Charlo: ‘One-hundred sixty is my weight division’

It may not have been as easy as many thought it would be, but in the end, WBC 160-pound champion Jermall Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) got it done. Charlo defeated Juan Montiel (22-5-2, 22 KOs) by unanimous decision(118-109, 119-109, 120-108 ) in an entertaining fight at Toyota Center in Charlo’s hometown of Houston, Texas(Showtime) on Saturday night.

Coming into this fight, many thought Montiel had no shot, but to his credit, he battled and cut Charlo’s eye, which was the first cut in his career.

“It took a real warrior to get in the ring with me,” Charlo told Showtime reporter Jim Gray following the bout. “He(Montiel) fought each and every round as hard as he could, and I could tell by his eyes that he’s a true warrior from the beginning, and he wanted to fight. It didn’t matter what I hit him with; he wanted more. I love that spirit. He’s going to be great.”

In the sixth round, It appeared that Charlo was going to stop Montiel, and despite being on the receiving end of 36 punches landed, Montiel was able to weather the storm and survive.

Charlo threw a career-high 769 punches on Saturday and landed more than twice the amount of punches as Montiel (258-127), including a career-high 201 power punches.

With Montiel behind him, Charlo wants the best at 160, who he called out after the victory.

“One-hundred sixty is my weight division,” Charlo said. “I want to unify. I want to get (Gennadiy) Golovkin in the ring. I want to bring him to Houston. I want to get Canelo to come to Houston if he’ll come down to 160. This is my weight division. I’m going to stay here and reign here. This is my fourth title defense, and I have many more to come. I’m young. I’m hungry.”

Cruz decisions Vargas:

In the co-main event, a highly anticipated battle between power-punching Mexico City natives, 23-year-old top lightweight contender Isaac Cruz (22-1-1, 15 KOs) scored a wide unanimous decision over former champion Francisco Vargas (27-3-2, 19 KOs). The official scores were 100-89, 99-90 and 97-92.

“What can I say? I’m elated,” said Cruz. “This was exactly the kind of fight we expected. ‘Bandido’ was crafty and fought his fight, that allowed him to stay on his feet until the 10th round. Lots of embracing, but we knew how to manage it.”

Cruz, who shot up the lightweight rankings in 2020 and punctuated his year with an electrifying first-round knockout over Diego Magdaleno in September, came out early looking for a similar result. Cruz continued to throw power punches, including his signature overhand right, but Vargas was able to avoid any devastating blows. It was the 36-year-old Vargas who was the more active fighter, throwing 586 punches compared to Cruz’s 548. However, Cruz out-landed Vargas 188-148 and landed 43 percent of his power shots en route to the victory.

“We proved to be in top shape, our conditioning paid off,” Cruz continued. “I think fans were happy, because this is what all of Mexico and the Toyota Center wanted to see. I think Vargas held on to me more than he’s used to and couldn’t put on the show he usually does, and we couldn’t counter that. However, I value the fact that I learned that lesson.”

Cruz consistently led with his head, resulting in a number of head clashes, including in the eventful 10th and final round which led to a significant cut over Vargas’ right eye that the Mexican warrior fought through. In the final minute of the fight, Cruz sent Vargas to the canvas for just the second time in his career with a barrage of punches, topping off an impressive performance.

Leo gets by Alameda:

In a highly competitive and entertaining opening bout, former world champion Angelo Leo (21-1, 9 KOs) earned a hard-fought majority decision over Aaron Alameda (25-2, 13 KOs). The judges scored the fight 98-92, 96-94 and 95-95.

“I knew it was a close fight,” said the 27-year-old Leo. “Aaron Alameda is a tough fighter. He has 25 wins for a reason so I knew it was going to be a tough fight. I think I landed more blows. I was the busier fighter. He didn’t throw as much as me and I was the more active fighter.”

Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Leo, who fights out of the Mayweather Promotions stable, impressed the judges by holding a 200-175 edge in power punches landed and by connecting on 85 body shots compared to just 15 for Alameda. In the all-action affair, the two combatants combined to land 402 punches and were within 20 punches landed of each other when the final bell rang.

“The fans spoke, and they make the best judges,” said Alameda, referencing the loud boos that rained down after Jimmy Lennon Jr. announced the judges’ decision. “I felt like I won tonight, I think people saw it that way too even if the judges didn’t. Maybe the fact that he was the champion and the favorite coming in played a role in the decision, but I felt like I did what was necessary to win that fight and felt really good throughout.”

Leo, who dropped his WBO belt when he lost a decision to unbeaten Stephen Fulton Jr. in September, successfully began his re-ascent to another world title opportunity. Despite the loss, Mexico’s Alameda proved that he belongs in the upper echelon of the red hot 122-pound division.

Photos: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

Miguel Flores returns on June 19

Texas native Miguel “El Michoacano” Flores will highlight the non-televised undercard lineup in a featherweight attraction on Saturday, June 19 as the former world title challenger enters the ring for an eight-round bout from Toyota Center in Houston in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

Unbeaten WBC Middleweight World Champion Jermall Charlo will headline the night in a title defense against hard-hitting Juan Macias Montiel live on SHOWTIME on a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast that begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

The non-televised undercard will also see Mexico’s Alexis Salazar (23-3, 9 KOs) take on Argentina’s Jairo Rayman (16-1-1, 7 KOs) in a 10-round middleweight clash, 22-year-old prospect Desmond Lyons (6-2, 2 KOs) entering the ring for a six-round lightweight bout, welterweight Willie Jones (7-2, 4 KOs) competing in a six-round attraction and New Orleans-native Michael Angeletti (2-0, 1 KO) fighting in a four-round super bantamweight affair.

Flores (24-4, 12 KOs) will look to bounce back from a pair of defeats against top tier fighters when he steps into the ring on June 19. The 28-year-old from Spring, Texas most recently dropped a December 2020 contest to Eduardo Ramirez after going the distance with four-division champion Leo Santa Cruz in a November 2019 super featherweight title bout. Flores turned pro in 2009 at just 17-years-old and was victorious in his first 22 bouts.

