Charlo Brothers Looking to Live up to the Hype with Title Defenses in New York
Undefeated brothers Jermall and Jermell Charlo will defend their titles this weekend at the Barclays Center in New York.
Updated: Dec. 18, 2018 • 7:25 PM ET
New York will host the Charlo brothers' title defenses this weekend.
In a boxing showcase, two world titles will be on the line this Saturday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. WBC interim middleweight champion Jermall Charlo will defend his belt against last-minute replacement challenger Matt Korobov, while Charlo’s identical twin brother Jermell will defend his WBC junior middleweight title against Tony Harrison. Both brothers are undefeated and have been hyped as the next wave of multiple-division champions.
Jermall (27-0, 21 KOs) was originally scheduled to defend against former title challenger Willie Monroe Jr., but the latter tested positive for a banned substance. Korobov, who was scheduled to fight on the undercard, willingly stepped in to challenge for another title after an unsuccessful first try in 2014 for the vacant WBO middleweight title.
Jermall feels he’s prepared for any fighter that steps in the ring on Saturday.
"I was well prepared for Willie Monroe, who is a southpaw, so there won't be that much difference facing Korobov,'' Charlo said in a press release statement on Monday via Sporting News. "There is a size difference. He's taller than Monroe, but I'll just have to adjust my game plan.
“The best fighters in the world are the ones who are able to make the best adjustments. Beating Korobov is going to make the victory that much sweeter due to this adversity. That means the celebration is going to be sweeter as well. He was fighting on the undercard, so he's prepared. But now fighting for the title in the top spot is going to make him fight harder. I love it. He's a much better opponent on paper than Willie Monroe Jr.''
The 28-year-old Jermall claimed the interim title by second-round knockout over Hugo Centeno Jr. in April, while also having key victories over Julian Williams, Austin Trout and Wilky Campfort. The Texan believes that the top fighters in the division, including Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, don’t want to fight him.
“[Alvarez] is scared. Where are you at, Cinnamon? We’ve been calling you out for a long time, so it’s about that time to show up and give the people what they wanna see,” Jermall said via Boxing Scene.
He continued, “Triple-G [Golovkin] is getting older. So the next terror in the division is what, Canelo? I’ll take him [Alvarez] first, and Triple-G can recover from what he’s been through…But we’ll see what they do next, man. We’re here to run the division.”
Since suffering his first professional loss by TKO to Andy Lee in 2014, Korobov (28-1, 14 KOs) is riding a four-fight winning streak. He won his last fight by unanimous decision over Jonathan Batista in March, but the 35-year-old Russian has not finished a fight since 2013.
Saturday’s fight will be the biggest of Korobov’s career, but he doesn’t lack experience. Korobov has a decision victory over current super middleweight champion Jose Uzcategui and defeated current undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk as an amateur.
Jermell Charlo (31-0, 15 KOs) will attempt to defend his WBC junior middleweight title for the fourth time, most recently defeating Austin Trout by majority decision in June. He’s blissful to be fighting on the same card as his brother.
“I’m excited to be fighting on the undercard and to be accompanied by my twin brother, but I’m expecting to steal the show and own the show and be the show,” Jermell said via Boxing Scene. “I’ve done that before as the co-main event. People get so focused on my fight that they forget the main event. But this time my brother’s the main event, so it’s gonna be a long night with the Charlos.”
Including Trout, Jermell has important victories over Erickson Lubin, Charles Hatley, John Jackson and Vanes Martirosyan, and he claims he’s not overlooking Saturday’s opponent.
“Everyone knows that any guy can destroy your career,” Jermell said via Premier Boxing Champions. “I’m not going to take it easy on this guy at all. He can ruin the party at any time.”
Harrison (27-2, 21 KOs) is riding a three-fight winning streak, last defeating Ishe Smith by split-decision in May. He started his career 21-0, but has suffered two losses in his last eight fights, both by TKO. The latter of the two losses was for the IBF super welterweight title to Jarret Hurd in February 2017. Should Jermell defeat Harrison, a fight between himself and Hurd is expected to take place. Harrison, a Detroit native, has other plans, as he fully intends to avenge his loss to Hurd.
“I’m going to throw the biggest monkey wrench in the world into their plans,” Harrison said via Boxing Scene. “It’s another source of motivation, but I really didn’t need any more motivation than I already have. Other than that, everything is covered on my end, so I don’t even think too much about it.”
Including Smith, Harrison has key victories over Paul Valenzuela Jr., Siarhei Rabchanka and Cecil McCalla. The 28-year-old has fought professionally since 2011 and is still looking to claim his first major title.
• The fight card can be seen on Fox and Fox Deportes at 8 p.m. ET.
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