The last time Jermell Charlo allowed one of his fights to reach the scorecards, he suffered the lone loss of his 12-year, 34-fight pro career.
That debatable defeat to Tony Harrison is why the WBC super welterweight champion is extremely motivated to continue taking matters into his own hands September 26. The Houston native doesn’t want three judges to determine the outcome of his high-stakes, 154-pound title unification fight against Jeison Rosario.
“I don’t want the judges to make the decision for me,” Charlo told Premier Boxing Champions’ Ray Flores during a virtual workout Tuesday. “I wanna be the one that fight this fight, and I wanna win. And whatever I have to do – if I defeat him in 12, I defeat him in 12. But that’s not what I’m looking for. Obviously, every setup punch is a knockout punch. Every time he make a mistake, I’m trying to make him pay. So, if that’s the case, I’ve gotta give you what you want. I’m going for what I go for. But I can’t speak on it like that because it’s not right. That’s not how I do. I don’t predict the fight. I am the fighter.”
Charlo (33-1, 17 KOs) avenged his 12-round, unanimous-decision defeat to Harrison in December 2018 by knocking out Detroit’s Harrison (28-3, 21 KOs) in the 11th round of their rematch December 21 at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California. In the bout between his two fights versus Harrison, Charlo knocked out Mexico’s Jorge Cota (30-4, 27 KOs) in the third round.
“I told y’all after that press conference,” Charlo said of the immediate aftermath of his loss to Harrison, “and everybody seen me spread my passion all around that place, they say, ‘He a little crybaby.’ Nah, nah, nah. I’m passionate about this thing. And I told them that they gave me jet fuel. So, when I come back, I’m coming back full throttle. Then I’m done with it, and that’s what I’m about.
“I’m about giving them what they expect from me. I’ve been doubted from – I mean, I’ve even been doubted from family before. So, right now, my back, hey look, I got nothing to lose. But he got everything to try to gain. I ain’t fittin’ to let him come take nothing over me. It’s gonna be a fight. It’s gonna be a war. He said a war, hey, you know, I’m America army. I’m the military of America.”
Charlo is listed as a 4-1 favorite over the Dominican Republic’s Rosario (20-1-1, 14 KOs), who upset Julian Williams (27-2-1, 16 KOs, 1 NC) by fifth-round technical knockout to win the IBF, IBO and WBA 154-pound crowns January 18 at Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, Williams’ hometown.
Charlo, 30, and Rosario, 25, will fight for Rosario’s IBF and WBA belts, in addition to Charlo’s championship. Their 12-round bout will headline Showtime Pay-Per-View’s six-fight event a week from Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Charlo’s twin brother, Jermall Charlo, and Sergiy Derevyanchenko will meet in what’s being billed as the first main event of the night. Jermall Charlo (30-0, 22 KOs) and Ukraine’s Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KOs) will fight for Charlo’s WBC middleweight title in the first main event of two three-bout blocks of fights (7 p.m. ET; 4 p.m. PT).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.