By Tré Berry & Jon Uddin | 11/04/2020
Jon and Tre discuss Jermell Charlo’s future options, Mairis Briedis next move, and this weekend fight between Jose Zepeda and Ivan Baranchyk.
JERMELL’S PROSPECTS GOING FORWARD
JON UDDIN – So now only the WBO World Junior-Middleweight title stands between unified (RING, WBC, WBA, IBF) 154 pound Champion Jermell Charlo and the status of being named Undisputed Champion.
While a matchup with WBO Champion 🇧🇷Patrick Teixeira seems unlikely for a while due to the good old promotion wars, a fight with Julian “J Rock” Williams and a rematch with Erickson Lubin are both real possibilities, let’s not forget Jarrett Hurd who is also under the same banner as Charlo but his name hasn’t been buzzing as of late.
Williams will always talk the talk and be a tough out in the ring, and Lubin says he wants to show his growth as fighter with a second chance, but as Charlo continues to sharpen his sword under the guidance of head trainer Derrick James, can either Williams or Lubin really stop Jermell now that he is rolling?
TRE BERRY III – The beauty about the Super-Welterweight division is that they are all fighting each other at the top level, which is all that we can ask for, as we are all boxing fans at our core. What makes it even better is the competitive nature at the weight class due to there being minimal separation in terms of the overall skill component between those top fighters, providing fights in which anything goes, adding to the suspense of these match-ups. While Jermell Charlo now is the clear cut World Champion of the division (once you get that RING belt, the traffic is to run through you), when you look at his overall abilities, he isn’t clear cut ahead of the rest of the crop, although he leads the pack.
That’s why I find it interesting with some fights out there to be fought that Charlo hasn’t gotten to yet, due to individual stylistic match-ups, and how they comport with Charlo’s overall skill strengths, as well as his visible weaknesses. Someone like a 🇺🇸Julian Williams could give Jermell much bigger fits than he was able to provide against his brother Jermall – though it’s possible Williams chin may let him down at some point in the later rounds if they were to fight.
I was personally at the Charlo fight the night when he fought 🇺🇸Erickson Lubin back in late 2017. Charlo was able to land the perfect uppercut that he most likely couldn’t land at any other point in the fight, but it got the job done, short circuiting Lubin on impact and ending the fight.
We all know Erickson Lubin is a much better fighter than he got a chance to show. He took his time to get back to the position as a mandatory challenger for a rematch, and he improved a couple components as a fighter. In a rematch, Lubin can certainly make a much tougher fight of it, taking it to the later rounds.
🇺🇸Jarrett “Sw⚡ft” Hurd is a rough fight for anyone due to his never-relenting high punch output, his physical presence, and his overall power. Though he matches up well with most 154 pounders, I don’t believe that Jermell Charlo would have any problem taking advantage of his defenses lapses with his natural counterpunching acumen. I feel to beat Charlo, you have to be a sharp outside boxer, with a jab, that can take advantage of Charlo’s periodic activity lapses. I’m not saying this fighter I’m about to name would beat him, but I will say the person in the division that best fits the bill I just described is…Charlo’s ol’ friend 🇨🇺Erislandy Lara.
MAIRIS BRIEDIS TO HEAVYWEIGHT?
JON UDDIN – A huge weight is off the shoulders of Mairis Briedis after beating Yuniel Dorticos to win the World Boxing Super Series and the Muhammad Ali trophy, a goal he felt short of after his loss to Oleksandr Usyk in the 2018 semifinals of the tournament.
Now a three time Cruiserweight World Champion, Briedis has stated that a move to the Heavyweight division is a possibility. At 35, Briedis holds the IBF and RING-MAGAZINE titles and is coming off of a win where he looked a level ahead of the man who was considered his best competition in the division. Briedis is 6-1-0 in his last seven bouts with four of those wins coming over 🇩🇪Marco Huck, 🇨🇺Mike Perez, 🇵🇱Krzysztof Glowacki, and 🇨🇺Yuniel Dorticos. The one blemish was a razor thin loss to eventual Undisputed Champion Oleksandr Usyk.
