Jermall and Jermell Charlo are just 26 years old, but they have already been on the boxing radar for years. The identical twins from Houston were top national amateurs as teenagers, and the star pupils of former contender and highly respected trainer Ronnie Shields. Jermell turned professional five months before his 18th birthday. Jermall followed less than a year later.
They’ve been regarded as blue-chip prospects from the start and in the past two years have emerged as top fighters in the junior middleweight division.
Jermall is a minute older and, at 6′, an inch taller. He’s also the bigger puncher of the two. He’s got a record of 23-0 with 18 KOs. In September of last year he captured the IBF belt at 154 pounds by smashing tough veteran Cornelius Bundrage in just three rounds.
Saturday night in Las Vegas, he has by far the toughest opponent of his career in former WBA champion Austin Trout. Trout will be giving up some size to Charlo, who is a very big junior middleweight. But he’s a far more experienced campaigner. He trounced Miguel Cotto and fought on very even terms with Saul Alvarez.
Jermell Charlo is an inch shorter and lacks his twin’s punching power. He’s undefeated in 27 fights, but with just 12 wins coming by stoppage. However, he is an extremely slick boxer. While he lacks an alphabet soup belt, like his brother, he’s got the better resume. Jermell exploded onto the scene in January 2014, when he nearly shutout tough Gabriel Rosado. In March 2015, he beat former Olympian Vanes Martirosyan by unanimous decision. In his last fight, he stopped Joachim Alcine in six rounds.
Jermell will be in action this weekend, as well, facing John Jackson, a 2008 Olympian and the son of two-division world champion and monster puncher Julian Jackson. Jackson is no push-over, but he’s lost in his two biggest fights, to Andy Lee and Willie Nelson.