WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo feels at the peak of his powers ahead of his clash with Mexican KO artist Juan Macias Montiel (22-4-2, 22 KOs) at the Toyota Center in Houston on Saturday evening.
Charlo insists he has competed at another level entirely to Montiel, who sprung to prominence with a first-round knockout of former contender James Kirkland last year.
With career-defining fights against the likes of Gennadiy Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez still proving elusive, the charismatic Texan says his pure skillset stacks up well against the sport’s greatest ever 160-pounders. That will take some proving, but Charlo plans to put on a show for his hometown fans tomorrow.
“On Saturday you can expect a hard fight. If he comes at me the same way everyone comes at me, you’re going to see the same Jermall Charlo. I can deliver explosive knockouts, go 12 rounds or beat you down from start to finish,” said Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs).
“If he’s strong like they say he is, I’ll show you my movement and attack the body. I have all the skills and ability of every other great middleweight throughout history.
“He’s strong, but I fight strong fighters. I spar heavy fighters all the time. I’m strong, too, right? I’m not worried about his power. This is my hometown, and I’m going to stay champion. The talk about his power is just going to make me fight harder.
“This is a real fight. This isn’t James Kirkland or Hugo Centeno Jr [past foes of Montiel]. You’re only as good as your last fight. There are levels to this and I’m going to show what level I’m on Saturday. If he’s that good and if his team has a game plan that no one else has used before, then I’ll accept it. But I’ve trained hard for this fight and I’m going to show it.
“Every fighter wants the belt. I remember being in that position, but I’m even hungrier now. I’m not sleeping on anybody. I’m still young in my career. I can’t make any mistakes right now. I know he’s coming to fight.”
Main image: Esther Lin/Showtime.