Jermell Charlo has been boxing’s first fully unified 154-pound champion for seven months.
His most recent bout, a 10th-round knockout of previously unbeaten Brian Castano on May 14, was one of the most fan-friendly fights of 2022. The Houston native also has avenged the lone loss on his record, a close decision defeat to Tony Harrison, by knocking out Harrison in the 11th round of their rematch.
The 32-year-old Charlo still feels he hasn’t been shown the overall level of respect he deserves. The IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO champion explained his position Tuesday during a virtual press conference to promote his fight against Tim Tszyu on January 28 in Las Vegas.
“What I possess is just undeniable,” Charlo said. “It’s just, I’m very thankful. I’m not even high-horsing me up. You know what I’m saying? I walk around like a normal person that’s very humble at the end of the day, cuz you know, we all come to fight, we all come to win. Much respect to any boxer getting in that ring. But I just know that I’m different. You know, I’m different from anybody that’s in that top pound-for-pound. You know, I don’t get the respect I deserve, and I keep that energy. You know what I mean?
“And I float that whole way through this, without me getting the respect that I deserve. That’s why I’m still in this game. I made millions of dollars in boxing, you know, multi-millions of dollars in boxing. So, we ain’t worried about that. We ain’t worried about a bunch of things. You know, what they got on they mind is completely not the same as what I got on my mind. Simple as that.”
Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs) is ranked seventh on BoxingScene.com’s pound-for-pound list. The Ring rated Charlo ninth as part of its most recent top 10.
The Richmond, Texas resident has taken exception, however, to not cracking ESPN.com’s top 10. Only six of ESPN.com’s 20 voters listed Charlo in his or her top 10 for the website’s most recent list, which was released November 9.
“I guess in the pound-for-pound, you gotta be liked, you know?,” Charlo said. “And you gotta be on the other side of the river and the road. You gotta be with certain people. You know, I fought on ESPN when I was younger, coming up in the game, and made it to pay-per-views and made it to different shows and did so many amazing things outside of boxing.
“I don’t know what you need to do. I don’t know who need to be writing this stuff. But I’m almost guaranteed just those people got a personal way that they feel about me. And I’m not here to make you happy. I got a woman to make happy. I ain’t here to making y’all happy or making no boxing reporter happy.”
Most handicappers have established Charlo as a 3-1 favorite over Tszyu (21-0, 15 KOs), who is the mandatory challenger for Charlo’s WBO junior middleweight title. Showtime will televise their 12-round, 154-pound championship match as the main event of a tripleheader January 28 from Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.