Charlo: ‘You’re going to see a great night of boxing on June 19’

Unbeaten WBC Middleweight World Champion Jermall Charlo and hard-hitting challenger Juan Macías Montiel previewed their upcoming showdown during a virtual press conference Wednesday, as they near their matchup that headlines action live on SHOWTIME on Saturday, June 19 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Toyota Center in Houston.

Charlo has established himself as a force in two divisions and will seek to thrill his hometown crowd against Mexico’s Montiel, in a first-of-its-kind Juneteenth Day boxing celebration. Charlo will fight in Houston for the fourth time as a pro and look to keep his undefeated record intact against the upset-minded Montiel.

Here is what Charlo had to say on Wednesday:

JERMALL CHARLO:

“This is going to be fireworks. This is going to be a fight. I come to put on a good show in front of my city. Get ready to tune in. This is going down, all the way down. There’s no way I’m letting Montiel take anything from me.

“There’s no pressure for me. I’m a fighter and pro at what I do. It’s my legacy on the line. So no matter what, I have to continue to be great. I have the best trainer in the world in Ronnie Shields and I’m so ready for this fight.

“I know Montiel is going to bring a strong challenge and try to knock me out. You put the pressure on yourself that way though. Normally when people talk trash, I lay them out. I’m going to be prepared. My mental has matched up with my physical ability and I’m stronger than ever.

“Montiel is a pressure fighter who fights from both stances. He’s strong with both hands and he’s going to try to fight fire with fire.

“When you’re the world champion, everyone wants to beat you. It doesn’t matter who they put in front of you, because they’re all training their hardest. He’s going to be in shape, but I’m going to be just as fast, strong and smart. My title is on the line, so I have to defend it.

“Bring on the power. I want the power. He better be as strong as he’s talking. I want to feel the power. I’ll show you what I do with the power.

“I’m enjoying my life. I’m enjoying being the best Jermall Charlo I can be. I enjoy the competition that they give me. I’m never okay or satisfied with being where I’m at. He’s going to see on June 19 that Jermall Charlo is for real.

“I’m making 160-pounds perfectly right now. I’m not finished at 160-pounds. There are bigger fights ahead of me though. No matter what happens, those bigger fights are coming. Right now, I’ve got something for Montiel.

“I’m giving you the best Jermall Charlo that I can give you. Montiel is going to come forward and give me some power. I’m going to put it in my pocket and charge my phone with it. You’re going to see a great night of boxing on June 19.

“I get a chance to fight for my community and my people on June 19. It’s going to be an amazing night of boxing. Everyone who stands up for me, I get to stand back up for them.”

Charlo on fight with Montiel: ‘Get ready for a special, explosive night’

 Undefeated WBC Middleweight World Champion Jermall Charlo will enter the ring for a Juneteenth Day celebration in his hometown when he takes on hard-hitting Juan Macías Montiel on Saturday, June 19 at Toyota Center in Houston headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event live on SHOWTIME.

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING will begin at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and feature rising lightweight contender Isaac Cruz battling former world champion Francisco Vargas in the 10-round co-main event. Kicking off the telecast, former world champion Angelo Leo returns to take on Mexican contender Aaron Alameda in a 10-round super bantamweight bout.

Charlo has established himself as a force in two divisions and will seek to thrill his hometown crowd against Mexico’s Montiel, in a first-of-its-kind Juneteenth Day boxing celebration. Charlo will fight in Houston for the fourth time as a pro and look to keep his undefeated record intact against the upset-minded Montiel.

Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs) will return to fight in his hometown for the first time since a June 2019 unanimous decision victory over Brandon Adams on SHOWTIME. The 30-year-old most recently scored an impressive victory over top middleweight contender Sergey Derevyanchenko in their September 2020 showdown. Charlo has held the WBC middleweight belt since 2019, after a championship reign at 154-pounds that lasted from 2015 through 2017. He has compiled a perfect 6-0 record since moving up to middleweight and owns victories over former champions Julian Williams, Austin Trout and Cornelius Bundrage at super welterweight.

“It’s great to be back in the ring, headlining on SHOWTIME and defending my title in front of my hometown fans in Houston,” said Charlo. “Fighting on Juneteenth means a lot to me because there is a battle going on far greater than this. That said, I have to handle my business on June 19. Montiel is a tough, young, power puncher. I know he wants my crown, but I’m hungrier than ever and ready to put on a show for my fans. Get ready for a special, explosive night.”

Representing his native Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, Montiel (22-4-2, 22 KOs) has earned knockouts in all 22 of his pro victories, as the heavy-handed brawler established himself as a hard-hitting force. The 27-year-old has put together an unbeaten streak since moving up to middleweight, first competing at the weight in September 2017, and most recently scoring a first-round knockout victory over longtime contender James Kirkland in December 2020. He owns stoppages of Marco Reyes and Gustavo Castro, and a draw against Hugo Centeno, Jr. at middleweight. Montiel had previously campaigned at welterweight and super welterweight, dropping a February 2017 bout to former champion Jaime Munguia in a 147-pound fight.

“I know that I am fighting the best middleweight in the world, but he has never faced someone who can punch like I can,” said Montiel. “All my losses in the past are from not training properly and trying to win by one-punch knockout. I’ve grown up and become a man since then. I proved that I was different when I beat Marco Reyes in 2019, and I haven’t left the gym since then. I’ve worked hard every day to become world champion and I will display everything I’ve learned on June 19.”

The 22-year-old Cruz (21-1-1, 15 KOs) shot up the lightweight rankings in 2020, announcing his presence with an electrifying first-round knockout over veteran Diego Magdaleno in September.

“Me and Vargas are going to show the fans true Mexican-style boxing on June 19,” said Cruz. “He is also from Mexico City, so I know this fight will be toe-to-toe. It’s my time to show the fans that I’m the best Mexican lightweight in the world. In with the new, and out with the old. I want to thank my promoter, Senator Manny Pacquiao, for his support and belief that I will become world champion very soon.”

Also a native of Mexico City, Vargas (27-2-2, 19 KOs) won a 130-pound title in 2015 by defeating Takashi Miura in one of the year’s best fights. The 36-year-old would go on to fight Orlando Salido to an action-packed draw before losing his title to Miguel Berchelt in another memorable affair.

“I only know how to fight wars and the fans should expect nothing less on June 19,” said Vargas. “I am a warrior, and people are going to remember the reasons why I was in two Fight of the Year battles when they see me in the ring with Isaac Cruz. I want to thank my whole team for putting together this fight that I know the fans will enjoy.”

Leo (20-1, 9 KOs), who fights out of the Mayweather Promotions stable, became the first world champion from his hometown of Albuquerque, N.M., since legendary three-division champion Johnny Tapia, when he defeated Tramaine Williams by unanimous decision in August 2020. The 26-year-old dropped the belt when he lost a decision to unbeaten Stephen Fulton Jr. in January on SHOWTIME. Leo, who trains in Las Vegas, will look to re-establish his position in the stacked 122-pound division on June 19.

“I’m excited to get back in the ring for this fight,” said Leo. “I wasn’t the same fighter in my last fight, as I was when I won the title. That’s given me a big chip on my shoulder. I figured out my mistakes and learned a lot about myself. I’m here to show people that I’m still a top contender and a threat in this division. Alameda is a real contender and he’s not an opponent I’m taking lightly. Whoever comes out on top in this fight will be right there for another title shot and I plan on that being me.”

The 27-year-old Aaron Alameda (25-1, 13 KOs) was able to stop Luis Nery’s knockout streak but came up on the short end of the decision in their super bantamweight title fight last September. Prior to the Nery fight, the Sonora, Mexico native had back-to-back knockouts over Jordan Escobar and Breilor Teran. A pro since 2014, his previous action in the U.S. saw him earn a sixth-round knockout over Andre Wilson in 2016.

“I can’t wait for another big fight on June 19,” said Alameda. “I showed that I belong with the best in my last fight against Luis Nery, and I will be even better against Leo. My goal is to become world champion and I plan on displaying everything I’ve worked on in this fight. I’m excited to battle Leo and give the fans a great show.”

Andrade: ‘I am undefeated; I shouldn’t have to inspire anyone to get in the ring with me for a belt’

Demetrius Andrade wants his fellow champions to step-up after he defended his WBO World Middleweight crown on points against the spirited challenge of Liam Williams on Saturday night, live worldwide on DAZN.

Andrade made it an unblemished 30 wins from 30 in the paid ranks against the Welshman, getting the win 118-109 twice and 116-111 on the scorecards, and the 33 year old and his promoter Eddie Hearn said it’s time for fellow champions Jermall Charlo (WBC), Gennadiy Golovkin (IBF) and Ryota Murata (WBA) to make unification fights.

“At the end of the day I am a champion,” said Andrade. “I am undefeated; I shouldn’t have to inspire anyone to get in the ring with me for a belt, an undefeated record and a whole lot of money on the table.

“Whenever we can sit down and make something happen, I’m willing to risk it all. I am ready to show that I am the best and to do that, I want to step in with those champions and they have to do the same thing as well.

“I have to go back and watch the fight but listen, Liam is a hell of a fighter, tough, strong, comes to fight and that’s type of fight that people want to see me in. I showed out, I performed the way I needed to do to get the W, and my hat goes off to Liam all day.

“I already know he was tough but getting back up in the second round and showing me he wanted more, it wasn’t a surprise, he’s a dog. He came here to win; he didn’t lay down. I got hit with some hard shots too, we showed me are tough guys that can take shots and give shots and that’s what we did.”

“It was a great fight, massive props firstly to Liam Williams,” said Hearn. “Demetrius has done his job, it’s not his responsibility to convince other champions to fight him. Champions are supposed to fight champions.

“Charlo vs. Andrade is a massive fight, why don’t the champions want to fight Demetrius? He was hurt tonight, he was tired tonight, he can’t make 160lbs forever. If I am GGG or Charlo, I am looking at him and thinking ‘I can beat him’, so why not step-up?”

“Demetrius is a very good fighter, better than I thought,” said Williams. “More slippery than he appears on TV. I couldn’t really get going and get my combinations off because I’d hit him once, and I feel I hurt him a couple of times, but then he would be gone, and I couldn’t capitalize on it.

“I know I am tough, everyone does, and I can take a shot. When I went down, I took a clean shot and taken the best he’s got. He didn’t keep me down, so I had nothing to fear. I don’t feel I am going to take a step back; I am going to stay at world level. Demetrius is the best in the world other than Canelo, I have to give him credit, I gave him some stick in the build-up, but I have nothing but respect for him, he’s quality.”

A textbook one-two down the pipe put Williams on the canvas late in the second round, the exclamation mark on a strong opening for the champion who started like a train. Williams beat the count and weathered a storm, and began to work his way into the fight, having successes of his own towards the halfway point, but Andrade began to land his uppercut in the sixth, a signature shot throughout the bout.

Into the ninth round, Williams had his best moment as he appeared to buzz Andrade but the champion was elusive and the Welshman was unable to capitalize. The Rhode Island star was able to reassert his authority and stretch his lead in the championship rounds and retain his title.

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

PBC, Showtime announce schedule, including cards headlined by Davis, Charlo Twins

SHOWTIME Sports and Premier Boxing Champions today unveiled a loaded five-month boxing schedule of nine high-stakes world championship events beginning Saturday, May 15, live on SHOWTIME. The schedule delivers two events per month through August. Thirteen matchups have been announced thus far with no less than seven world title fights, and 12 fighters defending undefeated records. The lineup features many of boxing’s best young fighters taking on career-defining challenges in their primes. All fights on the schedule will take place before a live audience, keeping with applicable local COVID-19 safety protocols.

The sizzling summer run features the dynamic Charlo twins as undefeated electrifying champion Jermall Charlo defends his WBC middleweight world title against Juan Macias Montiel in a special Juneteenth homecoming in Houston on Saturday, June 19, live on SHOWTIME.

The following Saturday, June 26, unbeaten Mayweather Promotions star Gervonta “Tank” Davis moves up two weight classes for a chance to become a three-division world champion when he takes on fellow undefeated champion Mario Barrios for his super lightweight world title in what will be Davis’ second pay-per-view showdown.

The next month, WBC, WBA and IBF 154-pound charismatic world champion Jermell Charlo looks to make boxing history when he takes on WBO junior middleweight world champion Brian Castaño in a mega-fight to crown the first four-belt 154-pound world champion. The World Championship Unification bout takes place on Saturday, July 17, live on SHOWTIME.

