Jermall Charlo thought he would be challenging Carlos Molina for his junior middleweight title March 8 in one of the featured bouts on the Canelo Alvarez-Alfredo Angulo Showtime PPV undercard at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
It was a huge opportunity for Charlo, who was excited for the shot. And then a few days before the fight, Molina was jailed in Las Vegas on an outstanding warrant and also discovered to be in the United States illegally.
The fight was canceled. Just like that, Charlo’s title opportunity was gone, as was a career-high $100,000 purse.
But Golden Boy Promotions promised to get Charlo back into the ring as soon as possible, and that will happen Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
Charlo (17-0, 13 KOs) will face professional opponent Hector Munoz (22-12-1, 14 KOs) in a scheduled 10-rounder on the Keith Thurman-Julio Diaz undercard. Thurman-Diaz headlines a Showtime tripleheader (9:30 p.m. ET/PT) while Charlo’s bout will be part of the Showtime Extreme coverage of the preliminary bouts (7 p.m. ET/PT).
“Ever since my world title fight fell through, it’s been back to square one for me. But that’s part of boxing, and I’m learning from it,” said Charlo, 23, of Houston. “I’m still young, and this is part of my job. As bad as I wanted it, and then it came and went, I know I’m gonna get my world title shot sooner or later. They can’t keep dodging me forever.
“I’ve been training, and I’m just excited to be fighting again. I’m hungrier than ever, feel I’m at the top of my game. I set a goal to be a world champion, and that is still my goal. But I am starting all over again."
Also on the Showtime Extreme portion of the card, junior welterweight prospect Antonio Orozco (19-0, 15 KOs) takes on former featherweight and junior lightweight title challenger Martin Honorio (32-8-1, 16 KOs), who is well past his prime, has lost two fights in a row and has not fought since July 2012.
Time permitting, 2012 Brazilian Olympic bronze medalist Yamaguchi Falcao will get airtime in his four-round middleweight bout against pro debuting Carlos Badaldua. Falcao will be in his second pro fight. He turned pro in Brazil on Jan. 25, and he and his opponent were disqualified for repeated fouls in the third round, going down as a no contest.
Among the other undercard bouts will be two 2012 U.S. Olympians in eight-rounders, junior featherweight Joseph Diaz (9-0, 7 KOs) and junior middleweight Terrell Gausha (8-0, 5 KOs).
Diaz faces long-faded former title challenger Luis Maldonado (36-12-1, 27 KOs), and Gausha faces Charles Whittaker (40-14-2, 24 KOs).
Also on the card, lightweight Sharif Bogere (23-1, 15 KOs) fights for the first time in 13 months since losing a decision in a world title bout to Richar Abril.