Jermall Charlo is eyeing the marquee names at 160lbs and 168lbs and will not let Mexican puncher Juan Macías Montiel block his path when they meet at the Toyota Center in Houston on June 19.
The heavy-handed Montiel (22-4-2, 22 KOs) steamrollered James Kirkland in a round last December and is planning to add his name to the list of Mexican underdogs who have sprung a huge surprise in 2021.
Yet WBC middleweight champion Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs) believes an emphatic victory will help beat the drum for a bout with IBF king Gennadiy Golovkin and the career-defining fights that will elevate his standing.
“Montiel is fearless,” said Charlo. “He’s a fighter that I think deserves a chance. At this point, he understands where he’s at. This is a big fight. A lot of people may not know who Montiel is, just like I didn’t, but he’s a strong fighter. The people want to see me get tested, right? I want to see those big fights, too. In a matter of time, they’ll come. But Montiel should be a good fight.
“I’m going to whoop his ass. He doesn’t stand a chance. They’re all confident. I got the belt. The belt ain’t going nowhere. Toyota Center, get ready. It’s going to be fireworks June 19. He can be as confident as he wants, but when we get in there he’s going to have to figure it out.
“I’m ready to fight the best in the world. I’m the best in the world and I’m not going to let this guy over here stop me. The belt is not going nowhere. The belt is staying right here in ‘H Town.’ There’s nothing he could do about it. Nothing. It’s my belt. It’s my legacy. You’ll find out June 19.
“I got the belt. Champions fight champions. We unify. But if not, we’re not just going to sit back. Those guys that have the belt like Triple G [Gennadiy Golovkin], Canelo [Alvarez] and [Demetrius] Andrade – the belts are out there so eventually it will happen. I’m not in a rush. I’m young. I’m still having fun. I’m enjoying what I do best.
“If Triple G wants this WBC belt, I have it. It’s over here, it’s open. I’m ready to fight.”
Main image: Esther Lin/Showtime.