Make no mistake about it. Jermall Charlo and his brother Jermell have consistently dismissed any and all notions that they will ever face off in a ring, under any circumstances.
However, that does not prevent me from journalistically envisioning what a fight between the brothers would look and feel like.
Join me as I set the scene.
Jermell Charlo is fresh off his win over John Jackson, picking up the WBC Super Welterweight belt in the process. The date is December 10th.
He is in attendance to watch his twin brother defend his IBF belt against the brash Philadelphia native, Julian “J-Roc” Williams. Jermall would go on to defeat Williams in spectacular fashion via 5th round KO.
The 2 brothers are now major belt holders, an impressive task in its own right. Talks immediately swirl about the possibility of one of the brothers becoming the undisputed champion of the world.
Somewhat surprisingly, (but not really because anything can and will happen in boxing, good or bad) in the next few days the WBC mandates that all titleholders must attempt to become the division’s undisputed champion immediately upon receiving the belt.
Fight negotiations must begin no later than 60 days after the belt is won.
At this point all eyes are on the Charlo brothers. A decision must be made. Because the mandate is still new, each Charlo brother strongly denies any and every idea of them fighting. Interview after interview is the same;
“I will never fight my brother. End of story. Next question.”
Out of nowhere and to everyone’s surprise, Showtime Executive Vice President and General Manager Stephen Espinoza tweets the following:
“Jermall Charlo vs. Jermell Charlo is a done deal for June 3rd at Minute Maid Park in Houston. WOW.”
As expected, the boxing world becomes unhinged. Two twin brothers squaring off against each other. The fight is billed as “Nothing Personal”.
Fight promotion begins April 1 which each brother giving mostly generic answers to reporters. When asked if it will be hard to fight his brother once the bell rings, Jermell answers:
“All fights are hard. Every time you step in that ring it’s a hard fight.”
Jermall is asked if he hurts Jermell will it be hard to finish him off to which he replies:
“You can’t think about stuff like that. You just have to go in there and execute the game plan.”
At the press conference day before fight – Stephen Espinoza:
“You know when most fights are promoted, there is a degree of hyperbole that is used. Whether other promoters admit to this is irrelevant. However, as I speak to you today, there is absolutely no need for hyperbole. You have 2 strong, competitive, and ultimately brothers facing off in the pursuit of greatness. I know I haven’t said a lot today, but I think I’ve said all I need to. Without further ado, Jermall Charlo.”
“Thank you everybody for coming out this afternoon. Thank you to Showtime, Al Haymon, All the media. I know in the past me and my brother said we would never fight but it’s boxing. Things change, people change, and if you don’t adapt with it you might get left behind. Me and my brother talked about the fight for about a month and came to the conclusion that we needed to take advantage of this opportunity. Thank you and make sure you tune in Saturday night.”
“Thank you all for coming out. Especially Showtime, Al Haymon, the media, the fans, the networks. Saturday night, it’s business. Jermall is my brother and I love ‘em with all my heart but come Saturday I gotta hurt em, and I know he feels the same. I’m in great shape and I wouldn’t expect anything less from him. You don’t wanna miss this. Thank you.”
Jermall and Jermell are standing across from each other in the ring. Tony Weeks has been given tonight’s assignment. Houston’s Minute Maid Park is rocking and ready for the show. Tony Weeks sternly gives the final instructions to each fighter as he always does. The fighters walk away to their respective corners. The bell rings. Round 1 has began.
Jermell quickly exits his corner. Jermall is caught slightly off guard but quickly settles in. Jermell appearing to be slightly faster, works his jab up and down on Jermall.
Jermall seems to feel he is the bigger puncher and is content to try to counter punch, barely missing right hands over the top of Jermell’s jab.
Jermell takes the first round due to activity and accuracy. 10-9 Jermell.
Jermell is first out of the corner once again. It seems that leaving his corner quickly is an important psychological part of his game plan. He begins the round boxing again. Jermall appears to want to box as well.
He is uncharacteristically light on his feet this round.
Jermall is doing a better job of slipping and parrying Jermell’s jab. Jermell keeps his jab going and is countered with an uppercut that gets his full attention; come to think about it, it’s similar to the uppercut that Jermall rocked Julian Williams with.
Jermell is content is stay outside and regroup in the next round. Jermall backs him up and works the body well. 10-9 Jermall.
Jermell wants to stay outside but is having trouble not getting trapped along the ropes and in the corner. His defense is tight but Jermall is getting through with some big shots, particularly to the body. Jermell’s jab is landing too, however. Will be a hard round to judge for sure.
Once again Jermell flies out his corner. Not only is he pumping the jab, but he is also mixing in the straight right hand as well. His one-twos caught Jermall slightly off guard.
Jermell clearly has a goal of getting this respect back this round. Midway through the round Jermell is clearly in control. It is clear he has the faster hands at this point. THEN IT HAPPENED.
During one of his one-twos, Jermall uses his exceptional timing to slip both the jab and right hand, then quickly pivots out to his right and lands a destructive left hook to the body.
Jermell feels it immediately and tries to bluff his way through it, but he can’t. He takes 2 and half hop steps back then takes a knee. Tony Weeks gets to 8 in the count before Jermell grimaces though the pain and unsteadily makes it to his feet.
Jermell is in spectacularly bad shape and is trying his best not to square up to Jermall, as he calmly walks forward to finish the job.
He digs a right to the exposed right flank of Jermell and at this point it seems it’s only a matter of seconds. Wait. He suddenly backs away from his brother and repeatedly shakes his head.
He walks to each corner of the ring and appears to be saying “I saw” to the media and fans.
No that’s not it. He’s saying: “I’m sorry.” Jermall Charlo is unable knock out his brother Jermell Charlo.