Jermall Charlo is officially set to defend his WBC middleweight title against Dennis Hogan on Dec. 7 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, with the fight airing live on Showtime.
Charlo (29-0, 21 KO) won the interim WBC title in April 2018, beating Hugo Centeno, and was elevated to full title status earlier this year, when the WBC made the goofy decision to “elevate” Canelo Alvarez to the made-up position of “franchise champion” at 160 pounds. He made his first defense of the full title on June 29, beating Brandon Adams in Houston.
Hogan (28-2-1, 7 KO) is coming up from 154 pounds for this fight. He received a mandatory WBO junior middleweight title shot against Jaime Munguia in April, and lost a highly controversial majority decision on the road in Mexico.
“I want to thank Dennis Hogan for accepting my challenge. This belt isn’t going anywhere. I’m making a home for it at Barclays Center,” Charlo said at the press conference on Thursday.
“Hogan has some big hopes. Middleweight is my division. I want the biggest fights at 160. That’s not on the menu right now, so I’m going to take care of what’s here. I am the best fighter at 160 pounds. In due time, the world will get a chance to see me reveal the best version of myself.”
Hogan, born in Ireland and based in Australia, is looking forward to the shot.
“I’m looking forward to becoming the next Irish fighter to come to New York and become a world champion,” he said. “I believe that me taking this fight speaks volumes on what kind of fighter I am. I’m on record that I feel like the champion in my heart, and it’s only a matter of time before the belt is on my waist. It’s destiny. It’s time for me to become world champion.”
Seeing that Hogan is probably peaking in confidence right now, Charlo simply said he’ll prove to be on another level.
“I’m not worried about Hogan’s confidence. He is just number 30 to me,” Charlo said. “We’re going to get in there well prepared. I could fight tomorrow. Hogan is going to get a chance to see what he can do against my speed and my skills.”
He’s also promising a KO, saying, “I’m going to walk him straight into it. I’m going to give him exactly what he wants. We’ve watched what we need to of Hogan. He’s not on my level. It’s time to get back to where I’ve always been. Barclays Center and Showtime is my comfort zone. I’m on fire and I’m ready. I’m back where I want to be.”
Hogan, not known as a puncher, feels that going back up in weight will give him some added pop.
“Five years ago I was told  was the weight to campaign at,” he said. “At that point I was the light heavyweight champion of Ireland. But as I went down in weight, that knockout power seemed to leave me. That last bit that I won’t need to drain for this fight will be all the difference and all I need on Dec. 7.
“I’ve always been heavy-handed, but I think the power will be back. I have the speed of a welterweight, the agility of a 154-pounder and the chin of a heavyweight. When you put it all together, this is going to be a great fight.”