By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Jermell Charlo is sick of the disrespect directed toward him and his twin brother, Jermall, by fellow fighters, fans, writers and many others within the boxing world.
The 26-year-old Charlos became the first pair of twins to simultaneously own world titles in the same weight class when Jermell Charlo knocked out John Jackson in his last fight to win the then-vacant WBC world super welterweight championship. Jermall Charlo is undefeated, too, but gave up the IBF junior middleweight title following his fifth-round knockout of Julian Williams on December 10 to move up from 154 pounds to the middleweight division.
Jermell Charlo (28-0, 13 KOs) expressed his frustration following a press conference Thursday in Brooklyn, where the Houston native will make his first title defense Saturday night against mandatory challenger Charles Hatley (26-1-1, 18 KOs) at Barclays Center (Showtime).
“Most fans, they like other fighters in the game and they’re not really looking at the Charlo brothers,” Jermell Charlo told BoxingScene.com. “And the promoters are passing us up. And you’ve got guys like Canelo, who had a title, but doesn’t have a title now, and he gets to dictate things in the boxing world. Politically, it’s not fair to us, the Charlo brothers, being champions. And I’m ready to do this again, to show the world that they need to respect us and love us and treat us right and become fans. Maybe we’re gonna get the bad ones, but eventually we’re gonna get the good ones.”
Jermall Charlo, who’ll work his brother’s corner Saturday night, declined an interview request following Thursday’s press conference.
Jermall Charlo (25-0, 19 KOs) took exception to the way Williams repeatedly disrespected him prior to their fight four months ago in Los Angeles. Jermall Charlo looked tremendous during his sensational victory over Williams (22-1-1, 14 KOs, 1 NC), but drew the ire of fans at USC’s Galen Center for reacting angrily to Williams and then the fans even after he won by knockout.
“Everyone disrespects us,” said Jermell Charlo, who was down on all three scorecards before stopping Jackson in the eighth round 11 months ago in Las Vegas. “And that’s the problem with this boxing world, that they disrespect us and then they want us to shake their hands and be happy about the situation. So after I beat [Hatley], I’m still not gonna like him or respect him.
“My brother went through the same thing I’m going through now, and the [backlash] was bad after the fight. And this fight is against someone [Hatley] who’s not even promoted by the same promoter or managed by the same manager. So how can I even look at you as like, ‘Oh, yeah, I’ve gotta eventually see you again.’ I don’t never have to see you again. So I’m just gonna lay you out and move forward.”
Dallas’ Hatley, meanwhile, promised again Thursday to knock out Jermell Charlo. That drew an animated response from Jermell Charlo, who admits he has been particularly annoyed by what Hatley and those close to Hatley have said about him and his trainer, Derrick James.
“I’m here to prove my coach is the real deal, even if he’s young,” Jermell Charlo said. “I don’t care how long you’ve been knowing him. Just because you know him, however long you’ve been knowing my coach, doesn’t mean you know what I’m doing. I’m a whole different fighter and I’ve come from a whole different region of lions. I’m a way better fighter than they make me out to be.”
The Charlo-Hatley fight will open Showtime’s doubleheader Saturday at 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT. Former welterweight champions Shawn Porter (26-2-1, 16 KOs) and Andre Berto (31-4, 24 KOs) will meet in the 12-round main event, a WBC elimination match to determine the mandatory challenger for WBC welterweight champion Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.