The SHOWTIME boxing schedule features eight editions of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and one premier SHOWTIME PPV event, all presented by Premier Boxing Champions:

  • MAY 15 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING
    • Luis Nery vs. Brandon Figueroa, WBC Super Bantamweight World Title Fight
    • Danny Roman vs. Ricardo Espinoza Franco, Super Bantamweight Fight
    • Xavier Martinez vs. Abraham Montoya, WBA Super Featherweight Fight
  • MAY 29 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING
    • Nordine Oubaali vs. Nonito Donaire, WBC Bantamweight World Title Fight
    • Subriel Matias vs. Batyrzhan Jukembayev, IBF Super Lightweight Title Eliminator
  • JUNE 19 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING 
    • Jermall Charlo vs. Juan Macias Montiel, WBC Middleweight World Title Fight
  • JUNE 26 – SHOWTIME PPV
    • Gervonta Davis vs. Mario Barrios, WBA Super Lightweight World Title Fight
    • Erickson Lubin vs. Jeison Rosario, WBC Junior Middleweight Title Eliminator
  • JULY 3 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING
    • Chris Colbert vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa, WBA Super Featherweight Interim Title Fight
  • JULY 17 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING 
    • Jermell Charlo vs. Brian Castaño, Undisputed IBF, WBA, WBC & WBO Junior Middleweight World Title Unification Fight
  • AUGUST 14 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING 
    • Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. John Riel Casimero, WBO Bantamweight World Title Fight
  • AUGUST 28– SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING 
    • David Benavidez vs. Jose Uzcategui, WBC Super Middleweight Title Eliminator
  • SEPTEMBER 11 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING
    • Stephen Fulton, Jr. vs. winner of Nery-Figueroa, Super Bantamweight World Title Unification Fight

The boxing action begins on SHOWTIME on Saturday, May 15 with the highly anticipated WBC super bantamweight world championship fight between Luis Nery and Brandon Figueroa. The battle of two unbeaten champions who have been on a collision course for supremacy in the 122-pound division headlines a three-fight SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast. Rounding out the May 15 event, former unified super bantamweight world champion Danny Roman faces the tough, hard-hitting Ricardo Espinoza and super featherweight rising contender Xavier Martinez takes on the experienced Abraham Montoya.

Two weeks later on Saturday, May 29, SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING will present the long-awaited title tilt between Nordine Oubaali and future Hall of Famer Nonito Donaire for the WBC bantamweight world championship. The undercard will feature Subriel Matias taking on undefeated Batyrzhan Jukembayev in the stiffest test of their professional careers as they meet in an IBF super lightweight title eliminator.

This summer, the thrilling Charlo twins will headline separate SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING events to defend their titles.

In a Juneteenth Day celebration on Saturday, June 19, in his hometown of Houston, unbeaten WBC middleweight world champion Jermall Charlo takes on the power-punching Juan Macias Montiel. After claiming a championship in the 154-pound division, Charlo moved up in weight and has been just as dominant. The battle against Montiel will be Charlo’s fifth defense of his 160-pound title. Charlo is coming off a career-defining victory over Sergey Derevyanchenko in September.

On Saturday, June 26, current two-division world champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis looks to become a three-division world champion when he returns to headline his second SHOWTIME PPV event. Davis, 26, will jump up two weight classes from his last contest to face unbeaten super lightweight world champion Mario Barrios. Davis is coming off a career-best victory over world champion Leo Santa Cruz. The co-main event that evening will feature a high-stakes WBC junior middleweight world title eliminator between Erickson Lubin and former unified 154-pound world champion Jeison Rosario.

Then, on Saturday, July 17, one month after his brother’s fight, Jermell Charlo looks to make boxing history when he defends his WBC, WBA and IBF junior middleweight world titles against undefeated WBO world champion Brian Castaño in one of the most highly anticipated and important matches of the year. Charlo aims to achieve something that has never been done in boxing history by becoming the first fighter to be undisputed champion at 154 pounds in the four-belt era. Charlo has held the WBC title since 2019 and added the WBA and IBF titles with a stunning knockout victory over Jeison Rosario in his last fight in September.

Also in July, undefeated rising star Chris Colbert of Brooklyn, N.Y. will defend his WBA super featherweight interim title against three-division world champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in a crossroads bout on Saturday, July 3. The 24-year old Colbert is coming off a career best victory, a knockout win over Jaime Arboleda in December 2020. The Cuban-born Gamboa seeks to reassert himself by moving back down to super featherweight where he has excelled throughout his career.

August will feature another pair of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING events. On Saturday, August 14, two of the best bantamweights in the world will meet when former unified world champion Guillermo Rigondeaux faces John Riel Casimero for Casimero’s WBO bantamweight world title.

Two weeks later, on Saturday, August 28, undefeated two-time former super middleweight world champion David Benavidez will face former super middle champion Jose Uzcategui in a fight that will put the winner one step closer to a world championship opportunity. Benavidez, 24, made boxing history when he became the youngest super middleweight world champion at age 20 with a victory over Ronald Gavril in 2017.

On Saturday, September 11, the red-hot 122-pound division will take center stage once again on SHOWTIME as the WBO junior featherweight world champion Stephen Fulton, Jr. will make the first defense of his title against the winner of the May 15 clash between undefeated champions Nery and Figueroa. The unification fight will be the main event on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.

Jermall Charlo: ‘I’m the best middleweight in the world’

In the first card main event, WBC 160-pound champion Jermall Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs) remained undefeated after defeating top contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko by unanimous decision on Saturday night at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut(SHOWTIME PPV). 

Charlo won on all three scorecards: 116-112, 117-111, 118-110.

“We stood toe-to-toe, and we didn’t back down from anything,” said Charlo, who had renowned trainer Ronnie Shields in his corner. “It was supposed to be one of the hardest fights of my career, and we passed the test. He had a puncher’s chance, and of course, the fight could have changed at any moment. I listened to my corner and executed the game plan and got the win.”

Charlo’s trainer, Ronnie Shields, was happy about he saw out of his fighter, and according to Shields, Charlo received an “A” for his performance against Derevyanchenko.

