By Lem Satterfield
Jermall Charlo said southpaw Willie Monroe should “worry about getting knocked out” when they clash for Charlo’s WBC interim 160-pound title on December 22 at Barclays Center in Brookyn, New York, on FOX at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Jermall Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs) has stopped 19 of his last 21 opponents entering his fight with Monroe (23-3, 6 KOs), who is in his third title fight on a card featuring Charlo’s younger-by-a-minute twin, Jermell (31-0, 15 KOs), chasing his fourth WBC 154-pound title defense and third stoppage during that time against repeat challenger Tony Harrison (27-2, 21 KOs).
Trained by Ronnie Shields at the Houston-area Plex Boxing Gym, "The Hit Man’s" is making his initial defense in pursuit of his fourth straight stoppage win.
“When you sign a contract against Jermall Charlo, the one thing you’ve got to worry about is getting knocked out. You make one wrong move in the fight, and you’re knocked out,” said Charlo.
“That’s what I’m made for. I’m a knockout artist, so on December 22, Willie Monroe has to know that if he makes one wrong move, it’s over for him, let alone, it will be all over for his career.”
Charlo spoke during the Saturday night documentary PBC Countdown: Jermall Charlo versus Willie Monroe Jr., which aired on FOX at 11 p.m. ET/PT. A separate show aired on the Jermell Charlo-Tony Harrison fight at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT entitled PBC Countdown: Jermell Charlo versus Tony Harrison.
The shows offered up-close looks the four fighters prepare for their championship fights.
The Rochester, New York-born Monroe first donned a pair of gloves at the age of six and has boxing in his DNA, his late grandfather, Lee Monroe, being an accomplished amateur.
Great uncle, Willie “The Worm” Monroe (39-10-1,26 KOs), went 1-2 against Hall of Fame former undisputed 160-pound champion Marvellous Marvin Hagler, and Monroe’s father, Willie Lee “The Body Rock” (24-4-2, 17 KOs) was 19-1-2 before going 5-3 with three knockouts over his final eight bouts.
Trained by Tim Nolan, the 31-year-old “El Mongoose” is 4-2 in his past six fights, sandwiching unanimous decisions over John Thompson and title challenger Gabriel Rosado in June and September 2016 between losses to then-unbeaten champions Gennady
Golovkin (sixth-round TKO) and Billy Joe Saunders (unanimous decision) of England in May 2015 and September 2017.
Having rebounded from his loss to Saunders with a consecutive unanimous decisions over Carlos Galvan and Javier Franciso Maciel in March and August, Monroe enters his third fight under Al Haymon, advisor for left-handed 130- and 147-pound champions Gervonta Davis and Errol Spence Jr. when they traveled to England in May for title-winning third- and 11th-round knockouts of Liam Walsh and Kell Brook.
Jermall Charlo’s past two victories were second- and fourth-round knockouts of previously once-beaten Hugo Centeno (April) and southpaw Sebastian Heiland (July 2017). Centeno represented Charlo’s title-winning second 160-pound bout, and Heiland was floored twice and stopped for the first time in his career in Charlo’s division debut.
The last fighter to go the distance with Charlo was left-handed former champion Austin Trout, who lost a unanimous decision in Charlo’s second 154-pound defense in May 2016.
But Charlo has since vacated the 154-pound title after a two-knockdown, fifth-round KO of Julian Williams in December 2016, and registered the pair of knockouts at 160.
“I feel like [Monroe] thinks he can beat me. Something about him just makes me want to just go right at it,” said Charlo. “I don’t know what they’re thinking that I’m made of.”
Charlo’s training camp for Trout included workouts with Cuban southpaw Erislandy Lara, a former 154-pound titlist who is also trained by Shields. Charlo leaned heavily on Lara, who floored Trout in the 11th round of a unanimous decision victory in December 2013.
Trout was also the loser of a two-knockdown majority decision in June to Jermell Charlo, whose record against southpaws improved to 5-0 with four knockouts in the past five years. In his previous two fights, Jermell had flattened left-handers Erickson Lubin (October 2017) and Charles Hatley (April 2017) in the first and sixth rounds.
“You can’t look at Monroe being a southpaw because every fight is different. You can’t look at the sparring with Lara to say that we’re going to do anything different that we’ve ever done,” said Charlo during a Saturday afternoon interview with BoxingScene.com.
“We work out a different game plan for that specific opponent. But this fight, I’m going to show my youth, my experience and my explosiveness. I won’t change my game for anybody. No matter who I’m in front of, we know what we’re coming to do.”