Jermall Charlo will end a two-and-half-year hiatus on November 25th.
The WBC middleweight champion will return to the ring with a catch, he will be competing at a catchweight of 163 lbs with his belt not being on the line.
Charlo, who will be the co-feature to David Benavidez versus Demetrius Andrade, which takes place on Showtime pay-per-view at Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, will face Benavidez's older, Jose Benavidez Jr. The bout will signal only the second time Benavidez Jr has fought at this weight class, but given the inactivity of Charlo, a lot of questions need to be answered as Charlo is the most interesting middleweight champion, yet painfully inactive. Charlo held a media workout ahead of this forth-coming fight in which he expressed his thoughts on the fight, as well as his break from the sport of boxing due to his mental health.
“A lot of people consider mental health when can’t stabilize your mind and think forward," said Charlo. "I was in a place of not being able to explain it to anyone and kind of always shielded it and I had to fight through that through my learning experiences. The main thing I’ve learned this whole time is patience. I got ready on my own terms. I’m back in the ring on my own terms. I feel better at my own pace and I’m going to go in and face my battles on my own timing.
“Benavidez is just one of those guys who has to make a name for himself," said Charlo. "Of course, talking [expletive] to me would be the best thing you can do because you’re only amping the fight up. I mean, I guess he is trying to sell the fight, but I’m taking it personal and I’m taking it seriously. I’m not taking his words lightly."
“I don’t have respect for him. I have respect for myself to go out there and dictate the fight, be patient. Of course, if I hit him flush, I’ll knock him cold out. Walking all over him, AI (Allen Iverson) [expletive] I’m going crazy. I’m just trying not to let the excitement overpower me."
During a conference call last week, the two exchanged insults in a humorous exchange that Charlo referenced in this call. Not unlike many instances in the career of Jermall Charlo the voice of reason is Ronnie Shields, who is a veteran coach who has worked with a lot of legends. While Charlo might be humorous and intense, Shields shared some insight that was reflective and thoughtful about the upcoming fight for Charlo and the position in the sport he occupies.
“Ring rust is ring rust, but this is why we train every day, to get the rust off. I mean, I wish the fight was tomorrow because he’s ready to go," said Charlo's veteran trainer, Ronnie Shields. “I think Jose Jr. brings a lot, especially with his attitude, which is ferocious and that’s a good attitude to have I guess in this business. You know, look, Jose is like his brother David. They are both good fighters and you can say they train hard, and they come to fight. And that’s a good thing. But you know what, we’re looking for a fight...“Jermall is like a son to me. He’s in a great place right now. He’s with his wife and his kids and really enjoying everything right now. I think it’s that frame of mind that it takes for him to succeed. Now that he has that back and he’s so happy and joyful about everything little thing, that’s a great place for him to be."