–Jermall Charlo set the tone early by working behind his jab and using his 2½-inch height advantage, not allowing Austin Trout to land anything up top while working successfully from the center of the ring.
–The middle rounds featured the best action, and even though both fighters connected with crisp shots, Charlo generally got the better of the exchanges as Trout continued to concentrate mostly on the body.
–Trout’s right eye began to swell in the early rounds and worsen as the fight progressed, but he did some of his best work late, splitting the final four rounds with the champion. But Charlo’s success in the middle of the fight was enough to earn him a unanimous decision.
With his twin brother’s victory and first world championship in the bank, Jermall Charlo entered the ring determined to make history in his title defense against Austin Trout: With a win, he and Jermell Charlo would hold 154-pound titles concurrently, becoming the first boxing twins to do so.
Trout wasn’t about to make it easy.
A former 154-pound titleholder himself, Trout gave Jermall Charlo the toughest fight of his professional life, pushing the champ farther than he’s ever gone before. In the end, though, history was indeed made, as Charlo followed his brother’s eighth-round knockout of John Jackson by escaping with a hard-fought unanimous decision.
The scores were 115-113 and 116-112 twice.
Charlo (24-0, 18 KOs) set the tone early by working behind his lightning-quick jab, which Trout (30-3, 17 KOs) was unable to time and consistently avoid. Because of that, Trout’s right eye began to swell as early as the second round before a cut next to the eye opened up down the stretch.
As he struggled to close the distance against his taller, longer 26-year-old opponent, Trout was left to attack the body in the early going, which he did with mixed results.
With his jab opening the door to powerful right hands, Charlo for the most part dominated the middle rounds. But that’s when the fight began to level out, as Charlo’s big rights landing on Trout’s chin were balanced out by the 30-year-old challenger tagging the champ when he lunged forward and lowered his head.
The intensity really picked up over the final four rounds, which the two fighters split on the scorecards. But Charlo’s work in the middle of the contest proved to be the difference as the Houston resident successfully defended his title for a second time.
About the only negative for Charlo—who entered the ring having stopped 16 of his previous 17 opponents—was he failed to deliver on trainer Ronnie Shields’ prediction that he would be the first man to knock out Trout. Indeed, the southpaw from Las Cruces, New Mexico, remained on his feet the entire night but saw his four-fight winning streak come to an end.
- Charlo vs Trout