LAS VEGAS – Jermell Charlo calmly stated Wednesday during their final press conference that this will be his first of two fights with Canelo Alvarez.
It was Charlo’s nonchalant way of predicting what would amount to a significant upset Saturday night in their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event at T-Mobile Arena. Mexico’s Alvarez has an immediate rematch clause in his contract, which would protect the four-division champion in the event Charlo beats him in their 12-round fight for Alvarez’s IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO super middleweight titles.
As the “A” side of their event, Alvarez wouldn’t owe Charlo a rematch if the favored fighter defeats the undisputed 154-pound champion.
A confident Charlo made it clear that he won’t waste the biggest opportunity of his 15-year professional career.
“Training camp was tough,” Charlo said when it was his turn at the podium inside a ballroom at MGM Grand. “Training camp was really hard. I had to focus in a lot different. Canelo is a different type of fighter that you just don’t, you know, take for granted. He’s done everything in the sport of boxing. He has nothing to prove, but everything to gain to me. And so, with that being said, I have so much on my plate. And in order for me to continue this legacy at its finest, I have to be well-equipped with every tool that come in the box.
“And so, with that, I know for a fact that the fans win Saturday night. We put on a hell of a performance and you’ll see us back again for a rematch, because I’m leaving no [stone unturned]. This is my moment. I’mma enjoy it. I represent the Charlos, man. I’m one of them Charlos twins. I’m one of them ‘Lions Only’ guys. Yeah, we said a lotta things, and we backed it up. Or, I know I have. And so, it is what it is.”
By beating Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KOs), the 33-year-old Charlo can become just the second male boxer in the four-belt era to fully unify titles in two divisions. Terence Crawford, who owns the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO welterweight titles, is the only male champion to accomplish that feat.
Mexico’s Alvarez, who is the same age as Charlo, is 7-0, including four knockouts, in fights contested at the super middleweight limit of 168 pounds.
Houston’s Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs), who has not weighed in at more than 155¾ pounds for a professional fight, has moved up two divisions and will make his debut as a super middleweight. Charlo also will end a 16-month layoff against Alvarez, which was primarily caused by the two fractures he suffered in his left hand nine months ago.
DraftKings sportsbook lists Alvarez as slightly more than a 4-1 favorite to win the main event of Showtime’s four-fight telecast, which is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. EDT and costs $84.99.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.