Jermell Charlo and Charles Hatley’s heated feud coming into this week could only be resolved one way: via a vicious knockout and that’s how it ended.
Charlo knocked down Hatley in the third round before finishing the job in the sixth round with a hard right hook landing on Hatley’s jaw to retain the WBC Light Middleweight title.
Charlo utilized the hook punch and right jab to near perfection, hurting and nearly knocking down Hatley numerous times throughout the fight. The first time Charlo came close to knocking down Hatley was near the end of the second round of the bout when Charlo’s stiff right jab went through Hatley’s defenses and sent him stumbling and almost to the canvas had it not been for the ropes holding Hatley up.
The champion said in the post-fight press interview that the plan all along was to utilize the right hand and the jab to wear down Hatley. As far as his next fight is concerned, Charlo has someone in his sights: IBF light middleweight champion Jarrett Hurd in a unification bout.
“I used that jab to set up the right hand,” Charlo said. “I knew Charles Hatley goes down and he gets back up – he’s a warrior – and I knew I had to get in there and be a lion. I’m the champ so I have to continue to fight my mandatory. They got a guy named Jarret Hurd that took my brother’s title – we could unify."
The two were supposed to fight on the undercard of Gary Russell Jr.’s title defense back in March but that card was cancelled when Russell’s opponent suffered an injury. This was Charlo’s first defense of his title.