WBC Super Welterweight World Champion Jermell Charlo and WBA and IBF 154-pound world champion Jeison Rosario previewed their blockbuster unification showdown during a virtual kick-off press conference Tuesday as they near their main event battle on part two of the first-ever SHOWTIME PPV doubleheader on Saturday, September 26 in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
Five of the six fighters who will be competing in part two of the unprecedented event participated in today’s media call. Unbeaten former champion Luis Nery will battle undefeated Aaron Alameda for the vacant WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship in the co-feature, while former unified champion Daniel Roman faces off against former champion Juan Carlos Payano in a WBC Super Bantamweight title eliminator bout to open the second installment of the pay-per-view. Nery was unable to participate in the call due to technical issues.
Here is what the virtual press conference participants had to say Tuesday:
“I’m stronger and faster than I’ve ever been. Camp has been amazing. I can’t believe I got in shape so fast, but I really never got out of shape. I make investments in myself and I do my homework.
“Congratulations to Rosario for getting the chance to move up to this level. But I know what I possess in the ring when I choose to let it out of me. I’m more ready for this fight than any fight I’ve ever had.
“My legacy is on the line. I feed my family this way. It’s not about what we’re going to say. It’s no secret about how I fight. I’m dangerous and I feel even more dangerous now. I’m excited to go 12 rounds. My capacity and skills are exceeding all of these guys in the division. I’m way hungrier now. The fire has been lit in me.
“A lot of people were surprised Jeison won against Julian Williams, but I actually wasn’t. Williams was dealing with a lot. But I’m a different kind of fighter. My dedication is different than everyone.
“Me and my brother have always been doubted. As I mature, I don’t care about what anyone on the outside says. I don’t care who makes the rankings. My job is to box. That was once my hobby. I’ve been doing this forever and I’ve grown into this. I’m a different animal. Just like Rosario had to come up the levels, I did that as well. I’m maintaining where I’m at because of my hard work and the way I fight. All you have to do is put me out there and I’m going to go get it for you.
“I believe my last two fights and the different styles that Tony Harrison had have helped me. Tony is a great fighter. You look at his record and you know he can punch, but I’m just different. That’s what made me come out on top and made the first fight close. The experience I had in those fights will give me even more of an edge coming into this fight.
“There’s so many things I do that make me believe I’m the best in the division. I can go on and on, but I’m a lion in the cage, let me out and see what happens.
“I’m strong from the first round to the end. If it goes to 12, then it goes that far. I’m smart and know how to set up traps. I’m not going to divulge the game plan, but I’m not playing around in the ring.”
“This is going to be a great war. I’m dedicated and motivated for this fight and I know what it means to face a fighter of Jermell’s quality, so the training has been going great. I’m so ready.
“I am even hungrier now than I was before I won the titles. I’m more motivated. The desire inside of me and the fire inside of me is burning to win this fight against a great fighter in Jermell Charlo. Like the Dominican people say, ‘we have to keep moving forward’ and that’s what I plan to do in this fight.
“Jermell Charlo and Julian Williams are definitely two different types of fighters. I think Williams has a little more quickness but Jermell is definitely stronger and has more power. That’s why I’ve had to prepare a little differently for this fight. In regards to who I feel is the better fighter – I don’t want to take anything away from either guy. Williams was a great fighter and he was considered No. 1 when I fought him, which is now the same position that Jermell Charlo is in. They both have their merits but I wouldn’t say which one is the better fighter. Jermell is considered the best fighter at 154 right now.
“One thing that has changed since my loss to Nathaniel Gallimore in 2017 is my maturity. As the fights get bigger and more important, I definitely stepped up to the occasion and to the challenge. I’m training harder and there is more focus on this fight coming up.
“This fight means a lot to me. It’s definitely the most important fight of my career and I’m very thankful. I’m thankful to my trainer and for this opportunity that’s been given to me to fight the best fighter in the division. This is a great moment and some people think I won’t win. I know it’s going to be electric.
“I consider this to be my time. Empires fall. Presidents fall. Kingdoms fall. It’s all very interesting because under Charlo’s brand, you have the lion and you have the hunter and all that. But during the fight, you’re going to find out who really is the hunter. I’m a warrior and we’re going to see that night who really is the hunter and who is the one that’s going to be hunted.”
“We’ve been training very hard and we know we have a tough opponent in Luis Nery, but we’re ready for him.
“In all honesty, maybe the names that you see on paper that I’ve faced are not in Nery’s class, but when you see me on September 26, you’re going to know what I’m made of.
“It’s true that Nery has had trouble making weight before but that’s his problem. If he makes weight or if he doesn’t, I’m not bothered by that. I’m focused on what I need to do on September 26, so I haven’t really focused on whether he is going to make weight. I am the one who is going to be ready.
“This is definitely a step-up for me, we aren’t denying that. But strategically, we have worked on certain things that we know are going to help come fight night. We’ve seen a lot of video on Luis Nery and learned how we need to approach this fight. We’ve seen a couple things that we can do and that’s what we’re going to do on September 26.
“There were a few opponents that I fought that were difficult but one in particular was [Enrique] Bernache in Guadalajara. He was fighting in his hometown and he had his people behind him but we still won that fight. The person that has hit me the hardest? His name was [Juan] Jimenez, and we still overcame the power he showed that night to win.
