By Steve Kim
Middleweight Hugo Centeno (26-1, 14 KO's) faces Jermall Charlo at the Barclay Center this Saturday night as part of the Showtime tripleheader. At stake is the interim-WBC middleweight title.
Centeno has one career loss - a 10th round stoppage at the hands of Maciej Sulecki - and that experience for the 27-year old native of Oxnard, California has proven to be a valuable lesson for him.
"I got to a point in my career where all I had to do was make weight for most of these guys and I could beat them. My skill was good enough alone. So they called me on a four week notice for that fight and I was like, 'Yeah man, this guy's undefeated and it would be a great victory and put me in a great position to fight these big guys. All you have to do is make the weight? Let's take the fight.'"
That decision proved to be disastrous as he faced Sulecki in Chicago in June of 2016.
"I took the fight - it just completely backfired on me. I tried to make the weight all last minute, I couldn't even make weight the weight. We had to pay a fine, I could rehydrate only eight or ten pounds or something like that and come fight night I was psyching myself out,'yeah man, I'm good, I'm good, I'm fine, everything's good.' Third round comes, I was completely dead. I was just zapped and I had nothing left in the tank and I can't take back a loss. It is what it is but I learned a lot from that and I haven't taken time off since."
Since that defeat he has scored a third round stoppage of Ronald Montes and last summer scored a highlight reel third round KO of Immanuwel Aleem. Now Centeno says,"I'm always on point, my weight's always low and I would love a rematch with that guy."
Sulecki is scheduled to face Daniel Jacobs on April 28th as the main event on HBO.
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.