By Ian S Palmer
Unbeaten WBC World Jr. Middleweight Champion Jermell Charlo of Richmond, Texas will be defending his title against Charles Hatley of Dallas, Texas this Saturday, April 22nd. However, the fight will be taking place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York rather than the Lone Star State. The 12-round bout can be seen live in the U.S. on the pay-per-view. Charlo won the vacant title last May when he stopped John Jackson in the eighth round. Hatley’s last outing was way back in November of 2015 when he stopped veteran Anthony Mundine in the 11th round.
The 26-year-old Charlo will climb into the ring with a perfect record of 28-0 along with 13 Kos. He stands 5-feet-11-inches tall and has a reach of 73 inches. He turned pro back in 2007 and has boxed 181 rounds since then. Charlo doesn’t have as much power as his twin brother Jarmall as his current knockout ratio is just 46 percent. But one of the reasons for this could be the better grade of opponent he’s faced up to now such as John Jackson, Joachim Alcine, Vanes Martirosyan, Gabriel Rosado, Demetrius Hopkins and Harry Joe Yorgey.
Charlo typically relies on his slick boxing skills to win fights, but has enough power to stop a foe with an accumulation of well-placed and timed punches, which is what he did with former world champ Alcine. Although he has good boxing skills, Charlo isn’t an overly-exciting boxer to watch. Up to now he’s been just a little bit too good for the opposition and the bouts haven’t resulted in much action or drama. Hopefully for the fans things will be a bit different against Hatley on Saturday night.
The 31-year-old Hatley enters the contest with an impressive record of 26-1-1 with 18 Kos. His lone loss came at the hands of Lanardo Tyner who stopped him in the first round in August of 2012. His draw was an eight-round majority affair with Chris Chatman 18 months earlier. Along with Mundine, Hatley has also beaten Emmanuel Augustus, Calvin Odom, Mario Lozano, Jose Flores and Saul Roman.
Hatley turned pro in 2008 and has boxed 122 rounds since then. He’s an inch shorter than Charlo at 5-foot-10 and has an unlisted reach. He as pretty good power in his fists with a knockout ratio of 64 per cent. He hasn’t fought in 16 months though and that definitely won’t help him. Hatley may try to box Charlo at first, but will have a hard time with the champion’s speed.
These two Texans know each other well so will be motivated to take home the title as well as bragging rights. This could make it a close fight, but the younger Charlo should still be wearing his belt at the end of the night by decision or late stoppage. However, his chin may be tested a few times along the way.