“I give his performance an “A,” Shields said. “Everyone was talking about how this is a tough fight, but every fight is tough. Jermall has one of the best jabs in the business. It’s a hard jab, and he hurt Sergiy with it. He backed him up with it. I’m so proud of him. He showed that the better the competition, the better he gets.”

Derevyanchenko (13-3, 10 KOs) fought more than half the fight with a swollen right eye he suffered in the fifth round, and later developed another cut above his left eye affecting his vision in the later rounds. He had his best rounds in the sixth and seventh as he connected on a several key left hooks that seemed to daze Charlo. The game and determined Derevyanchenko landed 180 and threw 681 more punches than any previous Charlo opponent.

“I wouldn’t say it was an easy fight, but we stuck to what we wanted to do and made it happen,” Charlo said. “I let my jab dictate, and we got the victory. I wanted to knock him out, but you can’t knock everyone out. I’m a finisher, but you don’t want to run into anything even though you have him hurt. I landed the shots that I needed to in order to win.

“The whole world understands that I can fight in there with the best of them. He gave GGG [Gennadiy Golovkin] a harder test than he gave me, so I think the levels showed. I’m the best middleweight in the world.”

Charlo proved that he could be one of the best middleweights in the world. What happens next should be interesting. At this point, fights with any of the current champions at 160 might difficult. The current middleweight champions, Canelo Alvarez(WBA, WBC Franchise champion), Demetrius Andrade(WBO), and Gennady Golovkin(IBF) all are tied to DAZN, so those fightS will be hard to make. Hopefully, the business of boxing will get out the way, and Charlo can get the big names at 160.

Photo: Amanda Westscott/SHOWTIME

Spence, Porter, others predict Charlo doubleheader

Top fighters and trainers shared their thoughts and gave predictions on the two main events headlining the blockbuster CHARLO DOUBLEHEADER this Saturday, September 26, live on SHOWTIME PPV (7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT)  from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

The unprecedented twin bill features six compelling fights in all, five of which are world title fights, on the same night for one price. Part one of the SHOWTIME PPV telecast is headlined by undefeated Jermall Charlo putting his WBC World Middleweight Title on the line versus top rated contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko.

Following the main event of part one and a 30-minute intermission hosted by MORNIG KOMBAT, the second three-fight card will begin, headlined by WBC Super Welterweight World Champion Jermell Charlo facing unified WBA and IBF 154-pound World Champion Jeison Rosario.

The highly anticipated pay-per-view doubleheader is the talk of the boxing world and some of the game’s finest minds are split on who will emerge victorious. Respondents leaned toward Jermall Charlo to retain his title over Derevyanchenko by a tally of 12 to 8 (with one draw pick) while predictions for Jermell Charlo vs. Jeison Rosario were even tighter, with Charlo edging it out by a total of 15 to 13. Here is what the fighters and trainers had to say:

JERMALL CHARLO VS. SERGEY DEREVYANCHENKO FIGHT PREDICTIONS:

Shawn Porter, two-time welterweight champion

Charlo W 12: Jermall Charlo demonstrated in his fight with Matt Korobov that he has trouble with fighters who can move, box and think in the ring. So that’s what he’s up against with Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Derevyanchenko lost two close fights to Daniel Jacobs and Gennadiy Golovkin, and it looked like he may have even beaten Golovkin. But in the end, I have Jermall winning this fight by a close decision.

Oleksandr Usyk, former undisputed cruiserweight champion and current heavyweight contender

Derevyanchenko UD 12: Sergiy Derevyanchenko is our guy and has been waiting for a title opportunity like this for a long time. His experience gained against Daniel Jacobs and Gennadiy Golovkin have prepared him for victory over Jermall Charlo. Sergiy by unanimous decision.

 Nonito Donaire, four-division world champion

Charlo W 12: Jermall Charlo gets in there and establishes that he is the ring general, which is key going into a fight with anybody. You put your feet in cement, and you claim the ring and make them adjust to what you’re doing.

Sergiy Derevyanchenko will bring the pressure, but Charlo is a very crafty fighter, and when he smells blood, he goes in on him, knowing how to work a fighter along the ropes and at the same time using the ring. I see him winning by a decision if not by knockout.

Jarrett Hurd, former unified super welterweight champion

Derevyanchenko UD 12: Sergiy Derevyanchenko had a really good fight against Gennadiy Golovkin, and, in fact, I thought he won. I think that he’ll carry that momentum into this fight with Jermall Charlo, winning a unanimous decision.

Erislandy Lara, WBA Super Welterweight Champion

Charlo UD 12: Sergiy Derevyanchenko likes to come forward and I think that plays into Jermall Charlo’s hands, who has the power to keep him honest. I just think Jermall is the better fighter with the superior boxing skills and he will come out victorious. Jermall by unanimous decision in a very entertaining fight.

Tony Harrison, former super welterweight champion

Charlo SD 12: Jermall Charlo will win based on his size in a tough fight similar to how Danny Jacobs and Gennadiy Golovkin did. I know Sergiy Derevyanchenko comes to fight, and I think it’s going to be Charlo’s most difficult fight to date, but I see him winning close, maybe by a split-decision.

 Adam Kownacki, heavyweight contender

Draw: This is a difficult fight to pick, and I believe that it can go either way. I know both guys, and they’re each very tough, so I’ll say it’s going to end in a draw.

Danny Roman, former unified super bantamweight champion

Charlo SD 12: Sergiy Derevyanchenko looked very tough against Gennadiy Golovkin, and he really gave him some problems in a fight that a lot of people believe Golovkin lost.

Jermall Charlo will have Derevyanchenko applying pressure on him for the entire fight, but I believe that he will use his speed, height and reach to win a split-decision.

Brandon Figueroa, Undefeated WBA Super Bantamweight Champion

Charlo TKO 10: Jermall Charlo’s going to want to go out there and perform at his best against Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Charlo has power in both hands and he’s going to show it. I believe Charlo is going to stop Derevyanchenko by TKO in the 10th.

Oleksandr Gvozdyk, former light heavyweight champion

Derevyanchenko W 12: Sergiy Derevyanchenko has great stamina, great conditioning and applies a lot of pressure. I don’t believe that Jermall Charlo will be able to maintain a safe distance for the full 12 rounds.

