The last man who dared enter the ring against Jermall Charlo did so with a championship in hand and an abundance of confidence. Less than four rounds later, said man exited the ring with neither his title nor much of his dignity.
Wilky Campfort (21-1, 12 KOs) will try to avoid a similar fate when he trades punches with the undefeated Charlo (22-0, 17 KOs) on November 28 at The Bomb Factory in Dallas. It will be Charlo’s first defense of the 154-pound championship he won with a spectacular third-round TKO of Cornelius Bundrage on September 12.
The scheduled 12-round bout headlines a Premier Boxing Champions card (NBC, 3 p.m. ET/noon PT) that will also feature undefeated 147-pound contender and Dallas native Errol Spence Jr. (18-0, 15 KOs) against Alejandro Barrera (28-2, 18 KOs) in another 12-rounder.
Jermall Charlo, 25, will be returning to action just 10 weeks after dismantling Bundrage at Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, Connecticut. After scoring knockdowns in each of the first two rounds, the 6-foot Charlo dropped Bundrage twice more in the third. That’s when referee Johnny Callas halted the action, giving Charlo his first world title and his 15th stoppage in his past 16 fights going back to August 2010.
The only fighter to go the distance with Charlo in the last five-plus years was Michael Finney, who made it to the wire in a 10-round contest on March 28 in Las Vegas, only to get shut out on all three judges’ cards.
“I haven’t stepped out of the gym since I won the title,” Charlo said. “You get the title, you defend it. That’s the motto. I know Campfort is hungry and at the top of his game, but I’ve been training just as hard, if not harder, to defend my title.
“It took everything I have to get here, and it’s going to take everything I have to remain here.”
Campfort knows a little something about knockout victories himself. Six days after Charlo blasted Bundrage, Campfort rose from a first-round knockdown against Ronald Montes, then sent Montes to the canvas three times in the second en route to a TKO win on a PBC card in Winter Park, Florida.
The 31-year-old Campfort has stopped his last two opponents, three of his last four and seven of his last 10. A native of Haiti now living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Campfort has won 20 consecutive fights since losing a four-round majority decision to Manny Woods in September 2009 in just his second pro contest.
“I am ready to fight,” Campfort said. “I am not in this business to run. I’m not afraid of anybody. I’m coming to win a world title and achieve my dream. “Charlo better not underestimate me, because I have only victory on my mind.”
“ It took everything I have to get here, and it’s going to take everything I have to remain here. ” Jermall Charlo
Spence continued the perfect start to his career on September 11 when he dominated Chris van Heerden in an eighth-round TKO in Toronto. It was the 25-year-old’s third TKO victory of 2015—he also defeated Phil Lo Greco in June and Samuel Vargas in April—and his fifth consecutive stoppage dating to September 2014.
Spence will seek to extend that streak against Barrera, a native of Mexico who has never been stopped in his pro career. Barrera will be fighting for the second time in six weeks, having just won a 10-round split decision over Jose De Jesus Macias on October 10 in Monterey, Mexico.
It was the third consecutive victory for Barrera, who not only will be fighting on Spence’s home turf but will be working outside of Mexico for the first time in his career.
“This is a great opportunity to showcase my skills on a big stage,” Barrera says. “I am always in great shape, and I plan on giving the fans a great fight. November 28 I will announce myself to the world with a great performance.”
Says Spence: “I’m excited for another opportunity to prove that I’m the real deal and I’m ready for any guy that’s put in front of me. This will be my first time fighting in my hometown, and I’m ready to put on a show for Dallas. November 28, it’s going to be another man down.”