<
>

Jermell Charlo waits patiently for opportunity

Jermell Charlo will return to action on Saturday to face veteran former junior middleweight titlist Joachim Alcine. Leo Wilson/Premier Boxing Champions

While Jermall Charlo won a junior middleweight world title on Sept. 12, twin brother Jermell Charlo, a top contender in the same weight division, has waited patiently for his own opportunity.

He watched one go down the drain last December when he was due to challenge then-titleholder Demetrius Andrade, who ultimately pulled out because he was in a contract snit with his promoters.

Instead, Charlo wound up being dropped deep into that December undercard, where he easily shut out low-level opponent Mario Lozano. He then scored a career-best win on March 28, a competitive 10-round decision against contender Vanes Martirosyan.

Many believed that victory would lead to a title fight for Charlo. It didn’t, and he has not fought since. But Charlo (26-0, 11 KOs), 25, will return to action to face 39-year-old former junior middleweight titlist Joachim Alcine (35-7-2, 21 KOs) of Montreal in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card at NRG Arena in Houston on Saturday night (NBC Sports Net, 11 p.m. ET).

"My plan is to come in strong and powerful, be the faster man, move a lot and try to make him commit to the things he's used to seeing me do in previous fights,” Charlo said at his media date this week. “And that's how we're going to open him up. I don't necessarily have a prediction, but I'm going to knock him out. I don't know what round it will be, but he's going down."

That would not be a surprise. Alcine, who has looked awful in recent fights, has been knocked out four times, including twice in the first round.

Still, Charlo respects the fact that he is an experienced veteran.

“Joachim Alcine does certain things in the ring that I've seen and taken note of. There are some things I believe I can take advantage of,” Charlo said. “Hopefully he makes those mistakes and I can make him pay. But he puts in hard work. I know I'm not just going to go in there and beat him up. I'm going to have to be smart, but it should be a very entertaining fight.

"Alcine is going to come in there on Saturday and try to use his experience to beat me, but I'm confident he's going to run into some problems with me.”

Although Charlo is not facing a formidable opponent, he is happy to be fighting in his hometown, where he has fought several times but never in the main event.

"Fighting here in Houston in front of my hometown crowd with all of my family and friends to support me is huge,” he said. “This is my first opportunity to fight as a main event in my city, and I'm excited to put on a great show for the fans.”

In the co-feature, Detroit junior middleweight Tony Harrison (21-1, 18 KOs), who suffered an upset ninth-round knockout loss to Willie Nelson on July 11, will look to bounce back from his first defeat against Cecil McCalla (20-2, 7 KOs) of Baltimore in a scheduled 10-round fight.