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Jermall Charlo to work Jermell’s corner for Hatley fight

Billy Joe Saunders

By Jim Dower: Former IBF junior middleweight champion Jermall Charlo will be working the corner of his brother WBC 154 pound champion Jermell Charlo (28-0, 13 KOs) for his title defense this Saturday night against Charles Hatley (26-1-1, 18 KOs) on Showtime Championship Boxing from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Jermell, 26, might not need the assistance of his brother Jermall because this is a fight that he has a good chance of winning without too many problems. The 31-year-old Hatley is a good fighter, but he’s not been active as of recently.

Hatley didn’t fight at all in 2016, and he’s coming off of a 17th month layoff to challenge Jermell for his World Boxing Council 154lb title on Saturday night. I’m not sure why the WBC chose to freeze Hatley’s high ranking at No.1 instead of downgrading him to a lower rank or remove him from the top 15 rankings entirely due to his inactivity. Being out of the ring for almost 2 years makes it look a little strange that Hatley is getting a title shot after that kind of layoff. Ideally, contenders should at least fight once a year, preferably 2-3 times.

I’m excited to announce that my brother Jermall will be working my corner,” said Jermell. “I’m really pumped to have him in there with me as my chief second for the first time. I don’t know what’s been happening with Charles Hatley’s team. But we’re here and we’re not going anywhere.

This might be one of the best camps that Jermell has had to get ready for a fight. He’s been sparring a lot with unbeaten welterweight contender Errol Spence Jr. to prepare for Hatley. You can argue that Jermell’s sparring with Spence could end up harder than the actual fight with Hatley.
Jermell has looked really good lately with his knockout victories over John Jackson and Joachim Alcine in his last 2 fights.

What we don’t know is if Jermell has improved from the fighter that struggled to beat Vanes Martirosyan in 2015 and Demetrius Hopkins in 2013. Jermell didn’t look like anything special in either of those fights. You can say that maybe Charlo was younger then, and not the same fighter he is now. Jermell would need to improve a great deal for him to look like a solid fighter that isn’t vulnerable to getting beaten.

The Martirosyan fight appeared to be a loss for Jermell. The judges gave him the victory, but he didn’t fight or look like a winner in that fight.
“There’s nothing he can do to stop me from leaving the ring with that belt. I know I have all the skills. We’ve worked hard and I believe I have what it takes to beat Charlo and take his belt home.

Warren reveals his plans for Saunders and a potential Golovkin fight

Frank Warren, the promoter for WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders (24-0, 12 KOs) says the winner of this Saturday’s fight between #1 WBO Avtandil Khurtsidze (32-2-2, 21 KOs) and #3 WBO Tommy Langford (18-0, 6 KOs) will be facing him unless a unification match against IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin can be put together. Warren is still interested in making the Golovkin-Saunders fight for June, but he’s hearing that Golovkin is still injured at this time.

“It’s been ordered that the winner has to fight him unless [Gennady] Golovkin, who’s injured at the moment I’m told, unless we can resurrect that, because we had the fight done for June unless we can get that one out, and we’re working on that,” said Saunders’ promoter Frank Warren to BT Sports. “Then they will give Bill leave to fight Golovkin.”

Golovkin initially appeared to be interested in a fight with Saunders, but his promoter Tom Loeffler has been quiet lately in not talking about the fight. It’s believed that Golovkin is more interested in trying to make the fight with Saul Canelo Alvarez for September. If that fight is going to be made, it’s going to take time to negotiate and promote it for September. Canelo’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya wants to start promoting the fight immediately after Canelo’s fight with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on May 6.

Saunders (24-0, 12 KOs) is coming off of what some boxing fans believe to be his worst performance of his career in beating Artur Akavov by a 12 round unanimous decision win last December. Saunders blames his poor performance on him having been out of the ring for 12 months after his win over Andy Lee in December 2015. Saunders gained a lot of weight and had to take the weight off. The way Saunders fought Akavov, he’s going to have a hard time beating Khurtsidze if he’s the one that emerges as his mandatory challenger after this Saturday night. Saunders isn’t a good inside fighter, and the pressure that Khurtsidze puts on him might be too much for him to handle.

Langford and Khurtsidze will be fighting for the interim WBO middleweight title this Saturday on April 22 at the in Leicester Arena, in Leicester, Leicestershire, United Kingdom.

Langford will need to up his game for him not to wind up as another knockout victim of the 37-year-old Khurtsidze on Saturday. There’s a huge power imbalance between the two of them. The 5’4” Khurtsidze has recent knockout wins over Antoine Dougas, Melvin Betancourt, Phlip Penson, Eddie Hunter, and Allen Conyers. Those fighters aren’t in the same class as the 27-year-old Langford, but that might not matter. What’s important to focus on is how monstrously powerful Khurtsidze is looking right now. He doesn’t look like he’s going to be an easy out for any one, least of all a guy with little power and big time experience in Langford.

This fight is bad news for Langfored unless he can find another gear in his game and dazzle Khurtsidze with his boxing skills. Langford is a volume puncher, and he needs to be able to stand in front of his opponents for him to get the better of them with his high work rate. If Langford stands in front of Khurtsidze for too long on Saturday night, he could get taken out with something big.

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