Jermell Charlo didn’t expect to pursue John Jackson around the ring Saturday night, but he finally caught up to him in the eighth round and landed a world championship.
Charlo was losing on all three judges’ scorecards in the 154-pound title fight at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas when he staggered Jackson with a right hand to the temple, and then followed with two punishing lefts when his dazed opponent turned away to adjust his mouthpiece and failed to keep his guard up.
Referee Tony Weeks immediately jumped in to protect the slumped Jackson, who was knocked into the corner turnbuckle, and signaled the knockout 51 seconds into the eighth.
In winning the vacated world title, Charlo (28-0, 13 KOs) joined his twin brother as a 154-pound champion two days after celebrating their 26th birthday, as he preceded Jermall Charlo’s successful title defense against Austin Trout as part of a championship tripleheader.
“It’s history. We did it. A lot of fighters don’t come out of Houston and we did it,” Jermell Charlo said. “We’ve been boxing for all of these years, and it had to happen.”
John Jackson (20-3, 15 KOs) surprised Charlo early by coming out and boxing, and used his footwork to circle the ring and control the distance. Charlo slammed his gloves together in frustration at the end of Round 4 after Jackson continued to outbox him.
“I was behind. He was boxing, he was moving around a lot. That was unexpected of him. I thought he was going to come out and brawl, so I had to make an adjustment and I did,” Charlo said.
“When he started slowing down, I was able to catch him with a shot. I knew that if he could have continued he could have come back, so I had to hit him.”
Jackson led 69-64 on all three judges’ scorecards at the time of the stoppage, with Charlo winning just the fifth round on each card.
Jackson, 27, experienced a similiar defeat in June 2014 when he lost to Andy Lee, who trailed 39-36 on all three judges’ cards before gaining a fifth-round knockout.
“It was a journey to get here. I feel like I was ahead and I came up short,” Jackson said. “He caught me with a punch and I was trying to fix my mouthpiece. Then, he hit me and I was out.”
For a complete overview of Charlo vs Jackson, visit our fight page.