By: Sean Crose
He was last seen making quick work of a past his prime James Kirkland late last year. Now that he has the opportunity to shock the world, however, the question becomes what chance does Juan Macias Montiel actually have when he steps before Showtime cameras to face WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo this weekend at the Toyota Center in Houston? The honest answer is: not much of one. Although he’s only 27 years of age, the 22-4-2 Montiel has four losses on his resume. Losses in and of themselves don’t mean anything, of course – just ask Manny Pacquiao – but once they’re coupled with a resume that doesn’t point to a single major win, they start to appear indicative of one’s ability.
Still, no one can be written off in the sport of boxing – just ask Buster Douglas. What’s more, Charlo will be essentially fighting at home this weekend. And with a 31-0 record, the 31 year old Texan probably doesn’t feel like he has much to worry about. Again, this is boxing, the sport where all it takes is a single well placed shot. Of course, it’s not so easy to land that kind of shot against someone of Charlo’s caliber.
With that in mind, it’s clear that Montiel has power. He also knows how to put his punches together and seems to like to fight. Those things are important. Montiel also knows how to effectively employ range and is good at finishing the show once his man is hurt. What’s more, he uses a straight, some might say nearly stationary, jab to set opponents up with, something which may compensate for his general lack of speed. Lastly, Montiel has been a pro for a while now, and experience never hurts.
The problem, of course, is that Charlo can hurt. A lot. He also appears (no one knows for sure until the opening bell rings) to be the far stronger of the two, a potent counterpuncher with a solid defense and a fluidity that’s hard to combat. On top of all that, Charlo is looking for fights against bigger names. Canelo. GGG. Andrade. Charlo appears to be happy to face any or all of the aforementioned fighters. It’s doubtful he’d risk it all by allowing himself to be surprised in front of a hometown crowd.
Then again, one never knows.