On Saturday night, boxing will make its return to pay-per-view for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic made its presence felt earlier this year and Premier Boxing Champions and Showtime have undoubtedly put together a blockbuster card.
The first-of-its-kind doubleheader, which will take place in front of an empty crowd at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, will feature five world title bouts, with the main attractions being twin brothers Jermall “Hitman” Charlo (30-0, 22 KOs), the reigning WBC Middleweight champion, and Jermell “Ironman” Charlo (33-1, 17 KOs), the reigning WBC Junior Middleweight champion.
And while the global pandemic has seemingly made it more difficult to put together high-level matchups in recent months, both Charlos find themselves in intriguing and competitive fights against world-class opposition.
Jermall, for example, will put his 160-pound title on the line against multi-time title challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KOs), while Jermell will look to unify three 154-pound straps against two-belt titleholder Jeison Rosario (20-1-1, 14 KOs).
While both of these fights are undoubtedly appealing, it’s also possible that both Derevyanchenko and Rosario will provide stiff challenges for the Charlo brothers. In other words, Saturday night isn’t shaping up to be an easy one for the Houston-born brothers, making the stakes even higher.
For Jermall, this upcoming fight is all about proving himself amongst the best 160 pounders in the world. Although he’s been a world champion since him and his brother secured 154-pound titles on the same night in 2015, he’s drawn criticism since moving up to Middleweight in 2017 for the level of competition he’s faced.
As a 160 pounder, the Hitman has earned victories over the likes of Jorge Sebastian Heiland, Hugo Centeno Jr., Matt Korobov, Brandon Adams and Dennis Hogan–five fighters who have a combined 17 losses and five draws. In addition, Jermall initially won and defended an interim version of the WBC title and was only elevated to full champion status last year after the WBC made Canelo Alvarez the sanctioning body’s “Franchise Champion.”
There’s no denying that Jermall is a skilled fighter and he has some impressive names on his resume. He just hasn’t proved himself as a legitimate Middleweight champion yet.
Against Derevyanchenko, however, he’ll get the opportunity to do just that.
After compiling a wealth of experience and success as an amateur, the 34-year-old Ukrainian has proven himself as a high-level professional. A relentless pressure fighter with the ability to brawl, Derevyanchenko, nicknamed “The Technician” is also a skilled and well-rounded boxer.
Recently, he’s suffered close-and-controversial decision defeats to Daniel Jacobs and Gennadiy Golovkin, but in both bouts, he’s made it clear that he is deserving of being ranked amongst the best Middleweights in the world.
Given Derevyanchenko’s status in the division, a win over him would be massive for Jermall, especially if it was more impressive than Jacobs’ and Golovkin’s. And not only would it cement him as a legitimate champion at 160 pounds, but it would set him up for marquee matchups against Alvarez, Golovkin and WBO champion Demetrius Andrade.
For Jermell, the stakes are a bit different when it comes to this weekend’s fights, but that doesn’t mean that the Ironman doesn’t have anything to prove.
As opposed to his brother, however, Jermell won’t be looking to prove that he is simply a deserving champion, as he’s already done that. Instead, it could be argued that Jermell is looking to prove himself as the clear No. 1 at 154 pounds.
Despite both brothers being successful and both having similar styles, Jermell has faced the better competition thus far and his resume is a bit more impressive than Jermall’s.
After winning a vacant title in 2016, Jermell has gone on to successfully defend his belt against the likes of Erickson Lubin, Austin Trout and Tony Harrison. His win over Harrison is perhaps the most impressive in recent memory, as he actually suffered a highly-contested decision defeat to him in 2018 and was likely losing the rematch in 2019 before scoring an emphatic 11th-round finish to reclaim his title.
Given the level of competition he’s faced and the ability he’s shown to fight back from adversity, there’s no denying Jermell’s claim as a champion. A win over Rosario, however, would make him the holder of three of the division’s belts and give him an argument to make as the division’s top talent.
And like his brother, a win would set Jermell up nicely for the future, as many big fights would await. A rematch against Lubin, who successfully defeated Terrell Guasha this past weekend, would be a possibility, as would fights against divisional mainstays and former champions like Julian “J-Rock” Williams and Jarrett Hurd.
Ultimately, it’s easy to see why Saturday night means so much to the twin brothers born just minutes apart. That doesn’t mean it will be an easy night, however, as both Jermall and Jermell will be facing their toughest tests to date.
If victorious though, the future will only become brighter for the Houston natives.