Two of the division's biggest punchers face off in a Texas shootout when unbeaten Jermall Charlo defends his WBC World Middleweight crown versus Mexico's Juan Macias Montiel Saturday night on SHOWTIME.
This Saturday, June 19, live from the Toyota Center in Houston, TX, hometown hero and undefeated WBC World Middleweight Champion Jermall Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs) enters the ring for a Juneteenth Day celebration title defense against hard-hitting Mexican warrior Juan Macías Montiel (22-4-2, 22 KOs) atop a SHOWTIME-televised event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
This SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING card will begin at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features rising lightweight contender Isaac Cruz taking on former world champion Francisco Vargas in a 10-round co-main event war. Opening the telecast, former world champion Angelo Leo battles Mexican contender Aaron Alameda in a 10-round super bantamweight contest.
Jermall Charlo is ready for next level boxing stardom. The problem is that boxing’s biggest stars aren’t all that eager to meet his challenge.
Sporting a 7-0 record in world title fights (and a 2-0 record in interim world title bouts), the Houston native and twin brother of current three-belt super welterweight champ Jermell Charlo, has established himself one of the best fighters, pound for pound, in the sport today.
In his most recent bout, Jermall battered and beat the tough, durable Sergiy Derevyanchenko via unanimous decision. The mature, calculated-brutal showing rated among his best performances to date.
Juan Macias Montiel, nephew of former three-division world champ Fernando “Cochulito” Montiel, hails from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, one of the unofficial fight capitals of Mexico.
Rebounding from a second-round KO at the hands of Jaime Munguia in 2017, the 27-year-old power puncher subsequently scored impressive stoppages of Gustavo Castro and Marco Reyes before battling the highly-regarded Hugo Centeno Jr. to a draw. In his most recent performance, he crushed one-time top contender James Kirkland in the first round.
Montiel claims to have added maturity, savvy, and improved technique to his power game ahead of this biggest fight of his twelve-year pro career.
At stake is Charlo’s WBC world middleweight title and the lucrative bouts that await the champ at both 160 and, possibly, 168.
Charlo is a well-schooled and disciplined boxer who fights tall and is at his best when allowed to extend his arms and use his phenomenal jab as a precursor to a thudding right. His wide arsenal of punches and general unflappable demeanor also make him brutally effective on the inside when necessary.
The 31-year-old is a calculated boxer-puncher by nature and will pick at and prod an opponent, always in search of the perfect shot or combination. That patience and clinical mindset has cost him his early-career reputation as a KO artist and, at times, creates pockets of opportunity for opponents—although none have been able to turn these moments into sustained fight-stealing surges.
Defensively, Charlo is solid and uses distance and above-average reflexes to avoid incoming shots and pick off punches with his gloves.
Montiel, like Charlo, is a tall, up and down fighter. Unlike Charlo, though, his repertoire is limited and his skill set is comparatively minuscule.
Blessed with two legitimately heavy hands, his entire game is built around his ability to bang. His twenty-two KOs in twenty-two career victories serve as testament to that. The Mexican’s right hand is especially strong and thrown in a deceptively casual way. An ability to switch between orthodox and southpaw stances adds a touch of complexity to his straightforward touch, touch, bang style and come-forward approach.
Among Montiel’s technical and tactical liabilities is slow footwork, predictable pacing, and a load of defensive liabilities that make him very hittable.
“ I want to feel the power. I’ll show you what I do with the power. ” Undefeated WBC World Middleweight Champion - Jermall Charlo
"This is going to be fireworks. This is going to be a fight. I come to put on a good show in front of my city. Get ready to tune in. There’s no way I’m letting Montiel take anything from me. Bring on the power. I want the power. He better be as strong as he’s talking. I want to feel the power. I’ll show you what I do with the power."
Juan Macias Montiel
"I’m excited and I’m ready. This is a dream fight that I’ve been waiting for all my life. Whoever thinks this is an easy fight for Jermall, doesn’t know me at all. My record speaks for itself. I am all about the knockout and that’s what I’m coming for on June 19."
Montiel’s entire path to victory is based around his ability to hit and hurt Charlo. Even though he claims to be a more mature fighter now with an overall improved skill set, his bread and butter will always be his script-flipping, fight-ending power.
Charlo has many more tools in his arsenal and, because of that, many more paths to victory. Style vs. style, he also seems well set to be his best self against a fighter like Montiel, who comes forward, fights stiff, and backs straight up with hands down. A case could be made that he’s even a bigger all-around puncher than his power-dependent challenger.
But none of that makes him invincible to Montiel. None of that means he can’t be hit, hurt, and possibly stopped by a tenacious opponent blessed with two heavy hands and a will to win.
Charlo comes into Saturday’s fight on the possible precipice of big things, with relatively little to gain and everything to lose. Add to that the pressure of fighting in his hometown for only the fourth time in his career, with friends and family present and local politicians rolling out the red carpet to commemorate this special Juneteenth event.
Although everything seems to be tilted in Charlo’s favor for this middleweight title fight, this event, if any, could serve as the perfect storm of distraction. And Montiel, with his big punch and unorthodox aggression, is the type of fighter who shouldn’t be overlooked.
For a closer look at Charlo vs Montiel, check out our fight night page.
- Charlo vs Montiel