“I have fought a couple southpaws in my career and I actually feel better against southpaws than I do against orthodox fighters.
“There’s no doubt that Nery is a powerful puncher but we have to see how he’s going to come out – if he’s coming out boxing or if he’s going to look for the knockout immediately. We have a strategy for whichever way he comes out. We’ll be ready for it.”
“Everything is going great in training. We’ve made some adjustments due to the pandemic, but I’ll be at my best on September 26. We’re two former champions, so this is going to be a quality fight. We’re going to try to make it our night.
“The goal is to get back to the world title, but I’m not overlooking Payano. He’s a quality fighter. We have to get past him and then hopefully we can get the rematch with Murodjon Akhmadaliev.
“Payano lost to big names and quality fighters. Anything can happen in a fight, so I’m getting ready for anything. I’m prepared to fight the best Payano possible. I’m not taking him lightly. This is like if I was defending the belt against another world champion.
“I’m more focused than ever now. I didn’t think I lost my last fight, I thought I took it. Now my mind is set on Payano, so we’re just continuing to work as hard as when I was champion. It’s one step at a time. First it’s Payano, then we’ll see after that.
“Losing my titles has motivated me even more. I know what my next goal is. I’m not overlooking Payano, but I’m looking to get that rematch next.”
JUAN CARLOS PAYANO:
“We definitely respect Danny Roman. He’s a great fighter, but this is the opportunity of a lifetime. We’ve trained hard and you’re going to see the best of Payano for this fight.
“We committed errors in those two fights we lost to Inoue and Nery where they took me down but we’ve come in prepared knowing that we are fighting another good fighter in Danny Roman and we have really prepared well so that it doesn’t happen again. You do learn from your errors in these fights so that’s why when I come out, you’ll see a different Juan Carlos Payano on September 26.
“I’ve always fought hard in all my fights, but especially this one because we are looking at the end of my career. I know I need a great showing for the fans, so there is definitely an extra urgency to show the best of me.
“A boxer never reveals what he is going to bring into the ring but I’m definitely going to be more precise. That’s something I didn’t have in my two losses. I can’t be too desperate. I found that I was desperate in those two fights when I could have been more precise and do a better job in those aspects of the fight.
“I’ve been boxing since I was six years old and I’ve given my life to boxing. It’s been a great run. I respect Danny Roman enormously and the people can expect two warriors to get in the ring on September 26 and give their all. The fans know that this is what I always give them and that night will be no different.”
DERRICK JAMES, Charlo’s Trainer:
“Training camp has been good. Jermell’s been getting better and better. I’ve been pleased with what I’m seeing and it’s still early in training camp. We’re going to continue to build leading up to the fight. We know we have a very tough guy we’re facing, but I believe everyone we’ve faced is tough. We’re going in there to be at our best.
“I think that the victory would be beautiful, but I’m not thinking about what it would do for me. The best things is what it would mean for Jermell to have three belts. This is about legacy. It’s about a legacy fight for Jermell and myself.
“Rosario is a good fighter. He’s had a gradual progression from when I watched him fight Justin DeLoach and then moving on to fight Williams. He’s getting better. We know what we’re looking at. We know as the champ, he might come in as a different fighter. So we have to be better also. It’s a great challenge but we’re looking forward to it.
“I saw Rosario’s fights before Williams, so I knew he would be tough. I was surprised how it went down because Williams is a strong fighter. But Rosario really showed out and he had the right shots to get him out of there. We expect a great fighter on September 26.”
LUIS “CHIRO” PEREZ, Rosario’s Trainer:
“Training camp has been great. Everything went exactly the way we wanted it to and then some. Even through these times, we were able to do our full training camp the way we wanted it. There have been no obstacles.
“Jeison is stronger and smarter than ever. We’re looking forward to showing that we belong with this competition. We know it’s a tall order against the best 154-pound fighter in the world, but we want his position. He’s the man at this weight class and we want to prove to the world that we belong on that level.
“Jeison had never done a real training camp in his life until recently. He trained any way he could figure out and he would take a lot of last minute fights. That changed for the Williams fight and that’s changed for this fight. Everything he’s overcome, he’s done with desire. He’s doing the proper training camp now and eating the proper way. I think you have to knock Rosario out to beat him. September 26, we’re going to see if I’m right.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, President, Sports and Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc.:
“Top to bottom, this is the highest quality card I’ve ever been associated with. Over the last few years, there have been a lot of new companies and a lot of activity in boxing and even with all the money, the deals, the companies, and everything they’re supposedly bringing to the table, no one has been doing this kind of event.
No one else is doing cards at this level — this big and with this much quality. This is an event for the true fight fan. World champion after world champion, a collection of some of the best fighters in the world all on one card. Six fights, five of them world title fights, all on one pay-per-view.
“This is a card full of bangers. The one fight that’s not a world title fight, the one between Danny Roman and Juan Carlos Payano, is a matchup between a former unified champion and a former world champion – so there’s no shortage of accomplishments there.
“You have unbeaten former champion Luis Nery, who is coming off a streak of 11 consecutive knockouts, moving up into a new weight class to take on undefeated Aaron Alameda. Our second main event of the evening, Jermell Charlo and Jeison Rosario, like the first one, is a matchup between the top two boxers currently fighting in the division. We don’t need exaggeration or hyperbole. Simply put, this is the best fight that can be made in the super welterweight division.”