WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo 30-0 (22) insists the green belt will be returning home with him after he faces Sergiy Derevyanchenko 13-2 (10) at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut on Saturday night.
“This is just the beginning for me. There have been 30 fighters who’ve tried to beat me, and all 30 failed,” Charlo said.
“We’ll get a chance to get in there and do what we do best on Saturday. The talk is cheap. We’ll see where that green belt goes on Saturday.
“I’m focused and locked in. I’m ready to fight. Sergiy can say what he wants to say about me; it will be a fight on Saturday.
“This is like the Super Bowl for us. We’re always ready to fight. This is what we do, and this is what we prepare ourselves for. We’re true warriors.
“Derevyanchenko is looking past me. His trainer and his whole camp, they’re all looking past me. They’re going to find out what they’re in for on Saturday.
“I’m the best in the world. On Saturday night, everyone will get a chance to see it live on Showtime PPV.”
Derevyanchenko has twice fought for versions of the world titles and come up short. Two years ago he faced Daniel Jacobs for the vacant IBF middleweight strap, losing by split decision. Last October he lost a close and competitive decision to Gennadiy Golovkin for the same belt.
In both of his losses he was on the canvas in the opening round.
“The green colour of the WBC belt suits me. I want that green belt. I’ve fought twice for the title and I’m more ready than ever for the third time,” Derevyanchenko said.
“I was happy to have the break after the Gennadiy Golovkin fight. I got a good rest. I’m relaxed, and when I came back to the United States, I was ready to train, and now I’m prepared to fight. It all helped me.
“Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs were tough fights, they were both close fights, and I think those experiences helped me. I’ll show it in the ring on Saturday.
“I’m going to put pressure on him from the beginning. I’m going to use my legs, my jab, and combinations to get the win.
“We always train hard, and we have great sparring partners to prepare us. They’ve shown me what he’s going to bring to the ring. Now we have to take our strategy and use it in the ring on Saturday.
“This is a big fight. When I win, even more opportunities will open up. I’ll be able to unify and take my career to the next level.”
Charlo is coming off a December win over Australian-based Irishman Dennis Hogan in seven rounds.
The 30-year-old Texan won his first world title at junior middleweight when he stopped Cornelius Bundrage in three frames for the IBF strap in 2015. Bundrage was down four times in the fight.
Charlo also holds a fifth-round knockout win over Julian Williams, dropping him three times in the fight before moving up to the 160-pound division.