By Keith Idec
They might look extremely similar, but they definitely don’t fight the same way.
That’s Jermell Charlo’s take on the mistake Austin Trout and his handlers would make if they approach their fight Saturday night the same way they did Trout’s bout with his twin brother, Jermall Charlo, two years ago.
Trout gave Jermall Charlo difficulty at times, but lost a 12-round unanimous decision to him in their fight for Charlo’s IBF junior middleweight title in May 2016.
Jermell Charlo stayed away from comparing how his brother performed against Trout and how he might fare when he takes on the former WBA super welterweight champ. Those types of comparisons are among the things that’ll keep Jermell Charlo from joining his brother in the middleweight division.
“We did that for a few years already [fought in the same division] and all I hear is people saying, ‘Who’s the better fighter? Who’s the better twin? Who this and that?,’ ” Jermell Charlo told BoxingScene.com during an open workout last week in Century City, California. “My brother’s great. I’m great. And we’ll never fight each other. That’s not our objective. Our objective is never to compare each other or compare our skills. So the mistake that they’re making right now is trying to put somebody in at this complete level that we’re at right now and say, ‘OK, you had a close fight with Jermall. Now let’s face Jermell.’
“We have two opposite, different trainers. [Our] body mass is different. The whole nine yards is different with us. So I don’t necessarily believe – if they stick to the game plan, to what they did against Jermall, that’s a mistake. Now I wanna have a good time and I wanna entertain y’all guys. But if they’re going in there, thinking I’m my brother, that’s a rude awakening.”
Trout stated during a conference call last week that he feels Jermell Charlo has a better skill set than Jermall Charlo and is a faster fighter.
The New Mexico-based southpaw didn’t go as far as to say Jermell is better than Jermall, though. Trout would rather make that assessment after he meets Jermell Charlo in the ring.
Jermell Charlo prefers to avoid comparing their skills, at least publicly. The Houston native acknowledged that he and his brother often brag to one another about who’s the better boxer.
“It definitely could become a little slightly frustrating because I don’t never wanna fight my brother,” Jermell Charlo said. “You know, like today on the plane, he was like, ‘Man, I’m better than you, anyway. Shut up. Shut up.’ But that’s fine, you know? I always tell my brother that I’m better than him because that makes him strive harder and work harder. He looks good. He’s a solid fighter. And I mean, as long as he’s stylin’ and profilin’ and I’m stylin’ and profilin’, and we’re giving y’all the knockouts, you will always see the Charlos.
“Because after my fight, he gotta get ready for a fight. And after he fight – so guess who really gonna be running boxing? Y’all wanted to know who the new faces of boxing is, it’s them guys that they showing the most. We’re on TV more than Triple-G, obviously. You see what I’m saying? Because we are the Charlos. So every time my brother gets on there, I’m on there. … As long as we’re winning and we’re giving y’all dominant performances, I mean, what can I say?”
Showtime will air the 12-round battle between Charlo (30-0, 15 KOs) and Trout (31-4, 17 KOs) as the opener of a two-bout broadcast Saturday night from Staples Center in Los Angeles.
In the main event, Leo Santa Cruz (34-1-1, 19 KOs) will defend his WBA “super” featherweight title against Abner Mares (31-2-1, 15 KOs). Their 12-round rematch will headline a doubleheader set to start at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.