Premier Boxing Champions returns to Showtime Championship Boxing on Saturday, December 10, at 10PM US Eastern time. The headliners include IBF junior-middleweight titlist Jermall Charlo against Julian Williams, both of whom are currently undefeated, and Abner Mares versus Jesus Cuellar, with Cuellar the defending WBA champion at featherweight. Cuellar-Mares was originally schedule as the co-feature for Thurman-Porter earlier this year; Mares was forced to withdraw due to a failed eye exams.
The junior-middleweight division is one of the most talent-rich divisions in boxing and includes such names as Saul Alvarez, Demetrius Andrade, Jermall and Jermell Charlo, Erislandy Lara, Vanes Matirosyan, and Julian Williams. But problems with match-making exist. Alvarez is signed to Golden Boy Promotions, which does little to no business with PBC, and his team are looking to avoid risky match ups for Alvarez because they are thin on noteworthy names that can draw in large money. But moreover to that, Alvarez was able to bring in 300K views on pay-per-view when he fought Liam Smith, whereas Kovalev-Ward, the most significant fight of 2016, pulled only 160K. The Charlo brothers and Lara have vowed not to fight each other. Andrade is not officially signed by Al Haymon but appeared on a PBC card when he fought Willie Nelson in June.
This author favors Williams (22-0-1, 14 KO) by unanimous decision over Charlo (24-0, 18 KO) here. Charlo is taller by one inch and has a one-half inch reach advantage over Williams. However, Charlo appears a bit stiff and slow with his reflexes, which can be a nightmare for him considering the accuracy and hand speed of Williams. Austin Trout, whose potential as a technical boxer is, in my opinion, hindered by his lack of coordination and foot speed – observed especially when he fought Lara – nonetheless made Charlo appear slow, I expect Williams to circle away from Charlo’s right hand and to be accurate with his jab and his overhand and straight rights. Williams does occasionally lead with a wide left hook which, if timed, would provide an opening for Charlo’s straight right hand.