By: Sean Crose
Saturday night is a huge night for boxing. For Showtime will be airing a “Charlo Doubleheader,” courtesy of Premiere Boxing Champions, on Pay Per View. The card, which will go down live at Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun Casino Arena, will feature the most famous twins in boxing, Jermall and Jermell Charlo, as they battle serious competition in title bouts. It’s the first major Pay Per View to land on American soil since Tyson Fury rematched Deontay Wilder last winter. It’s also the first major Pay Per View featuring the Brother’s Charlo – a fact that will generate much interest for those hoping to elevate the twins from popular boxers to true stars.
Older brother (by one minute) Jermall will be putting his undefeated record and WBC middleweight title on the line against the menacing Sergiy Derevyanchenko in a scheduled 12 rounder. This is an extremely interesting matchup and perhaps even a tossup regarding who should be expected to win. Although he has two losses on his resume, Derevyanchenko performed extremely well in those fights, which were against top competition. It’s hard for even the most contemporary of contemporary boxing fans to write off close battles with the likes of Daniel Jacobs and Gennady Golovkin. If Jermall can impress against his highly skilled Ukrainian opponent, his stock may rise exponentially. Should Derevyanchenko pull out the win, he will finally achieve his year’s long goal of becoming a middleweight titlist.
As for the younger Charlo brother, Jermell is facing Jeison Rosario for Rosario’s WBA, WBC, and IBF junior middleweight titles. Few were expecting Rosario to win those belts when he stepped in the ring to face popular champion Julian “J Rock” Williams last year, but win those belts Rosario did, by stopping the defending titlist within the distance, no less. Jermell, however, has an interesting story of his own, for, after losing to Tony Harrison, he came back and stopped his adversary in grand fashion in their rematch. In an era where few fighters hold as many as three major belts, this contest is an important one, no matter how it turns out.
The vacant WBC super bantamweight title will also be at stake on Saturday’s card. The undefeated Luis Nery will be facing Aaron Almeda, who is undefeated, as well. Although clearly talented, Nery’s discipline has been a question for some time now. Missing weight on the scales on more than one occasion has a way of doing that to a fighter’s reputation. As for Almeda, he’ll make the jump from unknown to known commodity should he best Nery in the ring.
Either way, the winner may well end up facing the winner of another of Saturday’s undercard battles. For the popular Daniel Roman will be squaring off against Juan Carlos Payano in a title eliminator for the WBC’s super bantamweight scrap. Roman has fought hard to get where he is – some argue too hard. Payano himself has been bested by Nery, but he’s got a ton of expertise that he’ll bring into the ring with him for this weekend’s fight – something Roman is no doubt keeping in mind.
The WBA super bantamweight champion will likewise be on Saturday’s card. Brandon Figueroa will be defending the belt against Damien Vasquez in a scheduled 12 rounder. Although he ended up getting a draw from the judges when he faced Julio Ceja his last time in the ring, Figueroa has expressed confidence in the leadup to Saturday. Vasquez, however, has expressed confidence of his own. Indeed, a Vasquez win might well be considered something of an upset, as Figueroa, the defending champion, is arguably the more prominent of the two fighters.
Lastly, John Riel Casimero is set to defend his WBO bantamweight scrap in a battle against Duke Micah on Saturday. Although he had been hoping to face Naoya Inoue, Casimero might still have a fight on his hands as Micah, who goes by the moniker of the “The Baby Faced Terminator,” fought on Team Ghana in the 2012 Olympics and is clearly in possession of a solid skill set. Casimero may be well advised to keep his focus on the opponent before him this weekend.
What will make Saturday’s card particularly interesting is that it will be broken up into two separate segments divided by a half hour recess. The first portion of the card will present Charlo-Derevyanchenko, Figueroa-Vasquez, and Casimiro-Micah. The second portion will present Charlo-Rosario, Nery-Almerda, and Roman-Payano. The action will begin at 7 PM eastern time.