Jermall Charlo: 'Money doesn’t have anything to do with my motivations'

Eight hundred and eighty-eight days.

That is the number of days since undefeated middleweight Jermall Charlo last fought.

Charlo returns in the co-main event on Saturday’s pay-per-view. Yet, Charlo will not defend his title opting for a 163 lbs catchweight instead. His WBC middleweight title will not be on the line. Charlo is fighting Jose Benavidez Jr. If the name sounds familiar it should. Benavidez’s brother, David is the main event. He will be fighting Demetrius Andrade. Charlo insists that he is not coming back for money, but rather to fulfill his destiny in the sport. Yet, his body language and demeanor seem different than when he last fought.

“Money doesn’t have anything to do with my motivations. I fight for my legacy," said Charlo. "This is about me getting back to the best me. I want to be able to give the fans and everyone who supports me the best of me. I get a chance to go in there and I’m ready for war. Just know that. I’m motivated and I’m ready to show everybody.”

“I took a break from social media and got a chance to regroup and make myself better. I’m back. I now have a chance to show everybody the new me."

“I’m going to fight at the top of my level no matter if my opponent is talking trash or not. There’s something wrong with this dude obviously. He’s got a few screws missing. He must not know what he’s getting himself into. 32 have tried and they’ve all failed. He’s just a stepping stone. I’m going to step on him super hard. I’m going to crush him.”

The two-division world champion, Charlo has faced difficulties. He was slapped in public by Caleb Plant. He has cited mental health problems. Now he is fighting a brash, tough-talking opponent. One who has jump at the chance to call his bluff, time and time again. Though Charlo seems different, Benavidez Jr seems enthused. Charlo is the bigger man. Fighting at 154 and 160 lbs his whole career. Whereas Benavidez has fought as low as 140 all the way up to 160 lbs in his last fight. The bout should be a routine fight for Charlo, but Charlo has more questions than answers at this point.

“Everything about him is too little for me,” said Charlo. “Big Charlo is back.”

Charlo's career is confusing. His break is ambiguous. His relationship with his brother, Jermell, seems torn. It seems he could've gotten a Canelo Alvarez fight, but didn't. What is his motivation at this point? The only constant is his long-time coach Ronnie Shields, who is still in his corner. On Saturday, we find out what Charlo has left.