Jermell Charlo was never pressed about landing a fight of the magnitude that is now on the horizon.
The undisputed junior middleweight king is in the final stages of his September 30 challenge of fully unified super middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. A two-weight division leap was necessary to make the fight happen, though Charlo insisted there was no better time than the present for the fight—not even when they shared the same division nearly a decade ago.
“When you got the right people operating the system and handling the business on the other end, it always makes it the right moment,” Charlo told co-hosts Ray Flores and WWE wrestling legend Booker T during a virtual media workout Monday in Houston. “Now is the right moment. We’re both 33 years old. We’re at our prime, at our best, our fastest, our strongest.
“Canelo is coming to bounce back from anything people are doubting him. I’m coming to put on, shake the doubters off, and show the world why I was put into this position.”
Charlo (35-1-1, 19KOs) has not fought since his tenth-round knockout of Brian Castano to fully unify the junior middleweight division last May 14 in Carson, California.
A hand injury prevented him from a planned January 28 championship defense versus WBO mandatory challenger Tim Tszyu. The delay and eventual cancellation in making that fight has come at a cost. Charlo will be stripped of his WBO 154-pound title literally the moment he enters the ring for his forthcoming Showtime Pay-Per-View main event versus Guadalajara’s Alvarez (59-2-2, 39KOs).
That is the price that Charlo was willing to pay in a bid to become a two-division undisputed champion.
Not even when both held junior middleweight titles in 2016—Charlo just won the WBC belt while Alvarez returned for one fight to claim the WBO title—did the timing feel right for that fight. Only after Charlo proved to be the class of the junior middleweight division and Alvarez was on the hunt for a September opponent did the stars appear to be aligned for this superfight.
“It’s not just by coincidence that I got here and I made it this far,” stated Charlo. “Now it’s my turn, it’s my chance to shine. I’ve been doing what I have to do for the world. Now it’s my time to really, really, really show what I’m made of.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox