Jermall Charlo vacates IBF title to move up to middleweight
By Peter Gilbert
Last Updated: 16/02/17 11:23pm
Jermall Charlo has vacated his IBF junior middleweight title and announced he is moving up in weight.
Charlo, who boasts a record of 25 straight wins, with 19 by knockout, has defended the 154lbs title three times since claiming the belt with a stoppage win over Cornelius Bundrage in September 2015.
"I've been thinking about moving to 160 pounds for a while now," said the American. "It was a struggle for me to make the weight for the last title fight.
"Once I captured the title I defended it immediately, because I wasn't sure how long I could hold the weight. I held it an extra year to fight Austin Trout and Julian Williams.
"I feel there are bigger and better things for me at 160 where I can still hold my weight and be stronger. The idea of being a two-time world champion is a big goal for me."
Charlo's twin brother, Jermell, holds the WBC light middleweight title and stablemate Erislandy Lara the IBO belt, but the former IBF champion ruled out facing either in the ring.
"If there were a big fight at 154 pounds left for me, I'd stick around and wait for it. But there isn't anything there that can be made quickly. And I wouldn't fight my brother or my gym mate and close friend, Erislandy Lara.''
Undefeated pound-for-pound king Gennady Golovkin currently holds the WBA 'super', WBC, IBF and IBO titles at 160lbs, Daniel Jacobs is the WBA's regular champion, while Britain's Billy Joe Saunders is the WBO holder.
Tony Harrison and Jarrett Hurd will meet for Charlo's vacant IBF crown on the undercard of Deontay Wilder's heavyweight defence against Gerald Washington in Birmingham, Alabama on Saturday, February 25, live on Sky Sports.