Middleweight Jermall Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) is looking forward to showcasing his talent this Saturday night, November 25th, when he comes out of an extended hibernation to take on Jose Benavidez Jr. (28-2-1, 19 KOs) on a ten round fight on Showtime PPV at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas.
(Photo credit: Andrew Hemingway/SHOWTIME®)
Jermall can’t wait to put a hurting on Benavidez Jr. and pit on a show for the many boxing fans that will be there live at the Michelob Ultra Arena and those watching from home on Showtime pay-per-view.
Benavidez Jr. wanted Jermall’s WBC middleweight title to be available for the fight, but he’s been out of the ring for two and a half years, and he didn’t want to put his body through the torture of making the 160-lb limit.
Moreover, Benavidez Jr. isn’t ranked in the top 15 by any of the four sanctioning bodies at middleweight, and Jermall would taken a lot of heat if he’d defended his WBC 160-lb title against a non-contender when there have been a guy like Carlos Adames, who have been waiting for his title shot for 2.5 years.
Charlo wants to see Benavidez back up his tough talk
Jermall Charlo: “Everything that Showtime has done for me. All of my fights have been on Showtime, and we have to accept the fact that Showtime won’t be showing boxing anymore. This is one of the last episodes. I get the chance to bless you guys with my skills and my talent,” said Jermall on Brian Custer’s YouTube channel.
“As far as the opponent goes, it was only right me stepping away from the ring for two years, come back, and not take him lightly. I’m not saying it’s a tune-up or anything of that nature, but it’s me coming back and letting you guys see me fighting someone that’s hungry, someone coming off a good outing, and the brother to the main event. So why not put me in there and let me show that I’m capable of doing what I normally do?”
Brian Custer: “He [Jose Benavidez Jr] released a statement, ‘I’m ready to take him out.’ Your response to that.”
Jermall: “Talk is cheap. We’ll see when we get in there. I’ve been away from the ring to get myself better. I’ve got way better. Just let him talk. When we get in there, we’ll see.”
Custer: “It’s a non-title fight; it’s not at 160 or at 168 where a lot of people assume that you’re going to end up anyway. Why not at 160?”
Jermall: “I guess the handlers. I let everyone do their thing. I’m not picking the weight, picking the opponent. I’m going in there short term. No big, crazy camp preparing for this guy [Benavidez Jr.]. We’re going to go in there and fight and get it going.
Jermall not concerned about ring rust
Custer: “You have seen what happened to your brother. You have seen what happened to Errol Spence Jr. after a long layoff, and both of them had a year and a half away from the ring. Both of them said after the fight, ‘Yeah, that ring-rust was real.
“Any concerns that ring-rust will be an issue, considering you’ve been away for two and a half years?”
Jermall: “I don’t want to say a concern. A factor, maybe. It’s part of the game. I’m not making any excuses covering for my brother or Errol Spence, whatever the nature, but it’s boxing. We get in there, and we do what we have to do.
“I’m not necessarily worried about what’s going on. I’ve been training hard. I’ve been all around the world, training, and getting myself better. It shouldn’t be any ring rust. Maybe to get back into the feel of things, but I guess you can knock that off with sparring and those natures. I should be alright.”
Custer: “You are boxing’s current longest-reigning champion. You’ve had that [WBC] middleweight title since 2019. You’ve defended it four times in that nearly five-year span. You’re back; it’s a non-title fight, not at the 160 limit.
“So many people have written it, so many people have said it. ‘Jermall Charlo should have been stripped of that title a long time ago.’ What does Jermall Charlo say?”
Jermall: “Favor isn’t fair. What can I say? I got better. Did y’all want to see me fight when I wasn’t at my peak, or did y’all want to see the champion fight for everything that he built? They [WBC] could have [stripped him], and I would have gone and got it back.
“I’m not saying it in a way to nitpick at anybody, but there are still some champions out there, some fighters that we could still fight and even make more. The future is here, and I’m here to bring it. The title is just a trophy. I’m here for my legacy. I’m here for longevity. Me and my twin brother [Jermell] fight for our life and our lifestyle, and we’re ready.”
The ring rust should worry Jermall at least a little bit because that’s a long time to be out of the ring since his last title defense in 2021, and he looked physically worn from that period.
Benavidez Jr. will need to make adjustments
“You’ll be able to see on November 25th what I’ve been working on, and what my life consists of. Me being a world champion that I am, I’ll get a chance to defend the title soon,” said Jermall Charlo to Fox 26 Houston.
“I use it as fuel. Benavidez, he has a lot to say. So when we get in the ring, he’ll have to make the best adjustment to beat someone like me. Boxing is my life, and this is something I put my life on the line for. We’ll see once we get in there.
“One thing I did this time around is I went back to the roots. Ronnie Shields has been training me since I was a kid. I pretty much got my old team back.
“I’m still world champion at 160. So, I still have unfinished business to take care of at 160. I’m feeling good, feeling strong, I’m feeling fast, and I’m back,” said Charlo.