Charlo wants his WBC title match and has no desire to wait for it after obliterating Cota
Still upset over feeling he was robbed of his junior middleweight world title in December 2018, Jermell Charlo decided to take out his anger on the rest of the division. Charlo, who was originally scheduled to face WBC titleholder Tony Harrison in a rematch, knocked out late replacement Jorge Cota in the third round of a PBC on Fox main event from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
With Harrison clapping from ringside while nursing an ankle injury that kept him from making the fight, Charlo (32-1, 16 KOs) knocked Cota, a rugged Mexican southpaw, out cold under the ring ropes with a vicious right cross that served as a statement to the rest of the 154-pound division.
“The Charlo twins are back, baby!” said Charlo, the twin brother of WBC middleweight titleholder Jermall, who defends against Brandon Adams next Saturday. “I want to give a thank you and a congratulations to Jorge even though he took the defeat. He stepped into the ring. The guy that proclaims the title bagged out of the fight and [Cota] was the one who stepped into the ring as fast as he did.”
Cota (28-4, 25 KOs), who employed an astoundingly wide stance that saw him square up often while remaining awkward enough to slow down Charlo’s output, eventually paid for the large gap in speed and athleticism between the two fighters in Round 3.
Charlo, 29, dropped Cota with a perfect counter right hand that left him in a bad way. Referee Jay Nady allowed Cota to continue, however, without giving him much of an examination while on his feet. After the knockdown, Charlo came rushing in with a two-punch combination that saw his right hand remove Cota from consciousness.
“[The knockout happened] right in front of my family, which is amazing. My mom seen it all,” Charlo said. “We were just getting started and opening up. I landed a clean shot and it was clear. I’m trying to be great and I know there are a lot of guys lining up for the belt. Being able to get an immediate rematch that I’ve been waiting for and possibly the end of the year I’ll be looking for all of the belts in the weight division.”
Asked to give a message to Harrison after the fight, Charlo pulled no punches as the bad blood between fighters continued.
“The fans will answer that,” Charlo said. “Tony Harrison is in the building, that’s his fault. He gets a chance to see what the Charlos come to do. I’m a much better fighter and he’s lucky he didn’t accept the fight with me this time.”