On Saturday, July 29, 2017, Barclays Center in Brooklyn played host to the self proclaimed “Future of Boxing,” in Jermall Charlo (26-0, 20 KOs) as he took on Jorge Sebastian Heiland (29-5, 16 KOs) and looked to make a statement in his Middleweight debut.

Coming into the fight, experts were curious to see if Charlo’s power would translate into the Middleweight division and after what we saw against Heiland, we may have gotten a small glimpse.

Heiland, who had never been stopped going into this fight, had his hands full with the very skillful Charlo. From the opening round, most expected Charlo to commit himself to using his impressive jab, while hoping to see Heiland close the space and smother Charlo. We did see Charlo land his jab at will and set up strong follow-up power punches.

The story of the fight though, was the awkward positioning of Heiland’s legs. It was evident that something was bothering him in the ring and sure enough, ringside doctors caught wind of the problem and quickly addressed the situation.

In the second round, a strong right hand uppercut would drop Heiland on to the canvas. It seemed as if the combination of the injury and the onslaught of punishment proved too much for the Argentine. Somehow, Heiland powered through the second to survive the round.

After a continuation of the first two rounds, Heiland would find himself on his back once more in the fourth. Charlo landed a stiff left hook that dropped Heiland and this time, the injury would keep him from being able to put any weight on his left leg.

The fight was stopped at the 2:13 mark of the fourth round. After the bout, it was disclosed that Heiland did have a pre-existing injury to his left leg, but elected to fight on.

Although we did not see Charlo against a top notch opponent per se, this should not take away from the win. We did see flashes of impressive boxing throughout the bout. With the win, Charlo is now the mandatory challenger for the WBC title that is currently held by Gennady Golovkin.

“Hell yeah I’m ready. Bring on all the big names,” exclaimed Charlo after his victory.

“At 160, I’m Vernon Forrest reincarnated. I’m the real Tommy Hearns. I’m the new Sugar Ray Leonard at 160.”

Charlo will get his chance soon enough and the boxing world will see if he lives up to his comments.

Header photo by Marilyn Paulino/RBRBoxing