On November 25th in Las Vegas, undefeated Jermall Charlo (32-0) will make his long-awaited return to the boxing ring when he takes on Jose Benavidez, Jr. in a non-title, 10-round bout. The WBC middleweight champion gave an interview to Bloody Elbow where he discussed the overblown rumors that he and twin brother Jermell are on the outs, what he thinks of crossover boxing, what he worked on in his time away, and more.
When it comes to extended layoffs, a net positive that can be taken from them is that there’s plenty of time to rest, recuperate, and get mentally prepared. And for Jermall Charlo, that time away was what he needed to work on family connections. Here’s what he said when asked what the most significant self-improvement he made:
“Time with my family, time with my kids. I’m learning my kids’ personalities. I’ve been boxing for a
while, and I have a 14-year-old, and I never really get a chance to sit down and talk with him and
write him letters and tell him how much his daddy is a part of him.
Those things were tearing me apart. I just was just so focused on myself and my career that I felt selfish. I’ve got a chance to get myself back together and care about my family and care about my brother and let things that are past go and focus on what’s better for me.”
Jermall Charlo and boxing busybodies
People in the boxing community have been chattering about the fallout between the twins for months now, but Jermall says they are blowing it out of proportion and that it isn’t as bad as some are painting it. However, some friends have shown their true colors, which seems to have been a real eye-opener for him.
“I think the media blew it up and out of proportion, because in that same time, what I was going
through with my brother… like I’m trying not to really talk about it much, but I felt the
same way about my friend Steven. He’s been around me my whole career and and I’ve
done all kinds of good things for him. It was like everyone was all with me when there were good times, but when the rain started coming, no one threw me an umbrella and I didn’t trip on it. I stood in the rain until the rain stopped and when the rain stops now, they won’t be able to borrow my umbrella.”
What’s the plan, man?
If you’re an undefeated champion and in the envied position of having options, the sky is the limit. When the conversation turned toward what weight he would ultimately like to settle on, if he wanted to unify the division, and who he’d like to face in the future, Charlo was open to unification as well as taking fights at 168, including one with Canelo Alvarez.
“Whatever happens right now, I know it’s God’s ability to get me through it. So I’m down, man.
I’ll unify the division if I have to. I really would like to unify the division before I leave, because it’s
almost like it’ll be unfinished business that’ll just rest on me. But, if I can get in a Canelo
fight, yeah. The 168 division got so high, there’s no reason I won’t stick myself
over there because there’s a lot of great fighters and a lot of great competition over there. So
I’m really thinking both.”
Why are you complaining?
Over the last several months, boxers have voiced complaints towards the sanctioning organizations with Errol Spence being one of the most vocal. Charlo says he doesn’t get why anybody is complaining, and that the economy is the real culprit.
“I don’t know what they’re complaining about. I mean, I don’t think anybody should really be complaining unless they’re homeless and everything is just in shambles. No, I don’t understand the
complaints about the commission either. I mean, they’re doing their job. The economy is f***** up
everywhere. The economy goes up and down. We all have to go through it. You’ve got to pay all your taxes, got to pay all the commissions. I mean, everybody’s trying to make money, but, boxing is boxing. You’ve just got to know how to live with it.”
With all the crossover boxing, especially since Francis Ngannou shocked the world two weeks ago with his incredible debut against lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, many previous naysayers have warmed up to it. Jermall Charlo is in the “likes-crossover-boxing” camp.
“I like the crossover boxing energy. We’ve got to give him [Francis Ngannou] credit just for stepping in. Hats off to Francis, he did great, but seeing that he’s an MMA fighter, it’s never going to be on an even playing field unless they both decide to go play basketball or something.”
How to watch Jermall Charlo vs. Jose Benavidez, Jr.
Jermall Charlo faces Jose Benavides, Jr. on November 25th in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The contest will be a 10-round, non-title fight and will serve as the co-main event. The card will be broadcast via Showtime PPV at 8pm EST / 5pm PST.
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