Jermall Charlo waited through various postponements for his mandatory junior middleweight world title shot against Cornelius "K9" Bundrage and when they finally met on Sept.12 -- seven years to the day since Charlo's professional debut -- Charlo blew him away.
Charlo knocked Bundrage down in the first round, again in the second round and twice more in the third in a third-round knockout victory at the Foxwoods resort in Mashantucket, Connecticut.
Charlo (22-0, 17 KOs), 25, of Houston, may have waited a long time to get the title but he is wasting little time in returning for his first defense, which come against "Silky" Wilky Campfort on a Premier Boxing Champions tripleheader on Saturday (NBC, 3 p.m. ET) at the Bomb Factory in Dallas.
"I was on NBC when I got my title and now to be back there, headlining this time to defend my title, I'm more than excited," Charlo said. "With the fight being here in Texas, I feel like I'm at home."
By fighting again so quickly after he won the belt, Charlo said he went right back into camp after beating Bundrage, which he said means he is in great shape for the fight.
"I had a strong camp. Before I got the title I was in good shape and I took no time off, so I'm ready and I'm going to adjust once I get in the ring," said Charlo, who trained with junior middleweight titlist Erislandy Lara, who was getting ready for his title defense this past Wednesday night. "I'm listening to my coach (Ronnie Shields) and I'm more than ready to go in and give it my all."
Campfort (21-1, 12 KOs), 31, who is from Haiti and fighting out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has not lost since dropping a four-round majority decision in his second professional bout in 2009. But he has also faced very low level opposition throughout his career, so he is a surprise title challenger, although coming off an exciting two-round shootout with Ronald Montes on Sept. 18, during which Campfort got knocked down in the first round and then dropped Montes three times in the second round for the knockout.
"This fight in Dallas and on NBC is such a great opportunity for me to show the people around the world what I can do," Campfort said. "Charlo is a very young, very talented and very powerful fighter. He's undefeated and I know he's going to fight hard to keep his '0.' But I'm just going to go in there and do what I do. I know he's going have the crowd behind him, being from Texas and all, but I plan to keep the crowd quiet.
"He has power, but I've never been knocked out, so I'm not worried about that. He's never been in the ring with someone like me."
In the co-feature, blue chip welterweight prospect and Dallas native Errol Spence Jr. (18-0, 15 KOs), a 25-year-old 2012 U.S. Olympian, will face Alejandro Barrera (28-2, 18 KOs), 29, of Mexico, in a title elimination fight that will push the winner a step closer to an mandatory shot at the belt world title belt held by England's Kell Brook.
Spence will be fighting as a professional in his hometown for the first time and is excited about it.
"It feels great to be fighting at home. I've wanted to fight here for a while, so it's nice that I finally get the chance to," he said. "The fight is two days after Thanksgiving, so a lot of people will be back home from school and off of work. I'm excited that a lot of my friends and family will finally get to come out and see me fight live, instead of just on TV. I think the fight is almost sold out so I know I have a lot of support."
Barrera has not faced any quality opponents and is not expected to give Spence too much trouble but Spence said he will not overlook him.
"He's a tough fighter with experience. He has a little bit of power in him," Spence said. "I know he has a good jab and he's a smart fighter, so I know I need to go in there and be smart. I need to make sure to keep the intensity up and hopefully I can stop him."
Said Barrera, "(Spence) is a very tough opponent so I have trained myself to the best of my capabilities. I'm ready for a really hard fight and to go the full 12 rounds. This is an opportunity to show myself in the U.S. and I am not letting it slip away.
"I've prepared differently for this fight than for any other. I've never been this prepared. Most importantly I had plenty of time in this training camp, more than usual."
In the 10-round opening fight, blue-chip junior middleweight prospect Erickson Lubin (12-0, 9 KOs), a 20-year-old southpaw from Orlando, Florida, faces Alexis Camacho (21-5, 19 KOs), 34, a Mexico native fighting out of Austin, Texas.
"I don't know much about my opponent, but I'm always ready to go," Lubin said. "To me, it's just another opponent. I'm training hard and I'm ready to go. My team lines them up, I knock them down."