Jermall Charlo has his eyes set on a potential meeting with Gennady Golovkin in 2021, and other leading lights in his weight class.
But first, he must defend his WBC Middleweight gold for a fourth time, against Mexico’s Juan Macias Montiel.
Charlo (31-0, KO22), is reigning in a second weight class, having previously served as IBF champion at Super Welterweight, and the 31-year-old plans to stay at 160 pounds for the near future at least;
“I’m making 160 pounds perfectly right now” said Charlo at a recent press conference. “I’m not finished at 160 pounds. There are bigger fights ahead of me though. No matter what happens, those bigger fights are coming. Right now, I’ve got something for Montiel”.
‘Hitman’ won his Middleweight belt back in December 2018, when he took a clear points win against Matvey Korobov for the interim WBC title.
The Texan was upgraded to full champion, and then defended against Brandon Adams in a landslide win on the cards six months later.
He rounded off 2019 with a seventh round stoppage of Dennis Hogan, and his last contest came in September 2020, as he performed well in an unanimous win against the dangerous Sergey Derevyanchenko in Connecticut.
Montiel (22-4-2, KO22) is a big puncher, with all of his 22 wins coming via the short route, but the Los Mochis native effectively receives this opportunity on the back of a stunning one round upset win over James Kirkland in December 2020.
Montiel is 3-2-1 in his last half dozen outings, which included a second round knockout loss to his countryman, Jaime Munguia in Mexico at the start of 2017.
His only hope against Charlo here seems to be an early knockout success, but the likelihood of that happening seems remote at best.
Prediction: Charlo will want to get this defence against Montiel out of the way, but will need his wits about him against a man that hits hard.
After weathering an early storm from the Mexican, Charlo can take over to score a stoppage win around the halfway mark.
Chief support comes from Angelo Leo (20-1, KO9), and the 27-year-old Super Bantamweight returns from his first professional loss to take on Aaron Alameda (25-1, KO13), who also suffered his first defeat last time out.
It’s set for ten rounds. Leo lost out widely on the cards against Stephen Fulton in the first defence of the WBO world title, and he will want to get back into contention here. Mexico’s Alameda is coming off a spirited points loss to Luis Nery in September last year for the vacant WBC belt, and this looks a well-matched fight on paper.
I lean towards Leo to take a points victory.
A Mexican derby at Lightweight sees Isaac Cruz Gonzalez (21-1-1, KO15), and Francisco Vargas (27-2-2, KO19) lock horns over a scheduled ten.
Vargas is a former WBC champion at Super Featherweight, and has won his first two bouts at his new weight since a May 2019 rematch loss to Miguel Berchelt.
Gonzalez is coming off two good wins, a one round knockout of Diego Magdaleno, and, in March this year, he outscored the unbeaten Jose Matias Romero.
Gonzalez can take this one on the cards in a thriller.
Texas-based Michael Angeletti (2-0, KO1) can make it a hat trick of wins, but may need the cards to see off Luis Javier Valdes (7-8-1, KO2) over four at Super Bantamweight.