Showtime Boxing commentators dubbed it the “night of champions,” a nickname that, despite a loss Saturday night, still proved true for 340 Boxing’s John “Dah Rock” Jackson (20-3, 15 KOs), who showed his mettle against opponent Jermell Charlo (28-0, 13 KOs) with an improved defense and tactical fighting style that gave him command throughout the better part of seven rounds.
The fight against Charlo was the first on a three-title fight card broadcast live from the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, and the first world title shot for both boxers. According to the stats, Jackson was the leader in every round except the fifth – with all three judges scoring the same 68-65 – but was knocked out with 51 seconds left in the eighth round after Charlo landed a left-right combination to the head.
“It was a great fight,” Jackson said Saturday. “I felt like I was winning, but I got caught and that’s boxing. It was a journey to get here, and when I came out, I knew I surprised him. He was expecting me to charge him but I switched it up, and I felt like I was ahead, but then he hit me by my eye, it grazed me, but I felt my mouthpiece coming out and I was going to put it back in and then he hit me again.”
With the win, Charlo picks up World Boxing Council’s vacant world super welterweight title, last held by fight promoter and former world champ Floyd “Money” Mayweather – a title that 340 Boxing managing partner Lesley Comissiong said the Jackson camp will still keep in its sights.
“We have to sit down as a team and re-evaluate what it will take to get to this point,” Comissiong said. “John showed he has the ability to fight on this level. He won virtually every round. Unfortunately, we didn’t reach our goal tonight, but we will regroup and continue to move towards it. We thank everyone that has supported us along the way during this journey. There has been a lot of love given to us to help us get to this place, and we can’t be more appreciative of the people of the Virgin Islands. “
Saturday’s Showtime fight card also featured: Charlo’s twin brother Jermall Charlo (23-0-0, 18 KOs) against Austin Trout (32-2, 17 KOs) for the International Boxing Federation’s World super welterweight title. Cuba’s Erislandy Lara (22-2-2, 13 KOs) and Armenian fighter Vanes Martirosyan (32-2-1, 21 KOs) will also be battling it out for the vacant World Boxing Association’s Super World super welterweight title and the International Boxing Organization’s World super welterweight title.