By Keith Idec
Jermall Charlo has become accustomed to being a heavy favorite in his fights since he moved up to middleweight.
The WBC’s 160-pound champion is in that position again as he prepares to battle Brandon Adams on June 29 in Houston, Charlo’s hometown. If the 29-year-old Charlo ever is to secure the type of significant fights he says he wants, he knows can’t afford to underestimate Adams.
Charlo said Wednesday following an open workout in Missouri City, Texas, that he is preparing for Adams as if the underdog were an elite middleweight.
“I don’t take any competitor lightly,” Charlo said. “I’m out here training like I’m training for Canelo. Brandon Adams is going to be on his ‘A’ game. If he makes a wrong move, it’s going to be a short night for him. He’s going to bring the best out of me. I got a game opponent in Brandon Adams. He’s going to come out to fight. Everything is on me, so I have to provide and put Houston on my back. I’ve been training well, so I’m ready to go out and do what I do.”
Charlo (28-0, 21 KOs) hopes to have an easier night than December 22, when Matt Korobov pushed him in their 12-round fight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Korobov (28-2-1, 14 KOs) agreed to fight Charlo on only six days’ notice, but the Russian southpaw provided a much tougher test than at least one of the scorecards suggested (119-108, 116-112, 116-112).
Los Angeles’ Adams (21-2, 13 KOs) is set to fight for the first time since winning season five of “The Contender” late last year. Adams easily defeated Shane Mosley Jr. (14-3, 9 KOs) by unanimous decision in the 10-round season finale November 9 at The Forum in Inglewood, California, but he’ll encounter a much more formidable foe in Charlo.
“This guy is coming to my hometown to fight me, so he’s going to prepare himself well and be at the top of his game,” Charlo said. “This makes me have to train a lot harder to do what I have to do.”
The Charlo-Adams match will headline a “Showtime Championship Boxing” tripleheader from NRG Arena in Houston (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
Showtime’s telecast also will include a 12-round WBC 154-pound elimination match between Erickson Lubin (20-1, 15 KOs), of Orlando, Florida, and France’s Zakaria Attou (29-6-2, 7 KOs). In the opening bout, the Dominican Republic’s Claudio Marrero (23-3, 17 KOs) and Mexico’s Eduardo Ramirez (22-1-3, 9 KOs) are set to square off in a 12-round WBA featherweight eliminator.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.