By Keith Idec
Jermall Charlo couldn’t care less what Abel Sanchez or anyone else thinks about his readiness to challenge Gennady Golovkin.
The undefeated middleweight contender is sure Golovkin recognizes that he poses a legitimate threat to the Kazakh knockout artist’s middleweight championship reign. Charlo can take his most significant step toward earning a shot at Golovkin by beating Hugo Centeno Jr. on March 3.
Houston’s Charlo (26-0, 20 KOs) and Centeno (26-1, 16 KOs, 1 NC), of Oxnard, California, will fight for the WBC’s interim middleweight title that night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (Showtime). The Charlo-Centeno winner is guaranteed an opportunity to fight for the WBC middleweight title Golovkin owns.
“When [Golovkin] go to sleep at night, he knows the pressure is on him,” Charlo said during a conference call Thursday. “He know that there’s a young, hungry and 160-pound fierce dog out there. And that’s me. I’m out here. I don’t care about Abel Sanchez. He ain’t the one getting in there taking punches for Golovkin. So he can’t say sh*t about me. He don’t know me until he comes to Houston and find out what I’m about.”
Due to his well-documented dispute with the WBC, Alvarez is not expected to pay a sanctioning fee to fight for the middleweight title he once owned May 5. Therefore, if he beats Golovkin, Mexico’s Alvarez wouldn’t be obligated to fight Charlo, who’s rated No 1 by the WBC.
Regardless, Charlo hopes Golovkin or Alvarez can win convincingly May 5 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, so that there’s no need for a third bout. Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) and Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) fought to a controversial 12-round draw September 16 at T-Mobile Arena.
“I don’t give a sh*t what they do,” Charlo said. “I’m ready. I’m ready to wait and I’m ready to put everything on the line. Hopefully they’ll get a chance to settle this fight and move on, and I’ll be right there waiting.”
The 27-year-old Charlo, a former IBF junior middleweight champ, plans to beat Centeno in the type of fashion that’ll create demand for him to fight Golovkin or Alvarez.
“Hopefully I can catch the eyes of those Canelo fans and those GGG fans that I’m here,” Charlo said, “and that I’m ready for this action and I’m ready for this level. Hopefully, you know, after my hand is raised on March 3rd, you all will get a chance to see what I’m really made of.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.