By: Hans Themistode
From the moment Jermall Charlo vs. Juan Macias Montiel was announced, most of the boxing world groaned in disappointment. The overwhelming thought process was that Charlo would simply run right over his man. Yet, after a closer than expected contest, many were forced to eat their words.
Both Montiel and Charlo stood toe to toe at the Toyota Center, in Houston, Texas last night in front of a jam-packed crowd. After buzzing his man early, Charlo immediately went for the kill. But while he threw the entire kitchen sink at him, Montiel stood firm in the line of fire and not only survived but had plenty of eye-catching moments of his own.
Coming in, most believed that at some point, particularly early, that Charlo would land something to end the night. But as Montiel continued to keep coming, it became clear that the Mexican native simply wouldn’t be deterred. Although Charlo has mostly been known as a knockout artist, the Houston native believes that if he did find a way to end the night prematurely, he ultimately would’ve been criticized. In the end, Montiel was simply far better than advertised and Charlo made sure he took the time to tip his cap to him.
“You don’t have to knock everybody out to make the best fights,” said Charlo during the post-fight press conference. “If I knocked him out they wouldn’t have gave me credit. I had a warrior in there. I appreciate him fighting me with everything he got. He challenged me and I stood up to the challenge.”
The challenge that Charlo alludes to, is something that he’s rarely if ever, received in his career. No matter how high the level of opposition, the Houstonian always made it look easy. On this night, however, he had a real fight on his hands.
The scorecards, which read – 120-108, 119-109 and 118-109, simply didn’t tell the whole story. During the back half of the fight, it was Montiel who appeared to be the fresher and stronger fighter. He landed several combinations during the championship rounds and appeared to visibly hurt Charlo to the body, something he adamantly denies.
Still, nevertheless, Charlo made the fourth successful defense of his WBC middleweight title. Regardless of where he goes from here, Charlo will always remember when he was forced to ask himself questions in the ring when things weren’t going his way and as press conference continued, he again continued to heap praise on his unheralded opponent.
“He was a true warrior. He’s a great fighter, very, very awkward. I dug deep, he dug deep and a fight broke out.”