WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said Wednesday that unbeaten middleweight titleholder Jermall Charlo’s car crash in Texas was the final straw that moved him to strip Charlo of his belt and deliver it to new belt holder Carlos Adames.

“So the WBC has made the decision, but at the same time we have compassion and still care for [Charlo’s] well-being,” Sulaiman told BoxingScene in a Wednesday conversation. “When he returns to boxing, we will walk with him, as well.”

Charlo, 33, was arrested by Pearland (Texas) police Monday night following a car crash, in which police said he argued with the other driver before taking off in his red Lamborghini before being detained by police at a traffic light about one mile away.

Charlo (33-0, 22 KOs) was booked on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, leaving the scene of a crash and fleeing police.

The WBC’s decision to strip him the next day followed years of outcry from those saying the twin brother of former undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo had wrongly held his belt hostage through an injury, weak opponent selection and a mental health layoff.

Charlo fought just once during a three-year, two-month stretch, returning in November overweight for an above-weight, catchweight, non-title defense against Jose Benavidez Jr., whom Charlo defeated by decision.

“As I’ve always said, we are always going to give time for our champions – mental health is such a powerful issue in the world, now more than ever,” Sulaiman said after expressing his admiration for the fighter.

“We absolutely moved to support Jermall and tried to find ways to help him get to a better position. He was injured, then had a mental health situation, and when he came back last year and was overweight – that was a concern.

“He had been trying to resolve his weight situation, and it has gone nowhere.”

Charlo was on social media last week speculating that he would be the next opponent for Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, but Alvarez bypassed him to instead fight Jaime Munguia on Saturday, and Charlo’s arrest and stripped belt severely weakens his position for that opportunity.

“We are talking to [Charlo’s] promoter [TGB Promotions/Premier Boxing Champions] to help find the people who can help him with the specific actions he needs to take him to his recovery,” Sulaiman said.

In the meantime, Sulaiman said his decision was made easier by the presence of the Dominican Republic’s Carlos Adames (23-1, 18 KOs) as interim WBC champion. Adames has worn that belt since October 2022.

He found out he was champion on his 30th birthday.

“Since the WBC has authorized Adames as an interim champion, all this time he has been extremely patient, compassionate about champion Charlo and expressing the wish to fight him,” Sulaiman said. “Now that he’ll be in the ring as a champion, I’m sure he’ll make us proud. He is well-deserving of being a champion.”

Adames and unified champion Janibek Alimkhanuly (15-0, 10 KOs) have engaged in a back-and-forth on X about fighting each other, but in a conversation with a key fight maker last week, BoxingScene was told that bout will not be made next.

Adames is currently training in Las Vegas, and Alimkhanuly has a July 13 fight date at The Palms in Las Vegas.

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