I believe that Sergiy will be the one with his hands raised in the end, either by going the distance and applying constant pressure or winning by stoppage in the later rounds. But either way, I believe that the Ukraine is going to have another world champion.

Robert Guerrero, former three-time world champion

Charlo UD 12: I think that Jermall Charlo wins against an aggressive fighter in Sergiy Derevyanchenko, whose style plays right into Charlo’s. Derevyanchenko is a pressure fighter, and anytime you get someone who can box, work behind a jab and deliver power like Charlo can, I believe that makes Derevyanchenko an easier target. I see Charlo winning by unanimous decision.

Taras Shelestyuk, undefeated welterweight contender

Derevyanchenko KO: Sergiy Derevyanchenko versus Jermall Charlo will be a tough fight. Their two different styles make this fight a hard one for both boxers. I believe that Sergiy will get the victory, but he will need to stop Charlo by knockout or technical knockout. If the fight goes through all rounds, it will be difficult for Sergiy to get a victory on points.

Robert Garcia, trainer of four-division world champion Mikey Garcia

Charlo W 12: I believe that Jermall Charlo will win a decision over Sergiy Derevyanchenko in a very good fight. Derevyanchenko will bring the pressure, but the game-changer is the skills that Charlo possesses, and I believe that he will use them to outbox Derevyanchenko.

Jamal James, interim WBA Welterweight Champion

Charlo W 12: Jermall Charlo is the stronger fighter and he has more skill than Sergiy Derevyanchenko as far as speed and general ring savvy as well, so I feel as if it’s going to be a wide decision, if not a knockout win, for him.

Tugstsogt “King Tug” Nyambayar, featherweight contender

Derevyanchenko 12: It’s a tough fight for both Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Jermall Charlo. I know Derevyanchenko from the amateurs and he will pull it off in this one. But I believe it’s a 50/50 fight. The best man will come out on top.

Sergey Lipinets, former super lightweight champion and welterweight contender

Charlo TKO 8: Sergiy Derevyanchenko has a rugged style and he’s coming off of a close loss to Gennadiy Golovkin, so we know he’s capable of giving people problems. But I’ve known Derevyanchenko for a long time, and he’s gotten busted up before, and Charlo places his punches really well.

So if Derevyanchenko gets caught by a big punch from Charlo in the middle of the fight, it’s going to get nasty, it’s going to be a wrap, and they are going to stop it on cuts in about the eighth round.

Matt Korobov, middleweight contender

Charlo W 12: Jermall Charlo is going to win this fight. Sergiy Derevyanchenko can put a lot of pressure, but I think Charlo is smart enough to beat Derevyanchenko.

Charles Mooney, Olympic Silver Medalist and trainer of Matt Korobov

Derevyanchenko W 12: Jermall Charlo is trained by Ronnie Shields, whom I believe is the best in the business. Charlo’s jab, combinations, reaction time and defensive skills are excellent. But so are Sergiy Derevyanchenko’s, and he demonstrated against Gennadiy Golovkin that he has the abilities to dominate this fight.

Still, Charlo’s a hittable target, and it takes an aggressive guy like Derevyanchenko to beat him. Charlo doesn’t have the amateur international history that Derevyanchenko has, and Derevyanchenko can really fight, so I’m leaning toward him to win a close one by decision.

Stephen Edwards, trainer of former super welterweight champion Julian Williams

Charlo UD 12: I think Jermall Charlo is too big for Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Jermall’s jab and stature will be a lot to penetrate. Sergiy has more amateur pedigree, so I expect him to score points and hold his own.

But I think Jermall’s jab, size and chin will win him the fight. I think Sergiy is vulnerable early and a knockdown will be the difference. Jermall by unanimous decision.

Ivan Redkach, welterweight contender

Derevyanchenko KO 7:  Sergiy Derevyanchenko has never been a champion and he’s extremely hungry and motivated to become one by defeating Jermall Charlo. I really like Charlo as a fighter, and as far as his style, and I have nothing bad to say about it.

But I do believe that Sergiy’s pressure will eventually wear down Charlo, and that he will at some point hurt him, not let him off the hook, and be able to stop Charlo somewhere in the middle of the fight, maybe in the seventh round.

Vyacheslav Shabranskyy, light heavyweight contender

Derevyanchenko W 12: Sergiy Derevyanchenko is a very tough, durable guy whom I know from the amateurs, but Jermall Charlo has a great boxing style. Both fighters have great chins. I believe that it’s going to be a great fight, and I think it’s going to go the distance. But, ultimately, I believe Sergiy will have his hands raised in the end.

JERMELL CHARLO VS. JEISON ROSARIO FIGHT PREDICTIONS:

Errol Spence Jr., Undefeated Unified Welterweight Champion

Charlo W 12: I like Rosario as a fighter, but I think Jermell is going to beat him. Rosario has been stopped before. He has been hurt before and recently Jermell’s been showing knockout power. I feel like if he catches Rosario with a good shot, he could stop him, but I’m going with Charlo by decision.

 Shawn Porter, two-time welterweight champion

Charlo late-round TKO: I think that Jermell Charlo is going to win this fight against Jeison Rosario. Rosario is on a winning streak, but Charlo has a mean streak, and that energetic persona works for him.

Knowing that Rosario has been knocked out before, and when you’re going up against a heavy-hitter who lands straight punches and a nice jab like Charlo, I have to go with Charlo by late-round stoppage in a firefight.

 Anthony Dirrell, former super middleweight champion

Charlo SD 12: Anything can happen, and we know that. Jeison Rosario’s mentality in knocking out Julian Williams was unbelievable. But Rosario’s not a guy who dances around too much so Jermell’s skills and his beast mentality will get him those belts from Rosario. I believe it will be Jermell by a split-decision.

 Marcus Browne, former light heavyweight champion

Charlo KO 12: Jermell Charlo is on a roll, but Jeison Rosario is a very tough cookie. Jermell has a lot of momentum coming off of his revenge victory over Tony Harrison, and, for that reason, I believe that he is in a zone. Rosario did stop Julian Williams on a night when he brought his “A-game,” and I believe that he can present some issues. But I see a late-round knockout for Jermell. 

