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PBC Continues Its Sabotage As Jermell Charlo Mysteriously Pops Up To Disrupt Crawford-Madrimov Negotiations

PBC Continues Its Sabotage As Jermell Charlo Mysteriously Pops Up To Disrupt Crawford-Madrimov Negotiations featured image
Jermell Charlo is set to make an impromptu return to the ring after reports that the WBA 154 lbs champion-in-recess would use his in-recess status to become the WBA mandatory to face incumbent champion Israil Madrimov. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) fighter Jermell Charlo has emerged after months of obscurity and quiet to disrupt the rumored talks between WBA 154 lbs champion Israil Madrimov and Terence Crawford. As Charlo is acknowledged as the WBA 154 lbs champion-in-recess, which allows him to become the WBA mandatory if he chooses to return to the ring, Charlo has now reportedly trying to fight Madrimov as the mandatory challenger.

The plans of a fight between Terence Crawford (40-0, 31 KO’s) and Israil Madrimov (10-0-1, 7 KO’s) started only recently after Crawford was forced to look past WBC & WBO super welterweight/junior middleweight champion Sebastian Fundora (21-1-1, 13 KO’s) who is set to remain out of the ring for a while due to injury, and is therefore not capable of defending his WBO 154 lbs any time soon―a fact that might lead to Fundora being stripped or relinquishing his title due to not being able to face his WBO mandatory in Crawford on time.

Discretely, it appears as if PBC intends for Fundora to face either Errol Spence Jr (28-1, 22 KO’s) who mysteriously popped up after months of staying out of the limelight, only to suddenly be positioned as an opponent for Fundora around the same time that Crawford was expected to be announced as the WBO mandatory at 154 lbs. Prior to that, there had been no indication of what Spence’s plans were, or in which division he would fight following a devastating loss to Terence Crawford last year.

Unfortunately for Spence, Fundora appears to be more interested in a rematch with Tim Tszyu (24-1, 17 KO’s), though it should be noted Fundora has yet to make a clear decision on this front.

Now, barely a month after Spence came out of the woodwork to declare himself as a possible option for an opponent that Terence Crawford could face, it is now Jermell Charlo (35-2-1, 19 KO’s) who has likely been sent by PBC to clearly disrupt Crawford’s plans due to intentions for him to face Uzbeki WBA 154 lbs champion Israil Madrimov―who only recently won his title after defeating Russian contender Magomed Kurbanov (25-1, 13 KO’s).

According to BoxingScene, Crawford and Madrimov are currently in negotiations for a fight that can possibly be held in Los Angeles and may be promoted by Matchroom to organize the first-ever US-based card by the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) which is headed by prominent Saudi Arabi government official Turki Al-Sheikh.

Though a deal between the two fighters has not yet been finalized, it appears as if PBC caught on to the latest news with Jermell Charlo having been reported to suddenly come out of what seemed to be a retirement of sorts. During the period following his disappointing September 30th loss to Canelo Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KO’s), no news from Charlo arrived other than him subsequently relinquishing, or being stripped of, his 154 lbs titles with the WBA, WBC and IBF titles leaving his grasp within a period of several months.

That was until recently, with sports/boxing reporter Dan Rafael recently revealing that Charlo submitted a letter to the WBA to become Madrimov’s mandatory challenger; a move that can be safely regarded as an attempt by PBC to prevent Terence Crawford from finding his foot at 154 lbs after first attempting to dangle Errol Spence Jr in front of Fundora who had been ordered to face his mandatory in Crawford.

The timing of both Errol Spence Jr and Jermell Charlo reeks of PBC’s doing, with peculiarly both fighters having made no decipherable appearances on social media or in public before being suddenly linked to an opponent Terence Crawford would face. It verifies that despite consistent denials from those aligned to PBC, there has been a consistent effort to boycott or blacklist Crawford.

PBC Continues Its Sabotage As Jermell Charlo Mysteriously Pops Up To Disrupt Crawford-Madrimov Negotiations image 1
Terence Crawford finds his intentions to reign at 154 lbs stunted significantly as several PBC fighters are conveniently positioning themselves to get the fights he wanted. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

Years ago, it was speculated that PBC were preventing Crawford from doing anything substantial as a welterweight. Crawford, then a Top Rank fighter, held the WBO 147 lbs title after defeating then-incumbent WBO champion Jeff Horn in 2018, but opportunities to unify or become undisputed were heavily stifled as all the champions that held a world title were PBC fighters; specifically Shawn Porter who was the WBC champion from 2018 up until 2019 when he lost the title to Errol Spence Jr, and WBA “Super” champion Keith Thurman who eventually lost his title to Manny Pacquiao in 2019―who had also joined PBC by that time.

With the IBF title being held by Spence, there seemed to be an agenda by PBC to prevent Terence Crawford to gain any of the other welterweight titles; a plan that Arum attributed to secretive founder and owner of PBC, Al Haymon.

Now, the PBC appears to be influencing the 154 lbs division in the same manner, with Sebastian Fundora already expected to avoid Terence Crawford in favor of a rematch with Tim Tszyu or a match with Errol Spence Jr, while Jermell Charlo is now set to become the WBA 154 lbs mandatory challenger to prevent Crawford from fighting either Fundora or Madrimov.

However, despite the chances of Crawford fighting at 154 lbs having dwindled since the news of Charlo’s petition to the WBA, his fate seems more so in the hands of the sanctioning bodies―particularly the WBA and WBO. The WBA has the power to delay a Madrimov-Charlo fight by allowing Madrimov to fight Crawford instead under the condition that the winner will face Jermell Charlo afterwards.

The WBO can also intercede on Crawford’s behalf, using the same rhetoric that the IBF used to strip Crawford of his IBF welterweight title last year if Fundora chooses to face Tszyu in a rematch, thereby making the title vacant and still allowing Crawford to fight for the vacant title against a suitable contender, or make it available if Madrimov and Crawford fight this year―which would allow Crawford to become a unified champion.

Additionally, there is also a [small] chance Crawford may face recently-crowned IBF super welterweight champion Bakhram Murtazaliev (22-0, 16 KO’s) if the WBO 154 lbs title is vacated and made available for a fight between the two.