Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Ready or Not, Here Comes Jermall Charlo

By Thomas Gerbasi

Jermall Charlo has heard it all so far when it comes to the man he will be meeting in the ring this Saturday night in Las Vegas, IBF junior middleweight champion Carlos Molina.

He’s crafty, he’s experienced, he can make you look bad, and if he wants to, he can stink the place out.

Charlo’s response?

“If I come in fresh, and come in spraying nothing but Lysol all over him, I can’t lose,” he laughs. “His game plan is to make me look ugly, so the more confident and the more comfortable I feel in there, I won’t have a problem with it going to the scorecards.”

Charlo, just 23 years old and 17 fights into a pro career that began in 2008, sounds both confident and comfortable leading up to his biggest fight yet. But don’t read that as cocky and laid-back, because that just wouldn’t be accurate. And if you want to blame his ease before his first world championship bout on the folly of youth and inexperience, that would be out of line too, considering that the Houston, Texas product has had gloves on for much of his life, putting together an impressive amateur resume before entering the punch for pay ranks.

No, Charlo is just how you would like to see a young contender as he approaches something he’s been working toward since he was a kid: confident, ready, and eager to hear the first bell ring. Yet despite all this, he does admit that he was taken aback a bit when he got the call to be Molina’s first title defense opponent.

“I thought I still had a couple more fights to go,” said Charlo, who is coming off a fifth round knockout of Joseph De Los Santos last December. “I really didn’t think it would be this soon, but I know (adviser) Al Haymon had been telling me that the more work I put in and the better I kept doing, then he would get me the title shot, and he was gonna get me what I always wanted. So I guess the prayer was answered.”

Whether it was the right move or too much too soon will be determined at the MGM Grand this weekend, but for the moment, Charlo looks like he has all the tools. He’s got a stiff jab, fast hands, and power. His chin hasn’t been tested yet, but Molina isn’t the guy to do that, and if anyone wonders how the Texan will deal with the champion’s awkward style, sparring with Erislandy Lara has likely prepared him for anything he might see.

As for Charlo’s level of opposition, he’s faced guys you would expect a 17-0 fighter to be facing, though the experienced trio of Orlando Lora, Luis Hernandez, and Antwone Smith were expected to be – at least on paper – tests for him.

“Once I started getting in those fights where they were scheduled for eight to ten rounds, I noticed inside the ring that those fighters brought a different vibe,” Charlo admits. “They weren’t there just to survive or get paid; they were trying to get back on track or beat an undefeated guy.”

Charlo made it look easy in each fight though, scoring stoppages of the aforementioned veterans, and in his last two wins over Rogelio De La Torre and De Los Santos, he again appeared to be a step ahead of whomever he was being put in the ring with. So, in a way, a title fight this early in his career made sense, and it certainly does to Charlo.

“The boxing world kept saying that me and my brother (fellow unbeaten up and comer Jermell) hadn’t fought anybody, so we needed that opportunity to show the world that we’re the real deal and we can showcase our talent against anyone,” he said. “This is the perfect opportunity for me to shine.”

And while there’s no turning back from here should he win the belt, Charlo isn’t awed by that possibility in the slightest; this is what he asked for.

“I do this for the love,” he said. “I’ve been around boxing all my life and I’ve been a fighter all my life. So me being a professional boxer, it’s almost like a reward and a payback for all of the hard work I put in when I was younger. And then fighting for the world title, I know a lot of fighters right now that are still waiting for their opportunity to even fight for a world title, and they all envy the fact that I got a title fight this fast, but I really put in a lot of work, and I’ve been boxing for almost 16 years.”

It’s what may be overlooked in the lead-up to the bout, that to get to the point where you’re a highly touted amateur, then pro prospect, then the guy who gets signed by Haymon and promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, it takes a lot of sacrifice. No one is born into this, and all the connections in the world won’t save you when it’s just you and your opponent in the ring on fight night. So while the rest of his peers were having fun and living “normal” lives, Charlo was working toward March 8, 2014, even if he didn’t know it at the time.

“There was no high school prom, no partying,” he recalled of his teen years. “When there was a big football game I was at the boxing gym. Me growing up, I wasn’t one of those kids that was able to ride go karts and go do all kinds of crazy sports and stuff because I knew I had to fight in a big tournament coming up and I had to make sure I kept my weight down. I had to really discipline myself as a youngster just to be who I am today.”

So after all that, why would he be worried about Carlos Molina? Sure, the Patzcuaro, Mexico native has big wins over Kermit Cintron, Cory Spinks, and Ishe Smith, a controversial loss to James Kirkland, and a draw with Erislandy Lara, but the way Charlo sees it, all that matters are the 12 rounds on Saturday. And he’s right.

