Jermall Charlo, half of the Charlo Twin Boxing Prospect Dynasty, is taking a major step up in his competition level when he faces Carlos Molina this Saturday on the PPV undercard of Canelo Alvarez - Alfredo Angulo. Molina, despite his ugly 22-5-2 (6) record, is undoubtedly one of the top junior middleweights in the world. He holds wins over Ishe Smith, an old Cory Spinks, Kermit Cintron, and recorded a draw with Erislandy Lara that should have gone to him. He also suffered a controversial loss to James Kirkland in 2012 when he was disqualified due to his trainer entering the ring too early in the tenth round.
This is clearly the most difficult opponent that Charlo has faced thus far. Not only is Molina good but also employs a spoiler-like style, clinching when necessary to stall an opponent's offense. Charlo is talented but it remains to be seen how he will do against a boxer as good and experienced as Molina. Even if Charlo wins, it will almost certainly not look pretty.
Nevertheless, Charlo has displayed the usual confidence of a young boxer on his way up the ladder. He sounds a bit cocky when discussing Molina, but that's to be expected. It wouldn't be good if the guy was sounding overly worried.
Here is what Charlo had to say about his upcoming fight, via Boxing Scene's Keith Idec:
"This is like a regular fight to me. I work very hard for every fight. Carlos Molina, he is just a steppingstone and I just have to get past this obstacle. Once my team gets past this, I feel like we'll be at the top forever.
"This fight is big. It's major. I'm 17-0 right now. I haven't even clinched 20 fights and I'm fighting for a world title. I feel like I'm an elite fighter. I have an elite team behind me. So it's just a matter of time.
"This is like any other fight I've ever had. In 2013, none of my opponents had been knocked out. I knocked them out. I face top guys and it's just another day at the office for me."
Charlo's statements are a bit contradicting as he initially says it's a "regular fight" then changes to "This fight is big. It's major." before switching back to "This is like any other fight I've ever had.". He is also very incorrect about none of his 2013 opponents having been knocked out before.
Nevertheless, it's hardly the first time a boxer has said crazy things in an interview so I can't hold it against him too much, I suppose. At least he's stepping up in a big way by facing Molina, a guy that a lot of others want nothing to do with.
Do you share Charlo's confidence that Molina is just a steppingstone to something bigger?