Herman Caicedo, trainer of heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz and former bantamweight champion Juan Carlos Payano

Rosario W 12: Jeison Rosario is sharper and more powerful with his punches and shows a level of calmness beyond his years. I believe he will defeat Jermell Charlo and maybe even earn a late stoppage.

Chris Colbert, Undefeated interim WBA Super Featherweight Champion

Charlo KO 10: I believe that Jermell Charlo versus Jeison Rosario will be a tough fight for the first three or four rounds, but that Jermell’s clean power-punching will be too much and Rosario will get caught with a vicious shot and be knocked out cold.

Nonito Donaire, former four-division world champion

Charlo KO 8: Jermell Charlo is in against one hell of a fighter in Jeison Rosario, who is big and tough and will make it a dogfight. But I think that over the distance, Jermell will start to catch up to him and win by eighth-round knockout.

Luis Ortiz, heavyweight contender

Rosario W 12: I think that Jeison Rosario will win this fight against Jermell Charlo. Rosario is bigger, stronger, has better punch placement and lands with harder shots. I believe that he will win a decision, if not by early knockout or TKO. It’s a life-changing event and Rosario won’t waste this opportunity.

Tony Harrison, former super welterweight champion

Charlo UD 12: As much as I don’t like Jermell Charlo, he gained my respect in our two fights. Charlo’s facing a guy in Jeison Rosario who is game and very motivated after knocking out Julian Williams. I think it’s going to be a tight fight, and I think each of them can be hurt at one point, but I see Charlo winning by a unanimous decision.

Jorge Cota, super welterweight contender

Rosario KO 10: I know both Jeison Rosario and Jermell Charlo because I fought both of them, losing a split-decision to Rosario and being knocked out in third round by Charlo by a punch that I didn’t see coming.

But even though my fight went the distance against Rosario, I felt the power of every single punch he threw, whether it was on the arms, the shoulders, the chest, the stomach or the head.

I never really felt Charlo’s power until he caught me with that one punch. So with that in mind, I believe that Rosario will do similar damage to Charlo, wearing him down before finally stopping him in around the 10th round.

 Erislandy Lara, WBA Super Welterweight Champion

Charlo KO 11: Jermell Charlo will be too much for Jeison Rosario because he is the better boxer. The fight will be competitive until the later rounds, when Jermell will score a knockout. I don’t see this fight going the distance. Jermell by 11th round knockout.

Sebastian Fundora, undefeated super welterweight contender

Rosario late-round KO: I believe that styles make fights, and that their styles are perfect for one of them to be knocked out. But I think that Jeison Rosario has the edge over Jermell Charlo, and that it will be Rosario who delivers the knockout in the later rounds.

Andre Dirrell, Olympic Bronze Medalist and veteran contender

Charlo KO 10: I believe that Jermell Charlo will come out of this with a knockout victory over Jeison Rosario, who will bring it, but Jermell will have all the answers and make the adjustment. I’m looking for Jermell to win by ninth or 10th round-knockout.

Danny Roman, former unified super bantamweight champion

Rosario KO 10: Jermell Charlo versus Jeison Rosario is going to be a war that I don’t think will go the full 12 rounds. I believe that Rosario will win by 10th-round knockout.

 Stephen Edwards, trainer of former super welterweight champion Julian Williams

Charlo TKO 6: Jermell Charlo versus Jeison “Banana” Rosario is a tough fight to assess. I think Rosario is the better boxer. Jermell looks like the better boxer because he can use his legs and he has a good jab. But Jermell’s not hard to hit and he’s been out-boxed for long stretches by Tony Harrison, John Jackson and Demetrius Hopkins.

Rosario has some skillful moves – except he just comes forward. But Jermell is clutch and he has an elite chin also. I also believe Rosario loses steam after six rounds. So, look for Jermell to clip him late in a great fight. Jermell by TKO.

Kenny Porter, trainer of two-time welterweight champion Shawn Porter

Charlo KO 10: I think Jermell Charlo will win this fight by stoppage against Jeison Rosario, and I’m thinking that it will be a knockout in the ninth or 10th round.

Javier Fortuna, former two-division world championRosario KO 7: I have no doubt that Jeison “Banana” Rosario will defeat Jermell Charlo and make history for the Dominican Republic. I believe that Rosario will do to Charlo what he did to Julian Williams, but that Charlo will be knocked out cold.

Kevin Cunningham, trainer of super welterweight contender Erickson Lubin

Charlo KO 8: Somebody is getting knocked out in the Jermell Charlo versus Jeison Rosario fight, and I’m picking Charlo to win a shootout. I believe that Charlo’s athleticism will give him the edge over Rosario, and I think he’ll stop Rosario in the eighth round.

Juan Carlos Payano, former world bantamweight champion

Rosario W 12: I believe that Jeison Rosario is going to win against Jermell Charlo. It’s Jeison’s time, and he won’t waste it. Jeison is bigger and stronger and will walk down Charlo.

Rolando Romero, undefeated interim WBA Lightweight Champion

Charlo KO 9: Jermell Charlo versus Jeison Rosario is going to be a dogfight over the first half of the fight, but I think that as it goes on, Jermell’s just going to crack him. I think it will be a late-round knockout, probably in the eighth or the ninth. 

 Michel Rivera, undefeated lightweight contender

Rosario W 12: Jeison Rosario is my pick against Jermell Charlo. From the heart and from the head, Rosario is better at power punching and very poised in all situations. Rosario by decision or by early knockout.

Jesus Ramos, undefeated welterweight contender

Charlo TKO 10: I see Jermell Charlo boxing a little smarter than Jeison Rosario and taking him into deep waters with his experience. It’s a been there done that situation for him.

Amilcar Vidal, undefeated middleweight prospect

Rosario TKO 10: I believe that Jeison Rosario against Jermell Charlo will be a very entertaining fight, but it’s also the biggest of Rosario’s career. For that reason, I believe that Rosario will be at his best and win by knockout in the later round, perhaps by 10th-round TKO.

 Andre Rozier, trainer of middleweight contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko and former middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs

Rosario W 12: This is a very intriguing bout. Jeison Rosario is a big 154-pounder, as is Jermell Charlo.  They both have good punching power. But It will come down to a battle of wills, and I’m seeing the hunger of Jeison being a stronger force. Jeison by decision.

