Jermell Charlo took on Charles Bellamy Ohta in the Showtime TV opener, on Showtime, from the Bell Center in Montreal, in a 154-pound showdown. Charlo’s basics, the jab, the movement, the focus, all of that put him in a better place when they go to the scorecards after 12 not-overly-thrilling rounds.
Charlo went down in the third, but O rarely was able to sustain much effective aggression, as he plodded after Charlo, without a compelling narrative to his attack. The judges had it for Charlo, by scores of 115-111, 118-109, 118-109, and he will go on to a title crack, I guess.
Charlo (23-0), age, 24 lives in Texas, while the New Yorker Ohta (24-1-1), age 32, lives in Japan.
Charlo tried to use his height and reach edge, while O looked to bore in, press. The long jab was used to try and keep O off Charlo, and the first round looked pretty even. Charlo threw low and O took a breather in the second, but the Texan boxed smart and won the round.
In the third, Charlo went down, off a right hook, to start the third. O looked to keep up the momentum but Charlo’s cobwebs cleared. He pressed ahead late in the round, trying to shift the mood some. His left hook at the end of the round stung O.
In the fourth, Charlo’s hooks looked thudd-y. His movement, constant and proper, won him the round. Trainer Ronnie Shields asked him to be busier post-round. He was the busier in the fifth, and while O followed him, his intent wasn’t so clear. O’s left eye was a bit swollen, and he needed to latch on to some sort of strategy to switch the scene up.
In the sixth, Charlo landed a combo and the tossed O top the mat. Was O losing steam, getting softened up? A right landed clean on Charlo, and O was peppier to end the round. In the seventh, O got busier, knowing time was running out on this opp. But this Charlo, while he doesn’t scream future star, does the basics to the extent that he is where he is. O followed Charlo, but lacked a clear blueprint of how to get close enough to do damage. The ref took a point from the Texan for going low in the ninth. It was a left hook, at the jewels.
In the tenth, O looked deflated, after getting buzzed some early. He had a mouse-nest on his left eye. In the 11th, O was again ineffectively aggressive, plodding after Charlo for most of the round but by the end he was on his heels. Shields told Charlo to not throw to the body and risk a point deduction, before the 12th. In the 12th,