WBC 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 Saturday, December 7 from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, as he headlines a Premier Boxing Champions event.
“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 7.”
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 super welterweight 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.
“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 devastating 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.”
Undefeated WBC Middleweight World Champion Jermall Charlo and highly-ranked contender Dennis Hogan went face to face for the first time Thursday at a press conference to preview their showdown taking place Saturday, December 7 live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will see Charlo look to make the second defense of his middleweight title against the Irish Hogan, who fights out of Australia and nearly captured a 154-pound crown earlier this year.
Here is what Charlo had to say at the press conference from the Dream Hotel Downtown in Manhattan:
“Brooklyn, we’re back. It’s been a while since we’ve fought here but Barclays is home for Lions Only. Barclays Center is the spot where everyone wants to fight. It feels like a new home.
“I want to thank Dennis Hogan for accepting my challenge. This belt isn’t going anywhere. I’m making a home for it at Barclays Center.
“Hogan has some big hopes. Middleweight is my division. I want the biggest fights at 160. That’s not on the menu right now, so I’m going to take care of what’s here.
“I am the best fighter at 160-pounds. In due time, the world will get a chance to see me reveal the best version of myself.
“I’m not worried about Hogan’s confidence. He is just number 30 to me. We’re going to get in there well prepared. I could fight tomorrow. Hogan is going to get a chance to see what he can do against my speed and my skills.
“This is going to be a knockout on December 7. I’m going to walk him straight into it. I’m going to give him exactly what he wants.
“This training camp has gone really smooth so far. I’m focused on being relaxed in the ring, so that when it’s time to explode, I’m ready. I want to go in there and have fun and keep working towards that next level.
“We’ve watched what we need to of Hogan. He’s not on my level. It’s time to get back to where I’ve always been. Barclays Center and SHOWTIME is my comfort zone. I’m on fire and I’m ready. I’m back where I want to be.
“I’m coming to Barclays Center to beat Hogan down. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m one of the best finishers in the world and I’m going to get a chance to show everyone on December 7.”
Photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME