When comes to big fights we often hear a trope of sacrifice. You have to give up pleasure, you have to give up your family to be great. Comfort is not part of the equation.
Yet, for Jermell Charlo, the undisputed champion at super welterweight, heading into the biggest fight of his career against Saul "Canelo" Alvarez his mindset is the exact opposite, as the two meet on Showtime pay-per-view on September 30th. Charlo is staying closer to his family than ever as the biggest moment of his life arrives.
"Usually, you hear a fighter say sacrifice," said Charlo to Showtime's camera for All Access episode two. "Sacrifice from your family, your girl, and your kids, when you're comfortable - wake up."
Charlo has made it clear that he envisions his hypothetical win against Canelo, another undisputed champion but in the super middleweight division, who he is fighting for Canelo's undisputed super middleweight world title. Charlo sees this as his moment to finally get the praise that he feels he deserves, as despite being an undisputed champion at junior middleweight, he void of many pound-for-pound lists, and often overlooked as one of the best fighters of his era.
"Don't get caught into the words sound good," furthered Charlo. "You telling me not to be here for my son, because I got a fight coming up? [My family] doesn't get put on hold."
While many fighters become reclusive and introverted, it appears that Charlo has found peace with his current situation of family members and girlfriend which helps him balance the rigors of training with the incredible stress he is forced to endure to give himself the best chance of winning this fight. This fight promotion has shown a new side of Jermell Charlo, often thought of as a vocal fighter, a brash one, and at times maybe even viewed as a bully. In the lead-up to this fight, we have seen a sensitive, mature, and even vulnerable side in which he is willing to say a lot of things that many fighters wouldn't dare - one of which being that he finds peace in his family, and doesn't see it as a distraction.
"This is my motivation, this my inspiration," said Charlo when in the pool with his family. "They got to grow up and realize what we're on."
While Charlo is no stranger to sacrifice as he had to move up two weight classes to land the biggest fight of his career against boxing's cash cow, Canelo Alvarez. One thing is for certain, Charlo is not going to change his role as a father and boyfriend, for this moment, and his family will fuel him on fight night.