SANTA MONICA, California – Jermell Charlo calmly answered the first few questions he was asked Wednesday about Terence Crawford.
Charlo understandably became annoyed, though, once Crawford became the theme of a group interview session while Charlo shadowboxed during an open workout at Churchill Boxing Club. The IBF/WBA/WBC 154-pound champion couldn’t comprehend why he was continually asked about Crawford – a welterweight who seems headed toward a showdown with Charlo’s teammate, Errol Spence Jr. – and not Brian Castano, Charlo’s opponent Saturday night at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
“I’m off of that Crawford sh!t,” Charlo said. “Like stop asking me about him. Nobody ask me about Crawford again. He ain’t in my f—–’ weight. Y’all need to realize that. Stop being bloggers and sh!t, and go look into the sport a little bit different. Stop asking about Crawford. I don’t wanna hear that sh!t about Crawford. I’m fighting Brian Castano. Why the hell are we talkin’ about Crawford?”
Charlo told another group of reporters April 16, the morning of the Spence-Yordenis Ugas fight in Arlington, Texas, that he would welcome a fight with Crawford if the unbeaten WBO welterweight champion eventually moved up to the 154-pound division. Houston’s Charlo also said that he wouldn’t entertain the idea of a fight against Spence unless, as Spence suggested, the money was too good to pass up.
Crawford contended thereafter that he would knock Charlo out if they were to fight.
“Yeah, that sh!t cool,” Charlo said Wednesday, before he stopped taking questions about Crawford. “Whatever. He a ESPN fighter. You know what I’m saying? Look at their competition. This is the big leagues over here, dog. They tryin’ to get fights with us. Think about it.”
Charlo also pointed out that Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs) would need to win a very difficult fight against Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) before their fight could become a realistic possibility.
“I mean, he gotta first get past, I mean, Errol Spence, and that might not happen,” Charlo said. “That ain’t gonna happen. You know what I’m saying? He a tough fighter. Like I say, he from Omaha. We know about him. He a dog. He could fight. He can go. But can we compare oppositions? Has his opposition been anything close to our oppositions? Absolutely not, so I can’t even look at him like he did anything in boxing. I mean, yeah, he won world titles at 140. He won the undisputed. That’s great. Happy for you, but 154, you talkin’ about knocking me out and beatin’ me and all that other sh!t. I’m cool with that. It’s whatever.”
The 31-year-old Charlo questioned Crawford’s level of opposition during a career in which the Omaha, Nebraska native has won world titles in three weight classes and became the undisputed 140-pound champion in August 2017.
“Like I said, that man fights on ESPN,” Charlo said. “They oppositions ain’t even the same as ours. We really fightin’ over here. This like the big leagues. Crawford don’t mean sh!t in boxing to me right now. He ain’t in my weight division. He’s making 147, so let him – he can’t even beat nobody over there, so someone get Jaron Ennis [on him]. He can’t even f— wit’ him. How he gonna come in here talkin’ about knocking somebody like me out? It’s whatever.”
Crawford’s contract with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc., which has an exclusive content partnership with ESPN, expired following his 10th-round technical knockout of former IBF/WBC champ Shawn Porter on November 20 at Mandalay Bay’s Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas. The 34-year-old Crawford would need to become affiliated with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions at least in the short term to secure the showdown he wants with Spence.
Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KOs) and Castano (17-0-2, 12 KOs) will headline a “Showtime Championship Boxing” tripleheader Saturday scheduled to start at 9 p.m. ET and 6 p.m. PT. Short of another draw or a no-contest, the winner of their immediate rematch will become boxing’s first fully unified 154-pound champion of the four-belt era.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.