Home Boxing News Jermell Charlo focused on Canelo Alvarez, won’t rule out return to junior...

Jermell Charlo focused on Canelo Alvarez, won’t rule out return to junior middleweight

Jermell Charlo. Photo credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime

Undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell ‘Iron Man’ Charlo 35-1-1 (19) is looking forward to the challenge of facing fellow four-belt world champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 59-2-2 (39) for all the gold at super middleweight in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 30.

The 33-year-old Texan is making a surprise jump up two weight classes to face Mexican superstar Alvarez, also 33, after it was widely expected his twin brother and WBC middleweight champion Jermall ‘Hit Man’ Charlo 32-0 (22) would get the assignment.

At six-foot tall Jermell is a big junior middleweight but has never campaigned outside of the 154-pound weight class. The super middleweight limit is 168-pounds.

“I made history before so it feels good,” Charlo said on the Showtime Boxing telecast of the undisputed welterweight world title clash between Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

“I know that feeling — that hunger, that urge to want to make history and do something your children talk about… that’s beyond the dream. I’ve come to the point where I can be undisputed in two weight divisions. I’ve got to seize that moment and opportunity.

“I believe I’ve got the speed, I’ve got the power. I know one thing about it is Canelo, he’s strong and I feel like I probably pack a bigger punch than Canelo. That’s going to be the surprise… I’m not just a little 154-pounder when I walk around and I’m not going to struggle to make 168.

“We’re going to have a great time, training camp has been good, I’ve already been training for months.”

Charlo was scheduled to face WBO mandatory challenger Tim ‘The Soul Taker’ Tszyu 23-0 (17) from Australia in the US on January 29 but that fight was cancelled after the American injured his left hand around Christmas time last year.

The 28-year-old Sydneysider has fought twice since, knocking out the only man to defeat Charlo in Tony Harrison 29-4-1 (21) for the interim title in nine rounds back in March and following up with a one-round blowout of Mexican champion Carlos Ocampo 35-3 (23) in June.

If Charlo opts to return to junior middleweight and the WBO allows him to keep his full title, he must face Tszyu.

But Charlo insists the son of International Boxing Hall of Famer Kostya Tszyu still must do more to earn his stripes.

“I know Tim Tszyu is a challenger but he does nothing for my career,” said Charlo, who holds the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO world titles, along with the highly-regarded Ring Magazine championship.

“He still needs to build up himself and build up his career — and I’m cool with that. But I was down to fight him anyway. But we ran into the hand injury and prepared ourselves and got better and now it’s like, ‘We get an opportunity like this. We’re going to take that’.”