decision loss to Tony Harrison last December. That loss was a controversial one, with many saying Charlo won. That’s why a rematch was immediately booked but now that will have to wait.

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Odds are not available.

“Boxing" Harrison’s Replacement

The highly anticipated rematch between Jermell and junior middleweight champion Tony was called off after Harrison suffered an inner and outer sprain with torn ligaments in his right ankle while training. With the champ expected to be out for at least 10 weeks before he could resume training, Charlo’s camp sourced out for a replacement foe and they ended up picking Mexican brawler Jorge Cota as Harrison’s replacement.

Cota has a record of 28-3 with 25 knockouts so he does have punching power, at least at the level of opposition he’s faced. The orthodox fighter from Los Mochis in Sinaloa, Mexico stands 6-feet tall and has a reach of 74 inches. In his last bout, Cota lost via split decision to Jeison Rosario in the undercard of Danny Garcia vs Adrian Granados. Prior to that loss, he won three consecutive bouts, all via knockout.

“Boxing" Who Wins?

The odds for this bout aren’t out yet but for sure, Jermell Charlo will be a huge boxing betting favorite to beat Jorge Cota when the lines are released.  Although Jermell is not the knockout artist Charlo ( it’s twin Jermall ), he is the Charlo who is supposed to be the better boxer ( until Harrison beat him ). And between him and his June 23rd opponent, there is a ton of difference in skill level and ring experience.

But Jorge Cota says he will shock the world as Andy Ruiz did. It can be recalled that Ruiz was a replacement opponent like him after Antony Joshua’s original opponent in Jarrell Miller was pulled out of their bout after failing a drug test. But while the circumstances of Cota getting his shot at Jermell Charlo are similar to Andy Ruiz’s title shot against Joshua and both of them are Mexicans, the comparisons end there.

Unlike Ruiz who fought in the United States and fought quality opposition on U.S. soil, Cota has mostly fought in his home country. 25 out of his 28 fights were staged in Mexico. And when you take a look at his fight resume, Cota has fought mostly unknown fighters. And when his level of opposition stepped up, he lost those bouts. Cota’s three losses are to the most prominent fighters he’s faced: Jeison Rosario, Marco Antonio Rubio, and Erickson Lubin. Among the three, Jermell has faced one in Lubin. Charlo knocked him out in one round in 2017.

Cota is known as El Demonio in Mexican circles. That’s probably because of his devil-may-care attitude inside the ring. He’s an aggressive brawler who doesn’t really have much of defense except his chin. That has cost him his fight against Rubio and Lubin who knocked him out in the 4th and 7th rounds, respectively. Against Charlo, Cota’s style of fighting could be dangerous, both ways. But more likely than not, it’s Charlo who’s going to get the stoppage here.

Jermell was looking at avenging his loss to Harrison but the latter pulled out of the fight because of an injury. With barely a month to go before the scheduled bout, Charlo’s team looked for a replacement and found Cota, whose style looks tailor-made for Jermell Charlo to look good. I think Cota is a low-risk opponent, unlike Andy Ruiz who was a real live dog. The only risk here is if Jermell overlooks Cota, which is highly unlikely, given his motivation to get his revenge on Harrison.

I think Cota goes for broke right from the opening bell. Coming off a loss, I think Jermell Charlo is going to be a little tentative to start the fight and try to feel Cota a bit in the opening rounds. But once Charlo gets him figured, I don’t think it’s going to be a tough fight for Charlo. Jermell isn’t the knockout artist Charlo but I think given Cota’s style and his tendency to drop his hands when on the attack, it’s very possible that Jermell Charlo wins by stoppage here. Prediction: Jermell Charlo

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