“I know what type of fighter I am down on the inside, and Carlos Molina knows the type of fighter he is, so it’s all about who can execute the game plan the best, and that’s the person that’s gonna be champion of the world. Will Molina make me frustrated? He won’t. I’m going in there to have fun. It’s the biggest fight of my life, and I trained for it, so I have no worries.”

Sounds like a fighter who can safely say that all those sacrifices he made for all those years were worth it.

“They all were worth it,” smiles Charlo. “I put in a hundred percent in camp and I plan to get a hundred percent of that world title.”

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by TRTboy on 03-06-2014

I like charlo. I think he's going to be a major player in the future. He's creeping up everybody's radar while the canelo's, and broner's are getting the hype. I think he is the best American prospect right now.

Comment by Trudoe the.. on 03-05-2014

Still think Charlo is gunna take this and look impressive doing so

Comment by hhs661 on 03-05-2014

Respect to this kid.. His head seems to be in the right place. I like his outlook on all things boxing in this interview. I'm hoping he can get past Molina and have bigger things to look forward to.. Got…

Comment by sugarsmosley_ on 03-05-2014

lol charlo will win decisively, who wanna bet?

Comment by peplz on 03-05-2014

God I can't wait til someone gets rid of boring hug master Molina. The referees let this guy get away with whatever tactics that he wants to employ. I'm so tired of people giving this guy credit for being like…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (12)
Top Headlines Frank Buglioni Aims To Land Showdown With Nathan Cleverly Mikey Garcia: Broner More Serious, Better Fighter at 140 Pounds Joe Smith, Promoter Eyeing Sergey Kovalev Fight After Barrera Team Pacquiao: Horn is The Guy To KO, Won't Know What Hit Him! Chris Eubank Jr: I Want George Groves Next, I'll Take His Belt! Jeff Horn - Reviewing His Career Path, Which Led To Pacquiao Brook Return Targeted For December, Miguel Cotto Eyed For 2018 UK Boxing: Buglioni vs. Summers, Umar Sadiq, Dale Evans World Boxing Super Series News, Pianeta IBO Title Bout, More Photos: Jeff Horn Receives HUGE Support From Fans at Workout Abel Sanchez: Golovkin Beats Canelo 116-112 or KO's Him Late Pacquiao's Getting Older (But No One's Proved He's Old Yet) Team Rigondeaux: Lomachenko Our Main Target, Ball in His Court! Marquez Seriously Doubts Horn is Capable of a Pacquiao KO Photos: Joe Smith Getting in Top Form For Sullivan Barrera Fortune Tears Apart Horn: He's Just an Opponent, No Dog in Him Photos: Alexander Povetkin Putting in Work For Rudenko Randall Bailey Backs Pacquiao: I've Not Seen Special Factor in Horn Ivan Dychko, Olympic Medal Winner, Decides To Go Pro Photos: Robert Easter, Denis Shafikov - Go Face To Face Victor Ortiz vs. Saul Corral Finalized - PBC on FS1, July 30 Pacquiao: Canelo-GGG is Real Fight, Mayweather-McGregor is Not Miguel Flores vs. Chris Avalos - PBC on FS1, July 18 Roach Laughs at Horn's Record: Who The F*** is Randall Bailey? Photos: Artur Szpilka, Adam Kowancki - Go Face To Face Billy Joe Saunders Drops Adam Booth, Hires Dominic Ingle Taras Shelestyuk Training Hard With Joel Diaz For Return Rey Vargas vs. Ronny Rios Added To Cotto-Kamegai Joshua-Klitschko II - Frontrunner is Las Vegas, Says Hearn Horn's Trainer: Brutal KO Loss to Marquez 'Haunts' Pacquiao Ward-Kovalev Rematch Replay Peaked at 947K Viewers on HBO Claressa Shields vs. Nikki Adler For WBC Title, August 4 on ShoBox De La Hoya: I Actually Hope Mayweather-McGregor is Good Fight Rigondeaux: I'll Sign Contract For Magdaleno Faster Than UPS! Easter: I'll Make it Look Easy and Will Be First To KO Shafikov Mikey Garcia: I'd Be 'A Huge Star in Boxing' If Not for Long Layoff Horn, Promoter Slam Pacquiao For Texting During Entire Presser An Opportunity for Jerwin Ancajas To Impress on Pacquiao Card UK News: Scott Fitzgerald, Ryan Burnett, Ted Cheeseman Roach Warns Horn: This is Going To Be a Short and Sweet KO!
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement