By: Sean Crose
It’s really all about family these days,” says Jermall Charlo in the leadup to his December 7th bout against Dennis Hogan at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. “I’m fighting even harder for my family now. I feel like I’m on cloud nine and on top of the world right now. We’ve been ready for the arrival of my daughter and I’m so happy she’s here in time to see her father fight on December 7.” The WBC middleweight champion, new dad, and twin brother of successful fighter Jermell Charlo, will be making the second defense of his title, which he won by besting Matvey Korobov last year.
One thing Charlo likes to make clear is that he aims to be exciting in the ring. “You hear fighters say that they’re not going for the knockout, but I am,” the 29-0 titlist says. “If I hit Hogan with something flush, he’s going to sleep. I’m in shape. I’m strong. I’m going for the knockout if it’s there. If he thinks he can bully me, then I’ll show him he made a big mistake. I’m back where I want to be. It took me a little while to fill out into a true middleweight, but I’m here now.”
Hogan, of course, has plans of his own for next Saturday night. At 28-2-1, the Australian – by way of Ireland – gave Jaime Munguia all Munguia could ask for when they met last April. In fact, it’s arguable that Munguia got a gift with his decision win. Still, Charlo says he’s prepared. “I know everything about Hogan,” he says. “I know he’s been in Florida thinking that he’s getting ready for me. He has no idea. He’s a small slugger who’s got to worry about his weight, but I’m going sit right there and fight with Hogan. I’m not going anywhere. My mind is sharper than his also, but if he wants to make it a brawl, I’m ready.”
Charlo is also ready – and eager – to once again ply his trade at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. “Everybody in Brooklyn knows when we come there, we come to shut it down,” he says. “We’re bringing the heat! I love Barclays Center and I’m glad to be back fighting where I’m extremely comfortable. That’s my house in Brooklyn and everyone there is going to get a chance to see that I’m back for real.”
Although many people focus on eating and celebrating around Thanksgiving, Charlo is of another vein. “I haven’t had a fight away from Thanksgiving in years, so I’m just totally used to it at this point,” the titlist said. “My personal chef is going to cook me exactly what I need to enjoy the holidays with my family.” Winning at a championship level, after all, requires discipline.
Charlo-Hogan will be aired live on Showtime as part of a card that includes Chris Eubank Jr, the aforementioned Korobov, Ryosuke Iwasa, and Marlon Tapales. The broadcast will begin at 9 PM, Eastern Standard Time.