If he was 300 miles to the north, Jermell Charlo could be riding in the Tour de France.
Well, the Tour de Paris, Texas, anyway.
Following his impressive 10-round win over Vanes Martirosyan in Las Vegas in March, the undefeated Charlo nonetheless started making big changes to get ready for his bout against Joachim Alcine on October 31 at NRG Arena in Houston (NBCSN, 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT)—changes in his trainer and to his training regimen.
Charlo left longtime coach Ronnie Shields to work with Derrick James, who also trains 147-pound contender Errol Spence Jr. In the process, Charlo added cycling to his routine as a major component of his cardio training.
“I made a big switch,” Charlo said. “I’m here in Houston, going back and forth to Dallas, getting the best work I can get. It’s been good.
"[Cycling] has been one of the best things that’s changed for me. I had lower-back pain the whole time I was with Ronnie Shields. In making my change, I decided to start doing these other cardio things. Now I can go longer.”
That’s not the only big change Charlo has made in camp. Typically, he would train and spar with his twin brother, Jermall, when they were both working under Shields. Before Jermall’s fight with Cornelius Bundradge in September, though, Jermell wasn’t in Jermall’s camp.
Now it's Jermell's turn to go through camp without his sibling. For two brothers who grew up playing sports together and pushing each other, the experience has been somewhat unusual.
“It does feel a little weird, but it’s something I have to get used to,” Jermell Charlo said. “I see him outside of boxing. I was trying to train myself, and I was trying to get my situation stable. I'm at a great position to be able to be there for his next camp.”
The fact that Charlo has been splitting his training time between Houston and Dallas hasn’t made it easy for his brother to be there during sparring. To that end, Charlo has been using a plethora of different fighters to help get him ready to take on Alcine, a former 154-pound titleholder.
“I’ve been sparring some undefeated fighters,” Charlo said. “When I go out there and spar these other guys, it’s almost like they know my stats and they know my record, and they’re like 'Oh, we got to put up.' They give it their all.”
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