Charlo Defeats Trout, Lebedev Unifies Titles

Jermall Charlo Picks Up Good Victory With Decision Over Austin Trout

Jermall Charlo watched from his dressing room as his brother, Jermell, made history. Then Jermall walked to the ring to make sure that this chapter in history wouldn’t be short-lived.

Jermall succeeded, defending his world title with a 12-round unanimous decision over former 154-pound titleholder Austin Trout. Earlier in the evening, Jermell won a vacant belt with an eighth-round technical knockout of John Jackson. They left Las Vegas as the first set of twins ever to hold world titles in the same weight class.

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This was the second title defense for Jermall, who demolished and dethroned Cornelius Bundrage in three rounds last September and then made similarly easy work of Wilky Campfort in November. Trout represented a significant step up in level of opposition. He’d once owned a world title himself and defeated Miguel Cotto in 2012, though he’d fallen from his perch in 2013 after back-to-back losses to Canelo Alvarez and Erislandy Lara.

Since then, Trout had rebuilt with four consecutive victories, hoping to earn another chance to be among the best at junior middleweight. He put forth a good effort against Charlo. That good effort wasn’t enough.

The fight was a competitive and largely tactical affair. Charlo tended to come forward, but he wasn’t reckless with his aggression. Rather, he looked for opportunities to land the occasional hard shots, all while trying to avoid Trout’s advances and counters. Trout was also able to land on occasion, though not with as much force as Charlo’s blows, and not with enough frequency to help make up for that.

Two judges had it 116-112, or eight rounds to four, for Charlo. The third judge also had it for Charlo at 115-113, or seven rounds to five.

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Charlo moved to 24-0 with 18 knockouts. He won’t be aiming at unification fights with two of the three other titleholders in his division. Jermell is one of them, after all. Another is Erislandy Lara, who picked up a victory of his own in Vegas immediately after Charlo vs. Trout, winning his rematch with Vanes Martirosyan by unanimous decision. Lara and Jermall Charlo are stablemates; both train out of Houston with Ronnie Shields. Instead, Charlo will head toward a fight with his mandatory challenger, the undefeated and highly regarded contender Julian Williams.

Trout, meanwhile, fell to 30-3 with 17 KOs. It’s a tough loss. He’s now come up short three times against some of the best fighters in his division and will need to rebuild once again in order to get a fourth shot.


Denis Lebedev Crushes Ramirez, Now Has Two Cruiserweight Titles

Denis Lebedev and Victor Emilio Ramirez both entered the ring as cruiserweight world titleholders. That didn’t mean they were equals. That became apparent rather quickly. Lebedev hurt Ramirez in the second round, then dropped him, then stopped him.

Ramirez was the aggressor in the opening round. Lebedev had little trouble ducking and dodging nearly everything Ramirez threw, all while picking spots to land single hard shots. In the second round, Lebedev stiffened Ramirez’s legs with a good left hand, then kept Ramirez reeling. Another left hand had Ramirez down on the canvas. Ramirez got up but didn’t have much left to offer.

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Lebedev came forward and worked to close the show. One hard blow had Ramirez turning away, no longer wanting to fight. The referee either missed that obvious indication or ignored it, letting Lebedev come in with more. Ramirez covered up as best he could and took a handful of shots until the referee finally stepped in and called off the bout.

Lebedev is now 29-2 with 22 KOs. His only losses came in a split decision to Marco Huck in 2010 during Huck’s long reign as a titleholder, and then in a brutal stoppage loss to Guillermo Jones in 2013 that was followed by Jones testing positive for a banned substance. Lebedev ultimately was properly given his title belt back, though the loss was never officially expunged from his record for some reason. This win over Ramirez means Lebedev now has two world titles in his collection.

Ramirez’s record now reads 22-3-1 with 17 KOs.

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