Charlo knocked out Hugo Centeno Jr. in the second round to win the vacant interim WBC middleweight title. The fight took place in the co-feature slot of an April 21 Showtime Championship Boxing telecast at the Barclays Center.
The fight began with Charlo firmly asserting his power over Centeno Jr. From the beginning of the fight, Centeno Jr. looked overmatched, failing to land any effective punches. Less than a minute into the second round, a flurry of punches thrown by Charlo that finished with a scintillating left hook knocked Centeno Jr. out cold to the point where he was unable to move way past the ten-count.
Charlo’s journey to middleweight world title contention started last year when he moved up in weight to become a two-division world champion. Charlo defeated Jorge Sebastian Heiland in a title eliminator last year in Charlo’s middleweight debut. He was supposed to fight Centeno Jr. in March, but Centeno Jr. suffered a rib injury which postponed the fight.
With the win over Centeno Jr., Charlo is now the mandatory challenger to Golovkin’s WBC middleweight title, further complicating the middleweight title scene. Golovkin, owner of the IBF and WBA middleweight titles as well, has Sergiy Derevyanchenko waiting as the IBF’s mandatory challenger. The April 28 bout between Daniel Jacobs and Maciej Sulecki, set to headline an HBO boxing telecast at the Barclays Center, will decide Golovkin’s WBA mandatory challenger.
“Bring on GGG,” Charlo exclaimed after the fight. “Everybody has always avoided me and from now, this is how it’s going to be. You see what you get.”
Golovkin, who is scheduled to defend his middleweight titles against Vanes Martirosyan on May 5 in California, also has a rematch against Canelo Alvarez waiting in the wings once Alvarez’s six-month drug suspension is over in August.