By Keith Idec
Jermell Charlo is very interested in testing his skills against Jarrett Hurd.
Their 154-pound title unification fight is a bout Charlo wants later this year. The unbeaten WBC super welterweight champion isn’t nearly as interested in comparing his performance against Austin Trout with the way Hurd looked in eventually stopping Trout on October 14.
“I’m not in competition with them guys,” Charlo said during a recent conference call. “Them guys are in competition with me. Unfortunately, they got the fight first [against Trout], before me. I don’t know what I’ll possess that night. I don’t know what Trout gonna bring out. So if he brings out the best in me, then who knows what the end result could be?”
Trout tested Hurd during the first half of their bout, before Hurd’s size and physicality wore down Trout. Hurd was ahead on all three scorecards – 97-93, 96-94 and 96-94 – when Trout decided not to answer the bell for the 11th round 7½ months ago at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Charlo (30-0, 15 KOs) and Trout (31-4, 17 KOs), a southpaw from Las Cruces, New Mexico, are set to fight Saturday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles. They’ll open Showtime’s doubleheader, which will feature a 12-round rematch between WBA “super” featherweight champ Leo Santa Cruz (34-1-1, 19 KOs) and Abner Mares (31-2-1, 15 KOs).
The 28-year-old Charlo has won four straight fights by knockout. His two most recent wins were candidates for “Knockout of the Year” in 2017.
The Houston native knocked Charles Hatley unconscious in the sixth round of their April 2017 fight at Barclays Center. In his next appearance, he needed just one punch and less than one full round to knock out Erickson Lubin (19-1, 14 KOs) on October 14 at Barclays Center.
“I’m looking to go 12,” Charlo said of the Trout bout. “I’m looking to fight all the way to the end. I’m in dog shape. I’ve been training for a long time and I do a pre-training. I do a pre-camp before I even get into camp, and that’s when my brother was getting ready for his fight with [Hugo] Centeno.
“I like myself the first day of camp in spectacular shape. So it’s all about sharpening my skills and doing what I got to do at my best. I’m growing. I’m turning 28 in the midst of the camp and, you know, I gotta look at things a little bit differently. And I know Trout is a veteran himself, and he knows what’s right and what fits him and fits his body.”
Though anxious to perform impressively, Charlo isn’t placing any additional pressure on himself to score another sensational knockout versus Trout or to out-perform Hurd (22-0, 15 KOs), the IBF/IBO/WBA champ.
“So it’s just almost like right now,” Charlo said, “the only thing that’s on my mind is just getting in there to see what this body does and what this mindset that I got now does and who knows the results of it? If it looks good, if it’s better than Hurd or any of those guys, as long as y’all watching me, y’all keeping up with the Charlos and keeping up with Jermell Charlo, we on. You know, rock with me. Lions only.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.