Undefeated Charlo aims for knockout vs. Hogan

Boxing

Middleweight world titlist Jermall Charlo has gone the 12-round distance in his last two fights, against Matt Korobov and Brandon Adams, and he is not happy about that.

Now that Charlo is set to make his second title defense against Dennis Hogan on Dec. 7 (Showtime, 9 p.m. ET) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, he is aiming to get back to his knockout ways.

“I’m going on two consecutive 12-rounders and I don’t feel good about that,” Charlo said Thursday at the kickoff news conference in New York. “I’m ready to get back to my thing, which is knocking them out and getting them out of there. This is a big fight for me because it’s my 30th fight and I’m about to turn 30.

“I’m going to walk him straight into it. I’m going to give him exactly what he wants. He’s not on my level. I’m coming to Barclays Center to beat Hogan down. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m one of the best finishers in the world and I’m going to get a chance to show everyone on Dec. 7.”

Charlo (29-0, 21 KOs), of Houston, defended the interim belt against Korobov and then made his first defense against Adams in a near-shutout decision in June after being elevated to full titleholder when Canelo Alvarez was stripped.

Charlo, a former junior middleweight titlist, plans to hold on to his current belt for a long time.

“This belt isn’t going anywhere. I’m making a home for it at Barclays Center,” said Charlo, who will be boxing at the arena for the fourth time. “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.

“I’m not worried about Hogan’s confidence. He is just [win] No. 30 to me. 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. This is going to be a knockout.”

Hogan (28-2-1, 7 KOs), 34, an Ireland native fighting out of Australia, got the fight on the strength of his last outing.

On April 13 in Monterrey, Mexico, Hogan gave junior middleweight world titlist Jaime Munguia all he could handle, but Munguia was awarded a disputed majority decision in a fight two judges had for Munguia (116-112 and 115-113), with one having it a draw (114-114).

“He’s a tough fighter and he deserves a shot at the world championship because he competed well at the championship level already,” Charlo said of Hogan.

Ronnie Shields, Charlo’s trainer, said he thought Hogan beat Munguia.

“I thought he won the fight against Jaime Munguia. I can understand how he feels right now, but we have to show him something different,” Shields said. “We’re not planning to make this go the distance and have this be a close fight. We all have dreams. Dennis Hogan has dreams, but Jermall turns dreams into nightmares.”

Hogan and his team sought to have an immediate rematch with Munguia ordered but failed. With no other notable fight available at junior middleweight, Hogan is moving up to middleweight.

“We took this opportunity because not one 154-pounder would fight Hogan,” said Paul Keegan, CEO of DDP Sports, Hogan’s promoter. “After his last fight, our options were limited. Once we saw the fight was offered, we said yes. We believe we have the uncrowned world champion in our camp.”

Hogan is moving up in weight to face Charlo, and he is confident. He has had several previous fights at middleweight and has boxed as heavy as light heavyweight.

“I believe that me taking this fight speaks volumes on what kind of fighter I am,” Hogan said. “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 wait. It’s destiny. It’s time for me to become world champion.

“Five years ago, I was told [junior middleweight] was the weight to campaign at. 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. I will wear that belt around my waist and paint the town green afterwards.”

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