Me and you and a few hundred thousand very interested souls are curious, is Jermell Charlo the best pugilist currently campaigning at 154 pounds right now.
There are others who can lay that claim. One, Erislandy Lara, is fighting in the main event at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and on Showtime, against Terrell Gausha. Another, Demetrius Andrade, isn’t fighting Saturday in Brooklyn, he fights next weekend in Verona, NY, and on HBO. Also, guess what..he's fighting at 160 now, as is the other Charlo twin, Jermall.
But, and this wouldn’t surprise you, Jermell Charlo's trainer, Texan Derrick James, who also tutors Errol Spence, thinks Jermell is THE MAN at 154. Erickson Lubin will be the athlete tasked with making James eat the words at Barclays tonight.
“I KNOW so, but it’s about them getting in the ring and getting the fights on,” James told me at the famed and fabled Gleason’s Gym the other day.
So, lots of us saying we see Charlo-Lubin as a 50-50 proposition on paper. James doesn’t. “I believe he’s the better fighter, stronger, he’s the better fighter against better opposition. Not to say that because Lubin hasn’t fought great opposition, he’s not good. But you can’t go off of and say how great he really is. I think he’s good fighter, a really good young fighter. I see what I see, I see a couple things transitioned from amateur to pro. It’s not about who’s older, who’s wiser, but it’s about who’s better.”
Yes, James agrees, this one is the main event tonight, no offense Lara-Gausha. Could this one not be a bombs away rumble? “I think it will be the fight, we want to go out control the pace, in a perfect world.” But, if not, Charlo will adapt…and may need to “fight it out.”
You may know, Charlo has been sparring with Errol Spence. Man, that has to be an edge. Also, 168 Robert Brant and up and comer John Vera Jr, too. Yes, James knows that doesn’t hurt his guy at all. What he’s seen, he just needs to bring to Barclays, that's his stance.
Charlo will win, he said, without specifying how or when.
What say you, reader?