By Sean Crose
“I know that it’s my time to shine,” WBC middleweight champ Jermall Charlo said at a public virtual workout on Monday, “and my time to give everyone the best that I can give. I’m striving to be one of the best to ever lace up a pair of gloves.” Charlo is preparing to face off against Sergiy Derevyanchenko at the Mohegan Sun arena on Saturday, September 26th. The Pay Per View event will be aired live beginning at 7 PM Eastern Time courtesy of Showtime and Premiere Boxing Champions.
Along with Gennady Golovkin, Canelo Alvarez, and Demetrius Andrade, Charlo is considered to be at or near the top of the highly competitive middleweight division. “The fans that love me can expect me to do what I do,” he said. “The fans who don’t know about me, they’re going to see a smart, strong and athletic fighter. You’re going to see all of it in the ring on September 26.” Although lauded and talented, there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Charlo will be facing serious competition in Derevyanchenko. This is by no means a tuneup match, something Charlo is keenly aware of.
“Derevyanchenko is a come forward fighter,” said Charlo. “He’s going to bring a lot of power and speed with good technical skills.” Yet the defending champion is confident he will step out of the ring after the Derevyanchenko fight still undefeated. “He calls himself ‘The Technician’,” Charlo said of his opponent, “but we’ll see how technical he is once I start putting my jab in his face. I’m going to use all my natural skills in this fight.”
Along with his twin brother, Jermell, who will be engaged in a title fight on the same card next week, Charlo has been steadily climbing the ranks of boxing’s top fighters. It’s a journey both brothers aim to continue. “A lot of people don’t really know where the Charlos came from,” said the WBC champion “and they’re getting the chance to learn it throughout this time. It’s taken to this point for everyone to see that we belong on this big stage. I’m grateful for everyone around me who’s embraced me with love.”
Although the future looks bright – at least until he’s in the ring with Derevyanchenko, Charlo looks at things with a degree of realism. “We don’t have too much longer to be doing this,” he said on Monday. “Where are the rest of the belts at? I’m ready. Watch next Saturday night, because I’m making this statement loud for everyone who doubted me.”