Jermell Charlo vacates IBF title ahead of Murtazaliev purse bid

Jermell Charlo vacated his IBF junior middleweight title, the organization announced Tuesday, ahead of a scheduled purse bid for a fight with No. 1 contender Bakhram Murtazaliev.

Murtazaliev will fight No. 2 contender Jack Culcay for the vacant 154-pound title.

Charlo (35-2-1, 19 KOs) has owed Murtazaliev a title shot for years. Instead, Murtazaliev received step-aside money to allow Charlo to fight Brian Castano for the undisputed junior middleweight championship.

Charlo and Castano fought to a draw in July 2021 before Charlo stopped him in the rematch 10 months later to capture all four titles.

Charlo, 33, moved up two divisions for a shot at undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez in September. Charlo wasn't remotely competitive and indicated he would return to 154 pounds.

He was stripped of his WBO title once the bell rang, a title that now belongs to Tim Tszyu. Charlo is now left with two junior middleweights and remains a unified champion.

Murtazaliev (21-0, 15 KOs), 30, is from Russia and fights out of Oxnard, California. He has competed in only one scheduled 12-rounder in his career.

Culcay (33-4, 14 KOs), 38, is from Ecuador and fights out of Berlin. In his lone title shot, Culcay dropped a split decision to Demetrius Andrade at 154 pounds in 2017.

Charlo's twin brother, Jermall Charlo, returns Saturday on the undercard of David Benavidez vs. Andrade.