Hugo Centeno Jr believes he will seize upon Jermall Charlo’s weaknesses and “hurt him” on April 21.
‘The Boss’ (26-1-KO14) lost his unbeaten record to Maciej Sulecki in June 2016, but says two successive wins since proves that he is capable of claiming the ‘interim’ WBC middleweight world title against his Texan-based opponent, on the undercard of Adrien Broner vs Jessie Vargas, at the Barclays Centre, Brooklyn, live on Sky Sports.
“I learned from my loss that I can’t underestimate anyone in this sport,” he said.
“I’ve stayed in the ring and worked the whole time since the loss and it’s shown. Getting that big knockout over Immanuwel Aleem was a great moment and has helped catapult me back to the top of this division.
“Charlo is a strong fighter. A lot of fighters stand in front of him but he’s also a great boxer. I feel like I have those same attributes that he has. It’s going to be a chess match and a great fight. We have to see who the smarter fighter is on April 21. I know Charlo says he’s going to knock me out in one round, I’m not planning to let him do that. If I get my opportunity, I’m going to take it and I’m going to hurt him.”
Charlo (26-0-KO20) will be fighting at the 160lbs limit for the second time having previously reigned as a world champion at super-welterweight alongside twin brother Jermell.
The self-proclaimed ‘Future Of Boxing’ has stopped four out of his last five opponents, but Centeno Jr says he is ignoring the praise the 27-year-old has received over his past performances, and claims to be mentally and physically ready for the challenge ahead after overcoming a minor injury.
“I don’t pay attention to anything people are saying about Charlo” he said. “I’m staying focused because I know that this fight can change my whole career. I’m ready to win.
“I’m feeling great right now. The rib injury was somewhat a blessing in disguise. Once I came back from the injury I was already in great shape. I feel great and I’m not depleted whatsoever. I’m 100 percent mentally ready for this fight.”
By Neel Khagram @behindthefight