THERE was a time when a Charlo fight week meant lots of noise. Whether that was generated by the one actually fighting, or the one standing a few feet further back shouting.
But the twin-shaped void in Las Vegas this week has reduced the volume as so-called Little Charlo Jermell prepares for the biggest fight of his life with a distinct lack of ‘havoc’ on the sidelines.
He and Jermall had both famously climbed the slippery slope in this sport side by side, culminating at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville when they both defended world titles in a pay-per-view double-header.
That event was three years ago this month and Big Charlo Jermall has boxed only once since and has nothing in the books for his next outing. ‘Mell, meanwhile, has had back-to-back fights with Brian Castano and emerged from them as the undisputed light-middleweight champion.
There has been an obvious friction between the 33-year-old pair for as long as anyone can remember but it has boiled over to a point where they have now not spoken for months. As such it looks certain that Jermall will be missing from ringside on Saturday when his twin takes on Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez at the T-Mobile Arena in the superfight he has always craved.
Jermell, however, believes the serenity that comes with that absence has helped him.
“This family affair thing has been really crazy,” he admits. “I try not to touch on that topic too much because at the end of the day I love my brother.
“But I think it’s just that at this current moment we don’t see eye-to-eye. It has a lot to do with what he wants in his life and what I want in mine. They are two completely different things.
“Growing up and growing apart from each other is just the nature of life but I just have to accept this just like I accept certain people and the good that comes with the bad. One day, hopefully we speak again but right now I’m not in the mood to deal with the havoc that he brings and all the other stuff.
“I guess I can say I haven’t had my rowdy-ass brother around me… my brother hasn’t been in camp. I haven’t seen or talked to him or nothing like that this whole camp. I feel like at this moment it’s my turn I just don’t got that noise in my ear.”
So, after 16 years of growing accustomed to it, does he miss it this time around?
“A bit, a bit,” he nods. “But it ain’t affecting me, I’ve still got a good team and I’ve still got my childhood friends I grew up with. I have no excuses, my brother’s getting his life together. I’m my brother’s keeper always. We’re not going to change on each other.
“I’m a dog, an animal for my brother too. I rock with him, if he’s not here for fight night it’s ok. He can’t fight for me anyway. It doesn’t hurt my feelings. Whatever it is, it is. Hopefully he will get ready and get back in the ring because it seems like I’ve been the one putting it on for the Charlos.
“That kind of shows you where the issue has stemmed from: I did this for us, I did this for Lions Only. I don’t want anybody attacking the brand and bringing us down and I feel like we have had a bunch of hiccups at his end that has tarnished our character and our name a little bit.
“But I’ll be the one to bring it back up, I’ll be the one to continue to do it for us. I love my brother and I want the best for him and I want him to continue to be the world champion that he is.”
After years of helping to create the havoc of which he speaks, this week Little Charlo looks every inch an elder statesman of the sport. As a veteran of 37 fights who turns 34 in May, the self-styled Iron Man says he finally feels ‘at peace’ ahead of his fight with the Mexican, who is two months his junior.
“Man I’ve got a two year old running around the house all day, tearing the place up, breaking stuff, knocking over glasses and hurting himself,” Charlo says with a smile. “So that means my patience has grown a little bit.
“Also in this fight I don’t have such a big shit talker in front of me getting me riled up. So with that being said, alongside my normal average life, I feel like I’m at peace.
“I think people have seen the old interviews and me running around acting crazy always and I hope one day those videos just get pushed further and further back and you all see a better and a newer Jermell Charlo.”
One who, for now at least, no longer comes as a pair.