By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Jermell Charlo hasn’t been able to return to the house he owns on the outskirts of Houston since Hurricane Harvey ravaged his hometown.
Charlo cannot break away from training camp in Dallas to see with his own two eyes just how much damage has been done to his home. Thus far he has relied on reports from a few friends and some photographs.
He knows that the mailboxes for his development were completely under water. He also is thankful, though, that the area in which he lives wasn’t hit harder by the devastating storm.
“I would love to get back home, just to walk into my house,” Charlo told BoxingScene.com before a press conference Wednesday at Barclays Center. “I haven’t been able to do that. I just had a few people go back and check on it. But everything is good. I can’t think about that right now.”
The 27-year-old Charlo can’t concentrate on flood damage because he is trying his best to remain focused on his mandatory title defense against unbeaten Erickson Lubin, a dangerous southpaw from Orlando, Florida. Charlo (29-0, 14 KOs) will defend his WBC super welterweight title against Lubin (18-0, 13 KOs) on October 14 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn as part of a “Showtime Championship Boxing” tripleheader.
Charlo didn’t consider pulling out of the fight once Hurricane Harvey hit Houston hard, yet he admits it has been a distraction while he has been preparing at trainer Derrick James’ gym in Dallas.
“I’m not gonna say I thought about pulling out,” Charlo said. “But I did think about like, ‘How the f*ck am I supposed to fight with all of this going?’ That’s 50 percent of my weight. You know? How am I supposed to wake up every morning and train? How am I supposed to check my mail? Our mailboxes are under water. … So it’s kinda crazy.”
As for Lubin, his training camp won’t be impacted by Hurricane Irma.
The severe storm could affect his hometown of Orlando, Florida, starting Friday, but Lubin moved his camp to New York and New Jersey a few days ago. Lubin and his handlers implemented that camp plan long before meteorologists began warning Florida residents about Hurricane Irma.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.