In a super welterweight world title unification clash, WBC champion Jermell Charlo (34-1, 18 KOs) took the WBA and IBF belts of Jeison “Banana” Rosario (20-2-1, 13 KOs) by eighth round KO on Saturday night at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. Charlo was credited with an early knockdown in round one, although it appeared Rosario’s foot slipped out of the ring. After that, Rosario proceeded to fight pretty well until the end of round six when he was knocked down again. This time he was hurt. A Charlo jab to the belly finished Rosario in round eight. Time was :21.
Charlo said afterward, “I definitely proved that I’m more than just a puncher, but I also showed again that I’m a big puncher. I’d give myself an A tonight. I stuck to my game plan and listened to my coach. Everything we did in camp, I used it in this fight. I pushed myself the whole way through training camp. It’s been a journey for me. I’m bringing the straps home to my family like they told me to.
“I knew that he was going to keep coming after the first knockdown. He kept pressing for four or five rounds until I floored him again. I’m growing and learning that the knockout just comes. I know that I have explosive power in both hands. I utilized my jab more than any other punch in this fight and that’s what got me these straps.
“Rosario hits hard, but if you have to know how to wear a fighter down. That’s how you take the power out of him.
“I think some of the previous punches I landed hurt him before the jab. The body shot that landed just hit the right point. I wish him well. I give any man who steps into the ring respect. I hope he recovers and bounces back.
“It’s Lions Only forever. We’ve been doing this for a long time. Dreams do come true. This is a part of my dream and a part of my destiny. I’m satisfied and I’m happy.
“I know right now that I’m going to talk with the sanctioning bodies and see what’s next. I’m holding the crown. I’m the king. We’ll see what’s next.”