Jermell Charlo almost couldn’t believe what he heard.
The two-time and reigning junior middleweight titlist was a surprise guest on a recent installment of Premier Boxing Champions’ (PBC) Time Out With Ray Flores series on Instagram Live. His unexpected visit was motivated by comments made by unified 154-pound titlist Jeison Rosario, who stated his willingness to engage the Houston native in a title unification bout for his next ring adventure.
“Jermell Charlo wants my titles and I want his title in order to unify the (154-pound) division,” Rosario (20-1-1, 14 KOs) said of his desired next fight. “If I had my choice on who to fight next, it would be Jermell Charlo. He believes he’s the best in the division; I want to prove that I’m the best at 154.”
It’s the very scenario Charlo has craved from the moment Dominican Republic’s Rosario upset Julian Williams to win a slew of 154-pound titles with a 5th round knockout this past January on the road in Philadelphia. The win came less than a month after Charlo (33-1, 17 KOs) regained his old belt in a revenge-fueled 11th round knockout of Tony Harrison last December in Ontario, California.
With neither boxer on the hook for a mandatory title defense for their next fight, there remains wiggle room to go straight to a head-on collision. With Rosario speaking it into existence, the only goal from the other side is to progress such talks.
“His [promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz] said they didn’t want to fight me right away,” Charlo insisted when joining the segment shortly after Rosario left. “It’s good to know the facts, but I’m glad they ready to fight. I’m glad they ready to fight.
“I’m always in shape. You see me? Always in shape, tip-top shape. We’re ready to fight.”
With the two having fought just four weeks apart, it stands to reason that both are on the same training and preparation schedule. The entire stateside boxing scene has been shut down since mid-March due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. A portion of the sport is on the verge of returning to U.S. venues as soon as June, with Top Rank planning a series of events to take place behind closed doors.
Charlo is prepared to go that route, or wait until his handlers decide it’s safe for all parties to resume their careers. As long as Rosario and his team are now on board, whatever it takes to make that fight happen next is the only thing on his mind.
“C’mon man, y’all know we do this for a reason. I’m here to eat,” notes Charlo. “If he in the way, he getting trucked. I’m cool with it. I’m cool with everything he got to say. We don’t want to put no fear in him.
“It’s been a dream to always have all of the belts. If it’s that easy, thank you. I’m just gonna tell the man above, thank you.”