As they approached their WBC super-welterweight title fight this weekend, champion Jermell Charlo and mandatory challenger Charles Hatley are quite familiar with each other.
Both have shared training sessions in the past, whilst Charlo and Hatley have a common sparring partner in current number one welterweight contender Errol Spence Jr.
Speaking on a conference call recently, Charlo, trainer Derrick James (who also coaches Spence) and Hatley discussed these such experiences when promoted.
Charlo said: “I’ve been working out with Errol and he’s a great fighter. Errol is very dominant and I love everything he’s doing. We’re both around the same age and we both teach each other. There are so many fighters in the gym with so many talents. So I believe when it comes down to April 22 I’ll be able to show some of those same things that we taught each other.
“I’m calm, I’m a really patient person. And I’m happy about my opportunities. I’m taking every moment very seriously. Training with Errol brings a lot to my repertoire.”
When asked about his views on Hatley sparring Spence, coach James replied: “Well the first time I saw them spar it was pretty decent. They’ve only sparred three times when I was training Errol. And the first time was pretty decent.
“The last two times were…. Well…. you all know what Errol’s motto is. And that was it. We never sparred with him again because it was not so competitive.”
James being negative regarding the last two sessions brought this response from Hatley: “When Errol came to spar, man we work. I’m not in there to beat anyone one up when I’m sparring. I’m in to get work.
There’s a lot of hate in these guys. Like I said I been beating Derrick James up since we were amateurs and he knows that. That’s probably why he’s having a fit right now and saying the thing that he’s saying. But none of it is true.
We come to help each other. Not to hurt each other. But I guess he probably was telling them hey, kill him, hurt him. Kill him, hurt him. When I’m in a ring sparring with the fighter that comes here I help them no matter who it is. When they come I help them.
“I heard everything that was being said which wasn’t true. I swear I sparred Errol many times and yes, we worked several times. And he down – he right, whatever he want to say man down, that’s definitely ain’t true. I got footage of us sparring.
And I have told Derek whenever they’d like to come back they welcome back. But no, they know where I’m at and I never seen them again.
I told him whenever he wants to come back, whenever you want to come back, come over. And I haven’t seen y’all since. So what does that mean?”
James then butted in by saying: “It wasn’t worth the time, man. It wasn’t competitive.”
Hatley responded: “Well I have that on tape as well,” before James concluded with, “All right, if you say so.”
The confliction all adds to what is expected to be an exciting match-up this weekend as part of a Barclays Center double-header alongside the WBC welterweight eliminator between Andre Berto and Shawn Porter.