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Jermell Charlo was stripped of his WBA belt and named champion in recess last month

Recent buzz alleged that Turki Alalshikh’s next big move would be to pit pound-for-pound star Terence Crawford against newly minted WBA super welterweight champion Israil Madrimov this coming August. There’s a lot to like about that matchup; Madrimov’s among the best in the division and it leaves Sebastian Fundora, whom the WBO ordered to face “Bud” in his inaugural defense, to go through with his much-needed rematch against Tim Tszyu.

That plan is now in jeopardy, as Dan Rafael reports that “champion in recess” Jermell Charlo has officially petitioned the WBA for an immediate crack at Madrimov.

As Ben Blackwell points out, there’s always the option of just paying Charlo (35-2-1, 19 KO) to step aside, which is very much within Alalshikh’s means. There would be some karma there; Charlo dodged Bakhram Murtazaliev for three years, ditched Tim Tszyu to fight Canelo, and let the WBA strip him rather than defend against Madrimov (10-0, 7 KO). Nobody should be giving that goon the time of day.

If it does go through, though, it’s a reasonably appealing matchup. Madrimov is a unique and dangerous threat and Charlo’s been far from dominant in his time at 154, splitting two competitive fights with Tony Harrison and needing a robbery to retain his belt against Brian Castano.

I’d imagine the vast majority of fans would prefer the Crawford fight, though, and for once I welcome the avoidance of a mandatory.



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