Carlos Negron, heavyweight contender

Rosario KO 10: Jermell Charlo is very skilled, but Jeison Rosario is the harder, sharper puncher. As long as Rosario doesn’t get surprised with a shot, he will win by knockout in the later rounds.

Charles Mooney, Olympic Silver Medalist and trainer of middleweight contender Matt Korobov

Rosario SD 12: If Jermell Charlo’s mind isn’t right, he can leave a lot of openings for Jeison Rosario to capitalize on and walk away with the championships. Rosario’s a tough guy, so I’m leaning toward him to win a tough, close fight by split-decision.

Caleb Truax, former super middleweight champion

Charlo KO 9: I think that Jeison Rosario may give Jermell Charlo some problems early due to the fact that he’s a big 154-pounder with good power, but I think that Jermell’s general experience, punching power, accuracy and ability to come on in the later rounds will enable him to stop Rosario in the eighth or ninth round. 

 Eduardo Ramirez, featherweight contender

Rosario KO 9: Jeison Rosario is a younger, newer champion and more motivated fighter than Jermell Charlo. I have no doubt that he is the stronger more powerful fighter and that he will win by a late-round knockout.

Charlo: ‘(Sergiy)Derevyanchenko is looking past me’

We’ve seen WBC 160-pound champion Jermall Charlo(30-0, 22 KOs) win some big fights in the 154-pound division, including victories over Austin Trout and Julian Williams. On Saturday, Charlo will get his biggest test at middleweight when he battles Sergiy Derevyanchenko(13-2, 10 KOs).

Charlo and his brother, WBC 154-pound champion, Jermell(33-1, 17 KOs), will headline their first pay-per-view(Showtime). Jermell will battle unified 154-pound champion, Jeison Rosario(20-1-1, 14 KOs), in a unification bout. 

This is a big night for the Charlo twins, which, according to Jemall, will be a special night for his family.

“People will say that they can’t wait to see us fight again after Saturday,” Jermall Charlo said about him and his brother at a press conference on Wednesday. “We come to fight. We prepared all our life for this. Now is our time. The big dogs are here to stay. We’re veterans in this game, and we love this sport. To make it to this stage, there’s nothing bigger for us. This is our Super Bowl. This is our national championship. It’s time for us to go get our belts.”

Derevyanchenko, who twice fought for belts and lost competitive decisions to Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs, believes those fights have prepared him for this moment against Charlo.

“The green color of the WBC belt suits me,” Derevyanchenko said. “I want that green belt. I’ve fought twice for the title, and I’m more ready than ever for the third time…

“Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs were tough fights, they were both close fights, and I think those experiences definitely helped me. I’ll show it in the ring on Saturday.”

According to Charlo, Derevyanchenko and his team are overlooking him.

“Derevyanchenko is looking past me,” Charlo said. “His trainer and his whole camp, they’re all looking past me. They’re going to find out what they’re in for on Saturday.

“I’m the best in the world. On Saturday night, everyone will get a chance to see it live on SHOWTIME PPV.”

When the fight ends on Saturday night, Derevyanchenko expects to capture Charlo’s WBC title and, eventually, unify the middleweight division.

“This is a big fight,” Derevyanchenko said. “When I win, even more opportunities will open up. I’ll be able to unify and take my career to the next level.”

On paper, this fight is very competitive, and the only thing that would be surprising is if one of these guys wins easily. Will the third time be the charm for Derevyanchenko, or will the undefeated Charlo continue his winning ways? Saturday can’t get here soon enough!

Photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

Charlo: ‘I’m telling those other middleweights to buckle your seatbelts’

Unbeaten WBC Middleweight World Champion Jermall Charlo brought fans and media into his training camp Monday with a virtual media workout as he prepares to face top contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko to headline part one of a first-of-its-kind SHOWTIME PPV doubleheader Saturday, September 26 in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

Charlo was joined Monday by his longtime trainer Ronnie Shields as he showed off a variety of skills while training for the toughest opponent of his pro career. Charlo vs. Derevyanchenko will headline the first part of the special PPV doubleheader that begins at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, before his twin brother and WBC Super Welterweight Champion Jermell Charlo steps in for the main event of part two against WBA and IBF 154-pound champion Jeison Rosario.

Here is what Charlo had to say:

JERMALL CHARLO

“I know that it’s my time to shine and my time to give everyone the best that I can give. I’m striving to be one of the best to ever lace up a pair of gloves.

“The fans that love me can expect me to do what I do. The fans who don’t know about me, they’re going to see a smart, strong and athletic fighter. You’re going to see all of it in the ring on September 26.

“I came from nothing, so I want to put everyone on. I want to make sure Ronnie Shields gets into the Hall of Fame. We’re looking to do something in boxing that no one has ever done.

“When I look outside this gym, I say there’s no way I’m losing. I’m carrying my whole family on my back. Houston, we have another one. I’m doing it for everybody here.

“I’m telling those other middleweights to buckle your seatbelts. It’s lift off. Everyone that doubted me, everyone who wants a chance, you’ll get your turn. I’m running the show. You just stay locked in.

“My power is growing along with me. With some fights you need to add more power and sometimes your power just naturally increases. I’ve gotten a lot stronger and a lot smarter, so I’ve been able to use my skills to go along with my power heading into this fight.

“Derevyanchenko is a come forward fighter. He’s going to bring a lot of power and speed with good technical skills. He calls himself ‘The Technician’ but we’ll see how technical he is once I start putting my jab in his face. I’m going to use all my natural skills in this fight.

“After I win this fight the sky is the limit. I know people will respect me a lot more after this, but I’m focused on only this fight. This fight is another big stepping stone toward even bigger fights to come.

“A lot of people don’t really know where the Charlos came from and they’re getting the chance to learn it throughout this time. It’s taken to this point for everyone to see that we belong on this big stage. I’m grateful for everyone around me who’s embraced me with love.

“We don’t have too much longer to be doing this. Where are the rest of the belts at? I’m ready. Watch next Saturday night, because I’m making this statement loud for everyone who doubted me.”

Photo: Andrew Hemingway/SHOWTIME