The undefeated World Middleweight Champ is primed to take over the 160-pound division as he meets Dennis Hogan Saturday night on SHOWTIME.
It’s been 11 years since Jermall Charlo turned pro.
Seems like only yesterday that he, and younger twin Jermell, ushered in a new era of American boxing stars. Names like Deontay Wilder, Errol Spence Jr., Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, Leo Santa Cruz and more, developed into world champions during the decade.
The Charlo brothers were powerful, skilled and athletic, with a seek and destroy mentality in the ring. Both won titles at super welterweight.
Today, Jermall is a two-division champion. This Saturday, December 7, he defends his WBC World Middleweight title versus Dennis Hogan at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
Charlo (29-0, 21 KOs) is accomplished, unsatisfied and motivated. His daughter, Journi, was born several days ago, just in time to witness her father defend his 160-pound belt a second time. But more than anything, the 29-year-old Houston, Texas product is driven to succeed.
“As I grow you guys are going to be saying what a legacy I have and what it means to me,” Charlo said during Tuesday’s media conference call. “I'm young. I'm still learning. I'm still having fun. I'm enjoying my job and I'm continuing to win. So, it's obvious when I say legacy that I mean my whole career and to make a statement in my career is to get to the biggest fights and to capture the world titles that I'm presented with.”
Those big fights have eluded Charlo since his move to middleweight in April 2018. That wasn’t the case at 154 pounds, where he quickly established himself as the man. In 2015, Charlo stopped veteran Cornelius Bundrage to win the IBF world title. In May 2016, he won a unanimous decision over former world champion Austin Trout.
Then in December, Charlo’s run at super welterweight concluded with a highlight-reel knockout of current unified 154-pound world champion, Julian Williams.
Charlo is still in search of a signature win at middleweight. Following a string of knockouts that made him one of the sport’s most feared punchers, he’s gone the distance in his last two bouts.
Naturally, fight fans are antsy. “What Have You Done For Me Lately” is as much their mantra as it is a Janet Jackson record.
“ I'm going to deliver something explosive. Something that Dennis Hogan is going to remember for the rest of his life. ” Undefeated World Middleweight Champion - Jermall Charlo
“This is not something that's overnight, so like throughout the term of my career I'm enjoying the fact that you can get your ups and your downs and I can't knock everybody out,” Charlo explained during Tuesday’s media conference call. “Some people have got great game plans.”
The champ may be one of them. As a new decade descends on boxing, so too have a new set of challengers, creating a path for Charlo to create the legacy he desires. A fight against former world champion Sergey Derevyanchenko is a possibility in 2020. Perhaps a rematch with the rejuvenated Williams; maybe a showdown versus Jarrett Hurd. He could also rise to super middleweight and face undefeated world champions Caleb Plant or David Benavidez.
Two other options, Chris Eubank Jr. and Matt Korobov, will square off in Saturday’s co-feature. Korobov wants a rematch with Charlo after losing a close decision to him last December—a bout Korobov believes he won.
His opponent, phlegmatic, assertive Brit Eubank Jr. will be making be U.S. debut and has repeatedly called Charlo out.
“I see him talking and saying everything that he was saying,” Charlo said. “It doesn't matter. He wanted to talk himself into a fight with me or someone bigger because he is running out of time. Like he ran out of gas, he is going to run out of time and before you know it, I'm going to be right there in his face.”
Charlo vs. Eubank, if Eubank beats Korobov, or Charlo versus any of those names would be among the biggest fights of 2020.
First, he must get past Hogan. Last April, Hogan (28-2-1, 7 KOs) lost a close majority decision to 154-pound titlist Jaime Munguia in the champ’s native Mexico. The Irishman is well-schooled and unafraid of engaging in close quarters.
The matchup should make for an exciting fight. Charlo wants to end it in style and enter the next decade as the man at 160.
“I'm going to deliver something explosive,” said Charlo. “Something that Dennis Hogan is going to remember for the rest of his life. I promise to give my fans a better Jermall Charlo, the best Jermall Charlo that there is.”
For a closer look at Jermall Charlo, check out his fighter page.