Jermell Charlo has no qualms giving Terence Crawford his props. (photo by Ryan Hafey)
The undisputed 154-pound champion said in a recent interview that he personally congratulated Crawford after Crawford’s ninth-round stoppage of Errol Spence Jr. last month at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for the undisputed welterweight championship.
Charlo shares the same trainer (Derrick James) and adviser (Al Haymon) with Spence, and, naturally, he has not shied away from making his allegiance known to Crawford. During the Spence fight, Crawford and Charlo, who was sitting ringside, took part in a blustery exchange that ended up going viral.
Crawford (40-0, 31 KOs) has made it clear in countless interviews since his win over Spence that he has never appreciated Charlo’s often uncouth manner of exhibiting his favoritism for Spence. But Charlo says that Crawford should not be surprised by such a reaction.
"A fight with Terence Crawford obviously makes sense,” Charlo said on Million Dollaz Worth of Game. “I commend him. You went in there and beat the Big Fish. You beat the dog. Whatever contract y’all agreed to you have to fight him again and get that out the way and maybe since you say you want to chop down, walk up that field, I’m a bad motherf-----. I don’t care what he say. I’mma get in there and dog his ass out. Little ass mother-----. He talked some sh!t.
“After the fight he got on top of the ring, pointing and making all this attention—like I could run in there and talk sh!t back to you. You probably not gonna be able to hear me. Obviously, it didn’t make any sense. But I clapped for him, told him congratulations, he bowed, gave me my respect and he moved on.”
Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs), who is moving up two weight classes to take on Canelo Alvarez for the undisputed 168-pound championship on Sept. 30 at T-Mobile Arena, pointed out that he has nothing personal against Crawford, saying he would just as easily root for him if Spence was not his friend and training mate.
BoxingScene.com confirmed this week that Spence has activated his rematch clause with Crawford, although a date and weight class remain undecided. Spence has stated his preference is for the rematch to take place at 154.
“I’m cool,” Charlo said . “I’mma always run with my teammates. If Terence was my teammate, and I didn’t f--- with Errol, I would give Terence the love that he gets. That’s just how it is. ‘Hey bro, you fighting my dog.' … Now my man has to put his life on the line. That’s how I feel about it. He gon have his beefing drama. He gon’ feel some type of way. I don’t give a f--- what he say or what he do. That don’t bother me. You won your belt … you won it at 140. Hey if you wanna come up in weight division and try and fight someone as big as me and solid as me and gifted and talented like me, then he gon’ run into a problem, I’ll say.”
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.