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Jermell Charlo promises to be at his best against Jeison Rosario on September 26

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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WBC junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo 33-1 (17) is ready to stamp his claim as the best fighter in his division when he takes on WBA and IBF 154-pound champion Jeison Rosario 20-1-1 (14) at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut on September 26.

The 30-year-old Texan will co-headline a card that will also feature his twin brother Jermall Charlo 30-0 (22) defending his WBC middleweight title against tough Ukrainian Sergiy Derevyanchenko 13-2 (10).

“I’m excited, and I’m ready for September 26,” Charlo said. “This is the time to prevail and for my brother and me to be the Charlo twins. It’s time to be the best Jermell Charlo.

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“My brother and I have come so far together. It’s not just in boxing, but everything in our lives. We’re proof that all you have to do is keep pushing and trying. September 26 is the day that I have to make all of the time I put into this sport worth it.

“Fighting on Showtime pay-per-view is impressive. This is the one. We have a hard fight, and that’s all we ever wanted. This is a great challenge for us to overcome.

“This is a different kind of media day, but the real fight will be different also. When you’re a real champion, you make those adjustments. I’m used to fighting in front of a massive crowd, so it’s imperative to show that we’re giving our all every day for our fans.

“I used the pandemic to invest in myself and created a gym in my home. I’ve been getting in shape since it started. For this fight to be here in a week, I’m just more than prepared for it. I’m on weight, and I’m hitting hard.

“I bounced back from that loss in 2018 last year, but there were still things I needed to learn and develop. We’re going to end 2020 with a bang. This is the Charlo show on Showtime.”

The 25-year-old Rosario of the Dominican Republic, fighting out of Miami, Florida, shocked the boxing world when he stopped Julian ‘J-Rock’ Williams in five rounds in January to claim two of the four major world titles.

Williams himself was coming off an upset 12-round decision win over Jarrett Hurd in May last year.

Charlo’s trainer Derrick James knows how dangerous this fight is for his charge.

“The focus of Jermell is higher than ever because of the magnitude of this fight,” James said. “The opponent himself and what’s at stake. He was already in great shape when we got to camp. So we’ve just built off of that from the start.

“We’re building off of the last fight. We’re reconstructing some things, and he’s looking excellent. He’s got his mind right, and he knows that what we’re working on will help him in the fight.

“From the first time I started training Jermell, he wanted to be in this position. This is the opportunity of a lifetime. He wants all the belts, so it’s beautiful to see his dreams manifest. It’ll all come together on September 26.

“I like a smaller close camp anyway, so there haven’t been any problems with training during the pandemic. We’ve been able to keep a significant focus throughout.

“Jermell is feeling good. His disposition has been great. Not too serious but very focused. It’s been amazing. People always say they’ve had the best training camp, but this is one I’ve loved.

“I expect Rosario to be very dangerous. He’s a big puncher, and he has a lot of aggression, but at the same time, he’s got great boxing skills. He’s a complete fighter. He has to be the best Jermell Charlo and I know that this type of opposition brings that out of him.”

Charlo picked up the vacant WBC strap against John Jackson in 2016 and defended it three times against Charles Hatley, Erickson Lubin and Austin Trout before losing a close decision to Tony Harrison two years ago.

He reversed that result with an 11th round knockout in another competitive fight last December to regain the belt.

“All I’m doing is continuing to grow as an individual every day. We have to set our minds the right way and know how to roll with the punches,” Charlo said.

“I’ve taken it upon myself to be even more dedicated and focused. Every time I feel pain, I think about all the other boxers out there pushing through pain. Now you see where we’re at because of it.

“I ended my last fight in the 11th round, so I’ve been able to finish in the later rounds. Everyone knows I can complete the fight early too.

“Rosario got his chance and won the titles, but I always felt I was the best fighter in the division. When I’m at my best, I don’t see anyone that can compete with me. I always wanted all the belts, and I knew I was going to have to take them from somebody.

“After I lost in 2018, I told everyone that it just gave me jet fuel and that when I come back, I’m coming back full throttle. That’s what I’m about. I have nothing to lose. I’m not letting him take anything from me.

“I’m even more dangerous than I was before. I’m an old school fighter right here. I’ve been dedicated to this game, and I’m not going anywhere.

“Stay out of my way, because I’m the man trucking things.”

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