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Jermell Charlo: I don’t underestimate anyone, but Tim Tszyu is not the same caliber as me

Jermell Charlo doesn’t see Tim Tszyu being on his level ahead of their Jan. 28 clash.

Jermell Charlo doesn’t believe Tim Tszyu is on his level
Jermell Charlo doesn’t believe Tim Tszyu is on his level
Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Jermell Charlo is officially set to defend his undisputed 154 lb crown against Tim Tszyu on Saturday, Jan. 28, headlining a Showtime card from Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas, and the 32-year-old champ is confident heading into the matchup, as you’d expect.

“With every fight I step up to the plate to challenge myself, not my opponents. Y’all know what I do and y’all know what I go into the ring to do. It’s a ‘don’t blink situation.’ That’s just who I am,” Charlo said in a virtual press conference on Tuesday.

“I knew that once I got to this point in my life, that I’d face nothing but top tier guys. That’s all I want. I don’t underestimate anyone, but Tim Tszyu is not the same caliber as I am. His father has done things in boxing, but my pedigree is strong. My pedigree is proven and has been destined for many years.”

Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KO) fully unified the division with his last win, stopping Brian Castano in the 10th round on May 14, 10 months after their first meeting ended in a draw. He acknowledges that Tszyu (21-0, 15 KO) is “young and hungry,” but says he still feels that way himself.

“I’m in the prime of my life,” he said. “What I possess is undeniable. I’m very humble at the end of the day because we all come to win. There’s much respect to any boxer who comes into that ring. But I’m different. I’m different than anybody else in the pound-for-pound list. I still don’t get the respect that I deserve, but I don’t worry about it. I keep that same energy.”

Charlo also doesn’t see himself moving up in weight any time soon, crediting good habits outside the ring and his work ethic for being able to still make 154 lbs comfortably.

“I worked my ass off my whole life. I didn’t just start this. I’m more dedicated now than I’ve ever been,” he said. “I like when my opponents talk, because I’ve been able to shut up a lot of people. Nobody is ready for me in my division. Everybody is training and says they’re ready. We’re just going to go in there and entertain the people.

“I can stay in this division for my whole career. I can’t predict the future, but I’m ready to get it on as fast as y’all are ready to see it. I make this weight easily. Boxing is a lifestyle for me. We’re going to enjoy it later.

“Every fight is a legacy fight for me. I stand strong by that. I have a good team and a great support system. I’ve been in competition ever since I was born and raised with my twin brother. I’m a different genre.”

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