Charlo aiming for short night in title defense vs Hogan

Jermall Charlo

FILE – In this April 20, 2018, file photo, Jermall Charlo poses for photographs during the official weigh-in for a boxing match against Hugo Centeno Jr., in New York. Charlo is having a hard time finding big fights in the middleweight division. He doesn’t figure it will get any easier if he delivers the powerful performance he promises Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in a title defense against Dennis Hogan. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

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NEW YORK (AP) — Jermall Charlo has a perfect record and eye-popping power, though those aren’t the only reasons he’s a star in his sport.

For Stephen Espinoza, Showtime’s sports president, there’s another way to judge a boxer’s status.

“You never hear, or almost rarely do you hear another middleweight call out Jermall Charlo,” said Espinoza, whose network will televise the card. “When it’s time to set up fights all of the sudden there’s a lot of amnesia going around. And the name Jermall Charlo doesn’t get mentioned and for good reason.”

The line to fight him doesn’t figure to get any longer if Charlo delivers the performance he promises Saturday.

Charlo (29-0, 21 KOs) defends his version of the 160-pound title against Dennis Hogan at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where he stopped opponents in consecutive bouts in 2017-18.

But Charlo’s last two fights have gone the distance and he wants to end that streak.

“I’m going to come with a vicious attack,” Charlo said. “If he can hold it, then I’m going to try again later in the night. However the game plan plays out, I’m going to stop him.”

Charlo spent most of his career at 154 pounds, where twin brother Jermell still fights, before moving up to middleweight. He was eventually made the WBC’s middleweight champion when the organization promoted Canelo Alvarez to its “franchise” champion.

Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin are the stars of the division, though both along with fellow middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade are aligned with DAZN. That makes it complicated for Charlo to get a fight with any of them, but he plans to keep on searching.

“In due time, you will see me get all of the biggest fights,” he said.

This is his second defense of that title and Charlo doesn’t want it to take too long, after he had to settle for a unanimous decision when the Houston product defended the belt against Brandon Adams in his hometown in June.

“I’m going on two consecutive 12-rounders, and I don’t feel good about that,” Charlo said. “I’m ready to get back to my thing, which is knocking them out and getting them out of there.”

Hogan (28-2-1, 7 KOs) lacks the champion’s power, but thinks he will have more pop now as, like Charlo previously, he moves up from 154 to 160 pounds.

“It’s not about how hard you throw a punch, it’s about how hard can you land a punch and that’s the difficulty people have with me,” Hogan said. “That’s one of my best attributes. When I land clean, they tend to realize I mean business and don’t want to come forward. I feel 20% more powerful and he’s going to feel my punches.”

Hogan, a native of Ireland now living in Australia, fell just short in a title bid in in his last outing, losing to junior middleweight champion Jaime Munguia in April. Hogan was boosted by solid fan support in the Mexican’s home country and expects that to be the case again Saturday at Barclays Center, even though Charlo considers the arena a second home in what will be his fourth appearance in his last five fights.

“I’m going to feel like I’m fighting in front of my home crowd Saturday night,” Hogan said.

Charlo plans to send those fans home unhappy. He recently became a father again, another reason he says his focus is heightened as he looks ahead.

“My daughter’s birth has given me even more motivation to knock this guy out and when you come to Brooklyn, you’re coming to my house,” Charlo said. “There’s nothing he can do and nothing he can say. They all say the same thing until they have to get in there with me.”

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