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Jermell Charlo stops Jeison Rosario to become unified champ

Boxing Junkie logo Boxing Junkie 9/27/2020 Michael Rosenthal
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The jab from hell. That’s what it was.

Jermell Charlo had already put Jeison Rosario down twice but the third knockdown was the most dramatic, consequential and bizarre in a pay-per-view doubleheader Saturday at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn.

Early in the eighth round, Charlo landed a double jab to the body, the second of which put Rosario on his back and incapacitated him to an extent that he couldn’t continue.

Just like that, as a result of a single jab, Charlo became the man at junior middleweight on the same night his twin brother, Jermall, defeated Sergiy Derevyanchenko by a one-sided unanimous decision.

“Dreams do come true,” Jermell Charlo said. “This is part of my dream, part of my destiny.”

The Charlo-Rosario matchup was highly anticipated in good part because of the stakes: They collectively held three of the four major titles, meaning the winner could call himself the king of the 154-pounders.

And the fight started with the kind of drama everyone expected from two big punchers. About a minute into the opening round, Charlo skipped a left hook off the top of Rosario’s head followed by a wild combination that put Rosario on the canvas.

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Jermell Charlo’s left hook was a lethal weapon on Saturday night. Amanda Westcott / Showtime

The fight was competitive for the next four-plus rounds, as Rosario, fully recovered, stalked Charlo and outworked him, although neither fighter threw an abundance of punches.

Then, with only seconds remaining in Round 6, Charlo landed another left hook that wobbled Rosario, who dropped to one knee. He staggered to his corner at the bell but recovered sufficiently to make the following round competitive.

Then came the hellish jab. The fighters were in the middle of the ring when Charlo landed what under normal circumstances would’ve been a routine double jab. However, this time, the punch put Rosario flat on his back and seemed to have knocked the wind out of him.

As referee Harvey Dock began his count, Rosario appeared to be convulsing or experiencing a seizure. However, by the count of eight, he rolled over in an attempt to get up but fell back down.

Dock waived off the fight 21 seconds into the round. Rosario, who walked out of the ring, was taken to a hospital for precautionary reasons.

“I think it was due a little bit to previous punches I had thrown,” Charlo said. “… The body shot landed at an accurate point. It seemed he was having a seizure toward the end of the count. I wish him well. Any man who steps into the ring I give my respect.

“We try to feed our families and this is how we do it. I hope he recovers and bounces back. Just leave me alone. At 154, I’m the man.”

The strange ending resulted in conflicting feelings for Charlo. He was concerned about Rosario but ecstatic about his accomplishment. How many fighters hold all four titles in any weight class these days?

Charlo proved not only that he’s the best 154-pounder but one of the best at any weight.

“I definitely proved that I’m more than a puncher,” he said. “I also proved I AM a puncher. … I’d [give myself an] ‘A’ because of the fact I did everything my trainer told me to do in training camp.

“… I’m growing. I’m realizing that knockouts just come. I have explosive power in each hand. And I utilized my jab more than any other punch. That’s what got me all these straps.”

What’s next?

Charlo responded to that question in a typical manner: He’ll discuss it with his team. In other words, he didn’t want to think about the future, at least not yet. He was still reveling in the moment long after the fight ended.

And why not? He earned it.

MORE:

Good, bad, worse: The Charlos make their statements

Pound-for-pound: It's the Charlo brothers' time

Manny Pacquiao aide says fight with Conor McGregor is on

KO artist Luis Nery wins his title on the scorecards

Daniel Roman defeats Juan Carlos Payano by unanimous decision

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