A fighter wanting to challenge themselves at the next division is not unusual after so much has been accomplished in the one they currently call home. However in this case, I believe Briedis is in the driver seat to become undisputed champion at 200 pounds. The cruiserweight division appears to be a staple of the WBSS so accomplishing that goal while becoming a two time Ali Trophy winner would be something. Briedis’s goals are his own to pursue, but what route would you like to see the Latvin fighter take?
TRE BERRY III – Ideally, I’d say he’s in the prime position to retire, if he wanted to. Him finally rising to the cream of the crop of the talent-laden Cruiserweight division, and also having a full-time gig as a Cop back in Latvia, he has all the incentives in place to move on to the next chapter in his life, however he seems to feel that there are other motivating factors still left for him in boxing, and those motivating factors are challenges that rests in the Heavyweight division.
If Briedis does insist on vacating, and making the jump up, me personally, I would advise him to build bridges towards either fighting 🇳🇿Joseph Parker, 🇸🇪Otto Wallin, 🇺🇸Michael Hunter Jr., or if a decorated amateur like 🥉🇭🇷Filip Hrgovic wants to test himself. If successful, Mairis Briedis endgame for his career in my vision would be against 🥉🇺🇸Deontay Wilder, or in pushing for a rematch against 🥇🥇🇺🇦Oleksandr Usyk (who administered to Briedis his only professional loss).
No one officially knows where those Heavyweights will be in stature by the time that projected time would come, as Usyk has all the tools and potential needed for a potential serious push as Undisputed Heavyweight Champion, and someone like Deontay Wilder, who despite being void of many skills, and having funky mechanics that drives Coaches crazy, will always remain dangerous until the day he retires due to his immense punching power, and his raw natural athleticism, with minimal wear and tear on the body.
Time isn’t on his side to build slow, being 35 years of age, so Briedis would have to push the pedal to the metal. That right now would be the big fights that Briedis could exit the sport of boxing with, and if he were to beat any of those two, that would turn him from a great fighter, to a historic one.
ZEPEDA VERSUS BARANCHYK?
JON UDDIN – This weeks boxing action is highlighted by the Super Lightweight eliminator between Jose Zepeda and Ivan Baranchyk. The stakes wont get much bigger than this for either guy and I think we will see a high action battle take place.
I’m the guy into the betting numbers here so I will mention that Baranchyk is the betting favorite by Bovada at -145 while Zepeda lays at +165. I suspect that comes from Zepeda showing some vulnerability in endurance at times, and Baranchyk being the epitome of a freight train in the ring.
Fair points, but Zepeda impressed me with his performance against Pedraza and I like his chances here. Baranchyk is always a rough customer but I believe Zepeda can match him in that category and outbox him as well. Zepeda by decision.
TRE BERRY III – I believe this is one of those under the radar fights for the more casual fan (since both fighters aren’t big names), but one of those that raise the antennas of those who are heavily ingrained in watching the sport. I’m a bit surprised by the odds, but it deals mostly with expectation, and that expectation may be that Ivan Baranchyk seems more trustworthy in a pressure situation. That to me would prove to become a major factor…..IF the two combatants skill levels were on a near or equal plane.
Jose Zepeda isn’t flashy, nor does he have any style points to his arsenal, but he can damn sure fight, with effective skills that permit him to pick at you from the outside, or to go tit-for-tat with you in middle distance. The way I see it, Ivan only knows one gear, but he will never stop coming.
I say Zepeda will utilize his stick often and turn him all night, utilizing his superior skills, with a heightened awareness. The last three rounds will be the most difficult point of the fight for Zepeda, being that Baranchyk pushes harder the angrier he is, or the more damage he suffers, but Zepeda has extra incentive to gut this one out – to put him in prime position once again to live out his dream.