Charlo: We Had Nothing To Do With Canelo’s Move To Franchise Champ

It’s been six months since the World Boxing Council (WBC) rolled out its “Franchise champion” policy, and boxing insiders continue to struggle in understanding the concept.

Jermall Charlo believes he has it figured out, though.

Depending on your viewpoint, the unbeaten middleweight was either a benefactor of an upgrade in title status or a casualty in his pursuit of a dream fight with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, the reigning World middleweight king from Mexico who was the first who was bestowed with the Franchise championship label. Such designation saw Charlo advance from interim to full WBC titlist without having to win another fight in the ring, although it also denied him the chance to one day force a mandatory crack at the sport’s most lucrative attraction.

With that immediately came his first title defense, a 12-round shutout of Brandon Adams this past June in his hometown of Houston, Texas. Charlo once again puts the belt at stake this weekend, with his showdown versus Australia-based Irish contender Dennis Hogan (28-2-1, 7KOs) taking place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York (Saturday, SHOWTIME, 9:00pm ET). Naturally, the preference would be a crack at Alvarez, but all that can be done at this point is to make lemonade.

“Real boxing fans—not the causal fans—know we had nothing to do with it,” Charlo (29-0, 21KOs) explained during a recent media conference call of the WBC’s decision. “The WBC calls their own shots and their own rules. They’ve been doing that for years. We had absolutely nothing to do with Canelo moving up to the Franchise belt.”

Naturally, the decision was met with much resistance both among fans and the media.  Charlo himself initially care for the ruling, as his preference would have been to fight Alvarez straight away for the title.

That said, his status as an interim titlist—which he held since July 2017 following a true title reign at junior middleweight—ultimately left him in the right place at the right time once the decision was made. 

“If they say, ‘You won the lottery’ and I’m like, ‘Damn, I forgot I played the lottery,’ you’re not gonna not take the money, right,” Charlo theorizes. “So. think about it.

“It’s just a trophy to me. My legacy to me, means more than just having the belt. Everyone who knows boxing, they understand.  Everyone who don’t, they’ll understand later.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox