It has been a slow year for the Charlo brothers, boxing’s identical twins in the junior middleweight division. Jermell and Jermall have competed a combined 3 times this year, a number that pales in comparison to their collected total of 10 fights in 2013.
It isn’t a completely fair criticism because they were both at different places in their career last year with Jermell on the verge of becoming a major player in the 154lb division, while Jermall was still fighting 8 round fights. They made real strides and found themselves in a more prominent position to start 2014. Jermall was even scheduled for a world title shot before his opponent, Carlos Molina, was forced to pull out over visa issues.
It was always assumed that Jermell was always the better Charlo, but Jermall closed the gap last year and displayed tremendous ability, proving he is just as capable of becoming a world champion.
Still, Jermell is closer to a world title in terms of resume, but it may come down to opportunity and circumstantial positioning. Regardless, Jermell is focused on getting his opportunity, which may find him sooner than later.
“I’m back in the gym, I’m training, I’m grinding. It’s almost like a college player coming into the NFL trying to get drafted. After the fight is over it’s almost like a re-up, you got to take your time and let your team work. I’ve been patient. I actually haven’t called my managers because I know they’re working for me. I just feel like when I get the phone call saying ‘Hey, you need to be ready on this particular day,’ I’ll be ready,” Jermell said.
It is easier for a fighter to take a laid back approach in regards to title opportunities when that fighter is handled by Al Haymon, which Jermell is. He knows that there is no need for calling out fighters because Al Haymon is more than capable of getting his fighters the best opportunity available to them.
Jermell is also one of the few fighters in the Haymon stable to have a fight contract with Golden Boy Promotions. If you combine his managerial and promotional alliances with the fact that he is highly ranked in multiple organizations then you can better understand his lack of urgency with knowing his immediate future.
“That’s why you got to have a great [manager], which I do have Al Haymon as an advisor, and I got Golden Boy Promotions, which I am signed with, I got both. It’s just a waiting period, who knows it may go to a purse bid because I am ranked number 2 in the WBO, I’m also ranked 2 in the IBF, and ranked number 3 in the WBC. Right now, I’m trying to land what I can get and I’m being patient.”
Jermell knows he has the right team behind him, but he still has aspirations of his own. One of those aspirations is a major fight with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, who defeated Charlo’s stable mate Erislandy Lara back in July. Jermell is confident that he can get the job done and exact revenge for his team.
“I’d love to get a Canelo fight, they know and everyone else knows I want that fight. I feel like I can beat Canelo. I do feel like Erislandy Lara did do what he had to do and he did beat him to me, it’s just that towards the end he made it really close and made the fight a little harder than what it was. I can outbox [Canelo] and outsmart him like I do a lot of other fighters.”
Canelo doesn’t currently hold a junior middleweight title, but both Charlo brothers have ambitions of claiming a world title. However, it is currently a tricky situation with Floyd Mayweather Jr. holding two of the four major belts (WBC and WBA) and not competing in the division, although he has gotten a special clearance by the WBC to defend both his welterweight and junior middleweight titles against Marcos Maidana in their rematch, even though they are fighting at the welterweight limit.
Jermell’s teammate, Lara, holds a portion of the WBA title, so that fight is off the table. Carlos Molina holds the IBF and is scheduled to defend it against Cornelius Bundrage, while Demetrius Andrade holds the WBO, but isn’t currently scheduled to fight.
Thaboxingvoice.com caught up with the Charlo’s trainer, Ronnie Shields, last month and he believes both brothers will have a title at 154lbs by the end of 2014 or very early 2015. Shields claimed that both Charlos will fight for a world title within two fights, but it could be next.
The question is how can both brothers claim a world title in the same division that soon if there is only one champion available? It is a fair question. They may have to wait, and they may have to wait even longer to hold titles simultaneously.
“Being at this weight and having my identical twin brother with me, I don’t care who gets the shot, either one of us. I want to showcase our talent,” Jermell said.
I believe Jermell and I’m sure he wouldn’t mind to see his brother claim a belt before he can, but Jermell is the number 2 contender for Andrade’s WBO title and he may get the shot before his twin.
It would be an interesting fight between two highly skilled 154 pounders. Jermell is very interested in the fight and would take the opportunity without question, even though the southpaw Andrade has a growing reputation as the most avoided fighter at 154 lbs.
“I’ve faced several southpaws in my career and I’ve knocked them all out. Andrade is a tough fighter and I can’t take anything away from him, he works hard, he grinds in the gym, he’s working when he doesn’t have to on his off-season. But I like to win and my style is a winning style, it comes down to work ethic and will in a fight with him.
“I’m willing to take a chance and a risk and whoever takes the best educated risks in a fight will pull it off. Andrade is a tough fighter and I have to admit, but I want the best. No looking back and no turning nothing down.”
If Jermell wants a fight with Canelo he needs to gain some notoriety. He is already viewed as top junior middleweight and a talented fighter, but his commercial appeal is not up to par with his skill set. He would need a title and the kind of attention that comes with beating dangerous fighters. A win over Andrade would put him in a much better position because we all know that Canelo isn’t averse to fighting dangerous fights against opponents that most in his position would try to avoid.
Everyone wants a fight with Canelo, but you only get it if you’re a big money draw or a fighter that has established himself as the very best in the division (i.e. Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara). Jermell needs to position himself in that category before he can land the big fight.
It doesn’t matter if he eventually gets Canelo or a title shot against Andrade or even another belt holder because before that he needs to be back in the ring. Jermell hasn’t fought since May and he hasn’t gone more than 5 months between fights since 2011. He is heading into his 5th month without a fight.
Jermell has earned a major opportunity, but he may have to settle for a stay busy fight or risk getting a huge shot in early 2015 while dealing with the biggest layoff in his career. That may seem over dramatic and there is certainly enough time left in the year to land a major fight. As of now, Jermell isn’t scheduled to fight. That leads me to believe he won’t get his big shot this year and may have to take a step back in competition just to stay active.
“I don’t have a month, I don’t have a date, I don’t have a time, I don’t know. I’m just waiting, that’s all.”