Unbeaten WBC Middleweight World Champion Jermall Charlo and former title challenger Maciej Sulecki previewed their upcoming championship showdown during a virtual press conference Wednesday before they meet on Saturday, June 18 live on SHOWTIME from Toyota Center in Houston in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
Charlo will hold a Juneteenth celebration in his hometown for the second-straight year on June 18, headlining in Houston again after defeating Juan Montiel in an action-fight last year at Toyota Center. Charlo seeks a fifth successful middleweight title defense but will have to get by the veteran Sulecki, who has gone the distance with former champions Daniel Jacobs and Demetrius Andrade and has added longtime Polish contender Andrzej Fonfara to his training team ahead of this fight.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast will also feature undefeated top super bantamweight contender Ra’eese Aleem battling Mike Plania in the 10-round co-main event, and unbeaten lightweight contender Frank Martin facing Panama’s Ricardo Núñez in the 10-round telecast opener at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT
Here is what Charlo had to say Wednesday:
Photos: Sean Michael Ham/TGB Promotions
Fighting on Juneteenth:
“Juneteenth is my day and I’m happy to be performing again on the main stage in my city at Toyota Center. It’s going to be a great night of boxing against another tough opponent. I’m ready to get in there…
“Juneteenth is a big holiday in my city and my town. It started in Galveston only 30 miles away from Houston. It’s a holiday here and I’m the best person to represent it at this time. I’m thankful to fight Juneteenth weekend.”
“My opponents always talk. Once they get in there with me, they see that it’s a whole different story. I wanted someone like him who will come in not scared and ready to fight. That’s what I need.
“Sulecki is a good challenger. A lot of people might not know him but he’s been in there with top competition. This is the right timing for this fight against a strong opponent. I’m ready for whatever he brings. He says he can beat my tactics, but once he’s in there he’s going to have to survive..
“I’m very familiar with Sulecki. I’ve trained with one of his friends and he’ll be able to tell him what that heat is going to be like in the ring.
“This is going to be another war. I’m going to be in the pocket and ready to go. Whatever he does, I’ll make the adjustments. If I hit him with something flush, I’m going to knock him out.”
Moving up to 168:
“I’m not in a rush. I’m the champion at 160 pounds. So these guys have to fight me no matter what. I have my sights set on bigger opposition. We’ll move forward when it’s time. If I have to move up to 168 to do that, let’s look at the drawing board after this fight.
Motivated by his brother, Jermell:
“It motivated me to see my brother Jermell capture those goals that we’ve both always wanted. That’s something that I want to do. Sulecki is standing in front of that goal right now. Everyone wants to be champion, but not everyone is destined to be a champion.
“I’m fighting to get the biggest names and get the biggest fights. I’m fighting for my legacy. I’m fighting for something way bigger than just fighting Sulecki.”