For a long time, perhaps since the first two challenges against the Kazakh Gennady Golovkin, in 2017-2018, never has an opponent raised so many concerns and questions for the Mexican Saúl “Canelo” Alvarez, unified super middleweight world champion (76,200 kg), as the who will oppose his challenger on this occasion: the American Jermell Charlo, owner of all the junior middleweight belts (69,850 kilos) and bearer of endless enigmas that make him an indecipherable and attractive rival.
Jermell, 33 years old, along with his brother Jermall – middleweight champion (WBC) in recess – is part of a pair of historic twins who wear ecumenical crowns at the same time. He became a boxing leader after his two fights against the Argentine Brian Castaño, in 2021-2022, and has not fought again since then, after having built a career of 35 victories (19 KO), one setback and a draw.
A serious injury to his left hand – key for him due to his jab – required intense physiotherapy sessions to avoid undergoing surgery, and kept him idle since May 14, 2022. And such inactivity in commitments like this could affect him.
He will assume the conversion to his new weight: 76,200 kg in a body that is 1.83 meters tall and accustomed to weighing 69,850 kg. He has plenty of “box and muscle” to settle into this new category that aesthetically will not be too big for him. You probably won’t consume all the regulatory mileage. How will he look against “Canelo”? Very good and he will be the largest, given that he is 10 centimeters longer than the Aztec. Charlo promotes a fight that corroborates the very first prominence of “Canelo” in this sports industry. A new record of collection is discounted in the majestic T-Mobile Arena that on Saturday would house close to 22,000 spectators – A massive betting movement and a favoritism for Álvarez of 4.2 to 1.
Jermell addressed himself and his feelings in his pre-match statements. He said: “People think ‘Canelo’ is the best, but I’m here to show them otherwise. I represent the underdogs, the men who come out of the mud. To the animals. I will beat him and they will shout: Charlo, Charlo! Do you understand me? My time has come and I must demonstrate by fighting everything I say by speaking. And that’s what’s difficult.”
Regarding preparation and his mentality, he added: “I am a representative of the old school of training, but I challenge those who invite you to distance yourself from the family and concentrate in solitude. Something they call: ‘the sacrifice’. I, on the other hand, rule out isolation; I train in Texas, and I’m with my family; My 11-year-old daughter talks to me about school, my 14-year-old son tells me about his friends, and I see the little one who is only two months old running around. Then this is no longer a sacrifice. Be close to them and offer them your work. Few understand what we do and talk just to talk. And that’s where my inspiration comes from. I’m going to weigh less. I am not going to consume the 76,200 kilos on the scale. These fights are won in the gym by doing the right thing, and I did. I have been fighting since I was 11 years old and I know this job very well, I have a chance in a long fight, especially in twelve rounds.”
His trainer Derric James, with a very good reputation in the United States, but with very poor work in Errol Spence’s corner, in his recent fight with Terrence Crawford, noted: “It will be historic if Jermell becomes champion of two unified world crowns at the same time. Same time. He must win for it. It will be round trip. ‘Canelo’ will want to impose his will and Charlo will have to show him all his qualities. He must be the dominant one and let the Mexican know it. He must be infallible because here you don’t take rabbits out of the hat.”
Use your legs with more speed than ever and hammer with your jab as if it were the last time. Retain your right only for safe shots and take advantage of the hesitation that “Canelo” will cause in closing distance. Maintaining emotional balance after the Guadalajara boxer’s first successes will be essential. He does not have a “gunner” before him, but the Mexican’s experience will be felt. He runs from behind. He is a treacherous challenger. To follow it carefully.
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