By Keith Idec
Jermell Charlo doesn’t think Charles Hatley has faced good enough opposition to have prepared him better than Charlo for their upcoming title fight.
Houston’s Charlo (28-0, 13 KOs) has beaten longtime contender Vanes Martirosyan, a past-his-prime Joachim Alcine and John Jackson in his past three fights. Charlo won the then-vacant WBC world super welterweight title in his last fight, in which he knocked out Jackson in the eighth round May 21 at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
The biggest victory of Hatley’s career came in the Dallas native’s last fight. Hatley (26-1-1, 18 KOs) knocked out former 154-pound and 168-pound champion Anthony Mundine, but Mundine (47-8, 27 KOs, 1 NC) was 40 when they fought in November 2015 in Melbourne, Australia.
The 31-year-old Hatley also suffered a first-round technical knockout loss to Lanardo Tyner (32-10-2, 20 KOs, 2 NC) in August 2012 in Hatley’s hometown of Dallas. Charlo, who’s favored to win their April 22 fight in Brooklyn, still didn’t dismiss Hatley’s chances in their 12-round fight at Barclays Center.
“I give everybody a chance,” Charlo said during a conference call Wednesday. “There’s nothing to overlook. He’s never fought anywhere near the competition I’ve fought as a professional. What’s done in the amateurs, that book is closed. I’m a different individual. I’m a stronger fighter, smarter fighter, fast fighter. He knows what he has in front of him.
“So it’s really about me getting in there, doing what I have to do and being at my best doing it. I don’t care about who he fought, who he’s sparred, who he stopped, who stopped him. None of that matters to me. Every opponent, every victim has a different way of coming at you. So we’ve all got our different DNA, and this is one thing.”
Hatley has won nine straight fights since Tyner stopped him in their welterweight fight 4½ years ago. He is the mandatory challenger for the 26-year-old Charlo’s championship.
The Charlo-Hatley fight will be broadcast by Showtime. It’ll open a telecast that’ll include a matchup of ex-welterweight champions Shawn Porter (26-1-1, 16 KOs) and Andre Berto (34-1, 24 KOs) in the 12-round main event.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.