Despite a late change in opponent, Jermall Charlo was able to emerge victorious in the main event of a PBC on FOX card from Brooklyn.
Charlo retained his interim WBC middleweight title over former title challenger Matt Korobov by unanimous decision (119-108, 116-112, 116-112).
The fight saw Korobov make Charlo's night uncomfortable as Charlo struggled to land any effective punches on the southpaw in the first half of the fight. Korobov would continue tagging Charlo with the left hand. Charlo also had to deal with the mental anguish that came after seeing his brother lose his WBC junior middleweight title just moments before the fight.
But starting in the sixth round, the Jermall Charlo of old came alive and started going to work on Korobov. Charlo started landing the right hand with ease, punishing the challenger's face with numerous straight rights. Charlo gained confidence as the fight got deeper and nearly stopped him in the 12th round when Charlo opened with a flurry of punches that staggered Korobov and was almost stopped. Charlo did not get the stoppage win, settling for a win on the scorecards.
Originally, Charlo was supposed to be facing former world title challenger Willie Monroe Jr. in the main event, but a week before the fight, it was announced that Monroe failed a drug test in November. This left PBC scrambling to find a new opponent for Charlo and found one in Korobov, who was scheduled to fight on the untelevised undercard.
This was Charlo's first title defense since winning the belt back in April when he quickly knocked out Hugo Centeno Jr. The current WBC middleweight champion is Canelo Alvarez, but the odds of Alvarez and Charlo facing off next in 2019 are low as Alvarez has a lucrative contract to fight on DAZN. Charlo was a former junior middleweight world champion before moving up in weight in 2017.