By Jake Donovan
Six months after finally headlining his first major primetime show, Jermall Charlo is now officially set for a long overdue homecoming.
The unbeaten former super welterweight titlist serves as the star attraction in his Houston (Tex.) hometown, as he faces Brandon Adams atop the June 29 edition of Showtime Championship Boxing live from the NRG Arena.
"Thus far camp has been great. I feel awesome and I'm well prepared. It's an amazing feeling to be fighting in my hometown,” noted Charlo (28-0, 21KOs), who fights in Houston for the first time in more than seven years. “It's almost a dream come true to me. To have my own card at this level and on this stage, it shows the support Houston has for me."
Charlo and his twin brother Jermell—who faces Tony Harrison six days prior in their super welterweight title fight rematch in Las Vegas—have long served in supporting capacity on Showtime and other Premier Boxing Champions (PBC)- branded events. That changed last December when they co-headlined a primetime edition of PBC on Fox, live from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The show produced mixed results, with Jermell suffering a controversial decision defeat to Harrison in ending his title reign. Jermall at least escaped with a win, but struggling at times with late replacement Matt Korobov to remain unbeaten.
At the very least, it was the first time the spotlight was focused on the Charlos. Both get separate main events this time around, with the unbeaten twin getting his own hometown showcase versus Adams (21-2, 13KOs), a veteran contender from California whom claimed top honors in the most recent season of the revamped The Contender boxing reality series.
Whom he next faced was less important to Charlo than where the fight would land. It’s been nearly four years since he’s fought anywhere in Texas—having defended his 154-pound title in a 4th round knockout of Wilky Campfort in a Nov. 2015 matinee edition of the now-defunct PBC on NBC series which took place in Dallas.
Dallas isn’t quite Houston, nor is anywhere else Charlo has fought for the past seven years.
"I get a lot of juice from the hometown crowd,” notes the unbeaten middleweight contender, who defends an interim title versus Adams. “Just having my family there alone is what I really need to get the nerves and excitement to where I need them. I'm going to be comfortable and I'm going to stick to my game plan. I'm not here to make mistakes.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox