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The International Boxing Federation announced last Tuesday that Jermell Charlo vacated his super welterweight title just before a cancelled auction bid to face Russian Bakhram Murtazaliev.
This would be the second belt that the former undisputed super welterweight champion loses out of the ring after the WBO belt lost to Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and automatically became the possession of the Australian Tim Tszyu.
As it turns out, Murtazaliev will fight German-Ecuadorian Jack Culcay for the vacant 154-pound belt, but Charlo is in debt to the Russian, who is owed a title dance and who has stepped aside for several unification fights, for which he has received money from his heretofore unattainable rival.
Is a Charlo-Murtazaliev fight possible?
Charlo is now back at 154 pounds after being little rival for Canelo last September, and for his part Murtazaliev, his team and promoters want to be protagonists in a high caliber fight in which the world title is at stake but Charlo refuses to give the Russian the opportunity in an eventual and lucrative fight, like the one he badly starred with the Mexican, which surely left his saddlebags well nourished.
Charlo still holds two belts, the WBA and WBC at 154 pounds and is still the unified champion, titles that he would put at stake if the expected fight with Terrence Crawford were to come to his door.