They aren’t fighting each other Saturday, but twins Jermall and Jermell Charlo will be vying for family bragging rights when they compete for 154-pound world titles in separate bouts on the same card.
Jermall Charlo (23-0, 18 KOs) will attempt to defend his title against former champion Austin Trout (30-2, 17 KOs), while Jermell Charlo (27-0, 12 KOs) will fight John Jackson (20-2, 15 KOs) for a vacant title as part of a 154-pound championship tripleheader at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (Showtime, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
While Jermall Charlo will be making his second defense of the title he won in September with a third-round TKO of Cornelius Bundrage, Jermell Charlo will be competing for a world championship for the first time.
The thought of both brothers returning to their hometown of Houston with 154-pound world titles has provided Jermell Charlo with extra motivation as he prepares for Jackson, who has won his last two fights since being stopped in the fifth round by former 160-pound champion Andy Lee in June 2014.
“Sibling rivalry is pretty intense, pushing each other to see who is in the best shape,” said Jermell Charlo, whose fight will precede his brother's. “It will be great performing well in front of my twin brother, who will be back in the locker room cheering me on.
“We always knew we were going to be world champions, but we never thought about it happening on the same card on the same night and making history. That makes it much more intense and raises the stakes for me. My job is to make history, so I’m going into the ring with the mindset of winning.”
“ We always knew we were going to be world champions, but we never thought about it happening on the same card on the same night and making history. That makes it much more intense and raises the stakes for me. ” Jermell Charlo, on fighting for a world title on the same night his twin brother, Jermall, defends his crown
The Charlos, who turn 26 on Thursday, last competed on the same card in March 2015, when Jermall won a unanimous decision over Michael Finley and Jermell did the same against Martirosyan in Las Vegas.
Jermell Charlo is entering his second fight with trainer Derrick James after years of working with Ronnie Shields, who continues to train both Jermall Charlo and Lara.
“It’s an honor and a blessing to be fighting on the same day and at the same time as my brother,” Jermell said. “My brother’s defending his title and so is Lara, and it’s my chance to win one. We weren’t able to conquer the same titles as stablemates with the same coach, but hopefully we’ll be blessed to do that on the night of these fights.”
Jermell isn’t known for his punching power, but he gained a sixth-round TKO of former champion Joachim Alcine in October, and seeks another stoppage against the 27-year-old Jackson, who also will be competing in his first world title fight.
“I have just as much power as my twin brother, and my twin brother is extremely strong,” Jermell said. “I can’t predict what’s going to happen, but I’m preparing myself for more than 12 rounds.
“There’s no pressure for me to get the knockout, but I think my power is underrated. At some point, I may have to stand and trade, and I’ll try to get to his chin as much as possible with cleaner shots. It would be great to get another knockout.”