Friday, March 24, 2023  |



Charlo’s title defense against Hatley targeted for March 11 on Showtime

Photo by: Naoki Fukuda

Jermell Charlo’s junior middleweight title defense against mandatory Charles Hatley is being targeted for March 11 at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland on Showtime, network boxing chief Stephen Espinoza told on Wednesday, saying it’s in the process of being finalized. The televised card will be headlined by Gary Rusell’s featherweight title defense against Oscar Escandon. Russell is from Capitol Heights, Maryland.

“We’re working on that one,” Espinoza told on Wednesday. “That one’s bounced around. We’re trying to finalize that. There are still some loose ends to tie up but we’d like to finalize that.” There was some initial talk of the two title fights ending up on Adrien Broner’s return on Feb. 18 against Adrian Granados before that card got too crowded and a new date was created.

Charlo (28-0, 13 knockouts) hasn’t fought since he won the vacant WBC 154-pound title with a crushing eighth-round knockout of Jon Jackson last May. Hatley (26-1-1, 18 KOs) has been off even longer, since November of 2015 when he stopped Anthony Mundine in the 11th round.  Then there’s the talented Russell (27-1, 16 KOs), who has been inactive since he easily won against Patrick Hyland last April, stopping him in two rounds. Escandon (25-2, 17 KOs) last fought in March, knocking out Robinson Castellanos in the seventh.