By Peter Lim, photo courtesy of Jason Bell
On May 21 of 2016 Jermall and Jermell Charlo made boxing history by becoming the first twins to hold world titles concurrently in the same weight division. Jermall successfully defended his IBF junior middleweight title against Austin Trout and Jermell won the vacant WBC belt against John Jackson on the same card.
Jermell (30-0, 15 KOs) has since defended his title twice while Jermall (26-0, 20 KOs) vacated his belt to move up to middleweight. On Saturday Jermall will fight Hugo Centeno (26-1, 14 KOs) for the interim WBC middleweight belt. Eight sparring partners were recruited to prepare Jermall for the Centeno fight, two of whom coincidentally just happened to be … identical twins.
Meet Jason and Justin Bell, boxers with indistinguishable DNA from District Heights, Maryland.
Like the Charlos who tagged along their amateur boxer father to the gym at age 8, Jason (3-0, 1 KO) and Justin (3-0, 2 KOs) were introduced to the sweet science at an early age under somewhat similar circumstances.
“In elementary school we got in trouble for fighting on numerous occasions and our father got tired of it,” Jason Bell said. “So, when we turned 7, he put us in the boxing gym.”
Standing six feet tall, the Bell twins, 22, resemble the tall, lanky Centeno.
“Style-wise, me and my brother have a countering type of boxing style, we move a lot on our feet we’ve got long arms and a long left like Hugo,” Jason Bell said.
The Bells had about 50 amateur fights each before turning pro last year. Despite only a five-year age difference between the two sets of twins, the Charlos have more world title fights under their belt, than the Bells have total fights.
“Before we even came out there (to Houston) for sparring, me and my brother used to look to them since they were twins just like us,” Jason said. “It was good motivation. We were stoked.”
“We benefitted a lot. Jermall is one of the top dudes at 160. We fight at 168 but in the future, we’re looking to go down to 160 so to get that type of spar work at 3-0 with that type of professional in his prime at the top level was great exposure.”
Asked to predict the outcome to Charlo-Centeno, Jason responded: “Centeno’s defense gets kind of loose when he tries to box. If Jermall catches him clean, which I know he will, he’ll knock him out. I’d say it’ll be in the fifth or sixth round.”
In yet another coincidence, the Bells’ uncle Rueben Bell (13-2, 10 KOs) coached in the 90s by Ronnie Shields, Jermall’s current and Jermell’s former trainer. Rueben Bell’s two losses came at the hands of world titleholders Simon Brown and Paul Vaden. His career was cut short when he was shot to death in 1998. At trial, Rueben Bell’s killer was found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity.
Like the Charlo twins and the Klitschko brothers, Jason and Justin Bell have vowed never face each other in the squared circle.
“We’ll never fight unless somebody offers us like a billion dollars or something,” Bell said. “And we’d probably go in there, hit each other at the same time and fake fall for a double knockout and shock the world.”
See prediction for Charlo-Centeno at: http://peterliminator.blogspot.com/2018/04/jermall-charlo-vs-hugo-centeno-jr.html