WBC regular middleweight champion Jermall Charlo received extra motivation last Tuesday with the birth of his daughter Journi, as he nears his title defense against Dennis Hogan live on Showtime on Saturday, December 7th from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. “It’s really all about family these days,” said Charlo. “I’m fighting even harder for my family now. I feel like I’m on cloud nine and on top of the world right now. We’ve been ready for the arrival of my daughter and I’m so happy she’s here in time to see her father fight on December 7th.”
For Charlo, he will be making the second defense of his title, looking to get back to his knockout ways after winning back-to-back unanimous decisions that snapped his string of knockouts in five of his last six fights. “You hear fighters say that they’re not going for the knockout, but I am,” said Charlo. “If I hit Hogan with something flush, he’s going to sleep. I’m in shape. I’m strong. I’m going for the knockout if it’s there. If he thinks he can bully me, then I’ll show him he made a big mistake. I’m back where I want to be. It took me a little while to fill out into a true middleweight, but I’m here now.”
In Hogan, Charlo will be up against a fighter who has competed everywhere from junior middleweight to light heavyweight, and most recently made a splash in dropping a controversial decision in a 154-pound title fight against Jaime Munguia in April. [Hogan deserves to be the WBO 154-pound champion].
“I know everything about Hogan,” said Charlo. “I know he’s been in Florida thinking that he’s getting ready for me. He has no idea. He’s a small slugger who’s got to worry about his weight, but I’m going sit right there and fight with Hogan. I’m not going anywhere. My mind is sharper than his also, but if he wants to make it a brawl, I’m ready.”
This will be Charlo’s fourth appearance in the ring at Barclays Center in his last five fights, with the exception being his homecoming defense in Houston that he made last time out in June. His first two fights in Brooklyn saw him deliver big knockouts of Hugo Centeno Jr. and Jorge Sebastián Heiland, before he won a unanimous decision over Matt Korobov in December.
“Everybody in Brooklyn knows when we come there, we come to shut it down,” said Charlo. “We’re bringing the heat! I love Barclays Center and I’m glad to be back fighting where I’m extremely comfortable. That’s my house in Brooklyn and everyone there is going to get a chance to see that I’m back for real.”
Despite this Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday, Charlo has no plans to slow down his preparations and is well accustomed to training this time of year. Charlo has fought seven of the last eight years either in December or after Thanksgiving in November, including a holiday weekend knockout of Wilky Campfort November 28, 2015.
“I haven’t had a fight away from Thanksgiving in years, so I’m just totally used to it at this point,” said Charlo. “My personal chef is going to cook me exactly what I need to enjoy the holidays with my family.”