Wednesday, February 08, 2023  |



Jermall Charlo focused for Norberto Gonzalez after lost title shot


Jermall Charlo-635


Although he is focused on pursuing his 13th straight stoppage victory against Norberto Gonzalez on Thursday at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, undefeated junior middleweight Jermall Charlo still ponders what might have been.

Charlo (18-0, 14 knockouts) was slated to face IBF titleholder Carlos Molina in support of the March 8 main event that featured Saul Alvarez’s 10th-round knockout of Alfredo Angulo at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Molina’s arrest five days prior to the fight forced the cancelation of their bout.

“When you give it your all and you leave camp knowing that your life can change after your next fight but then, you don’t get that opportunity to change your life, it’s almost like, ‘What do I have now?’ and, ‘What am I supposed to do now about the situation?'” said Charlo, the 24-year-old twin brother of 154-pounder Jermell Charlo.

“But I just kind of bounced out of it and I just kept training and looked at it as a learning experience and that nothing is final until I’m actually in the ring. For a while, I kind of had my hopes up, thinking that it was still going to happen but I just continued to just fight and I was able to get the knockout in my next fight.”

Just as Charlo managed to channel his frustration into a third round technical knockout over Hector Munoz in April, he plans for a similar performance against Gonzalez (20-4, 13 KOs), 33. Gonzalez lost his past two fights by split decision and unanimous decision to Roberto Garcia and Yudel Johnson in February and June, respectively.

“I’m actually feeling pretty good. It’s almost like I had been getting prepared for the unknown because I didn’t know who I was fighting until a couple of days ago. I know that [Gonzalez is] 20-4 but I actually don’t know too much more about him. I don’t know if he’s short or tall or anything but I’ll make adjustments when I get in there,” said Charlo, who is trained by Ronnie Shields.

“I’m an all-around athlete, so it’s just about getting in there and working and learning the things that I’m good at and the things that I’m not good at. I’m working on strengthening my weakness and getting better and better. You know, I just feel good about anybody that I get in there with, so I’m just ready to go, even if it would have been against Carlos Molina. I’m ready to continue to build my legacy and my career.”

Charlo-Gonzalez is part of a “Golden Boy Live!” card in support of a main event between heavyweights Luis Ortiz and Lateef Kayode to be televised on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes.

In May, the IBF denied a request by Molina’s handlers for an exception to face Charlo, instead ordering Molina to fight mandatory challenger and former organization beltholder Cornelius Bundrage in a match-up targeted for Oct. 11.

“The Carlos Molina fight, I was being overlooked like I was just going to be a tune=up for him on a big card. A few people didn’t think I deserved the chance, so I wasn’t supposed to be there in some people’s eyes. But guys like Carlos Molina know that they’ll have to face me one day because I’m determined to become a champion,” said Charlo.

“If it’s the IBF belt that I meet up for, then I’ll be ready for it. But I’m just taking my time because it’s all going to happen in God’s time. I look at it like it’s by the grace of God that I’m even here and able to perform the way that I have been able to and that I’m able to do the things that I’ve been able to do. But I’m just waiting patiently for my opportunity to get that title shot. When it’s time for me to fight for the title, I’ll be in my prime and I’ll be ready.”