Jermall Charlo admits winning a world title at middleweight would mean more to him than his reign as ruler of the super-welterweight division.
The undefeated 27 year-old, who boasts an impressive 26-0 record, made the decision to move up following three successful title defenses at 154 and is already the mandatory challenger to Gennady Golovkin at 160.
With a clash versus Huge Centeno the interim belt now confirmed, Charlo fully intends to push for the chance to meet the winner of Golovkin’s rematch with Canelo Alvarez.
“I really love fighting in Brooklyn and at Barclays Center,” said Charlo. “The fans in Brooklyn always show me a lot of love.
“Since my last fight I’ve had a chance to work on my patience and work on improvements to my game. I’ve got the same feeling that I had before I won my first world title.
“I want to be a champion at 160 more than I did the first time at 154. More than anything I just want to get back in the ring.”
On facing Centeno, Charlo added: “Centeno is a tough fighter. He’ll be a hard test for someone who isn’t at my level.
“I’m not taking anything away from him. But he’s just another fighter that’s in my way. I don’t feel like I have anything to prove to anyone else in this fight.
“I’m all about proving things to myself now. In the 160-pound division you’re hearing my name more and more. It’s more than you did when I was at 154 pounds.”
For his part, Centeno isn’t fazed by the challenge of denting Charlo’s perfect C.V.
“I’m excited for the opportunity,” said Centeno. “I think my last outing had a lot to do with this. It helped to put me in this position.
“Charlo is a great fighter with a lot of talent. I feel like we have similar statures. It’s going to be an interesting fight.
“I think it’s going to come down to who is the smarter fighter that night and who has more left in the tank toward the end.
“This is a life-changing, career-changing fight for me that could lead to bigger and better things. I’m coming to win,” he stated.