Unbeaten WBC Middleweight World Champion Jermall Charlo and former title challenger Maciej Sulecki previewed their upcoming championship showdown during a virtual press conference Wednesday before they meet on Saturday, June 18, live on SHOWTIME from Toyota Center in Houston in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
Charlo will hold a Juneteenth celebration in his hometown for the second-straight year on June 18, headlining in Houston again after defeating Juan Montiel in an action fight last year at Toyota Center. Charlo seeks a fifth successful middleweight title defense but will have to get by the veteran Sulecki, who has gone the distance with former champions Daniel Jacobs and Demetrius Andrade and has added longtime Polish contender Andrzej Fonfara to his training team ahead of this fight.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast will also feature undefeated top super bantamweight contender Ra’eese Aleem battling Mike Plania in the 10-round co-main event, unbeaten lightweight contender Frank Martin facing Panama’s Ricardo Núñez in the 10-round telecast opener at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Tickets for the live event, promoted by Lions Only Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at toyotacenter.com. Martin vs. Núñez is promoted in association with Man Down Promotions.
Here is what Charlo and Sulecki had to say Wednesday:
“Juneteenth is my day, and I’m happy to be performing again on the main stage in my city at Toyota Center. It will be a great night of boxing against another formidable opponent. I’m ready to get in there.
“My opponents always talk. Once they get in there with me, they see that it’s a different story. I wanted someone like him who would come in not scared and ready to fight. That’s what I need.
“I’m in my prime, and I’m ready for everybody. All those names are just names to me. No matter who they put in front of me, I’ll make the adjustments and get the win.
“Sulecki is a good challenger. Many people might not know him, but he’s been there with top competition. He says he can beat my tactics, but once he’s in there, he will have to survive. This is the right timing for this fight against a strong opponent. I’m ready for whatever he brings.
“I’m not in a rush. I’m the champion at 160 pounds. So these guys have to fight me no matter what. I have my sights set on more extensive opposition. We’ll move forward when it’s time. If I have to move up to 168, let’s look at the drawing board after this fight.
“Juneteenth is a big holiday in my city and my town. It started in Galveston, only 30 miles away from Houston. It’s a holiday here, and I’m the best person to represent it at this time. I’m thankful to fight Juneteenth weekend.
“I’m very familiar with Sulecki. I’ve trained with one of his friends, and he’ll be able to tell him what that heat will be like in the ring.
“This is going to be another war. I’m going to be in the pocket and ready to go. If I hit him with something flush, I’m going to knock him out. Whatever he does, I’ll make the adjustments.
“It motivated me to see my brother Jermell capture those goals we’ve always wanted. Everyone wants to be a champion, but not everyone is destined to be a champion. That’s something that I want to do. Sulecki is standing in front of that goal right now.
“I’m fighting to get the biggest names and get the biggest fights. I’m fighting for my legacy. I’m fighting for something way bigger than just fighting Sulecki.”
“I took this fight because I like to be the underdog. I want to go into the lion’s den, and I’m comfortable there. I took this fight because I believe I’m the better fighter. I’m ready to take my chance. I live for that moment to fight against one of the best fighters in the world.
“I don’t think Charlo is a better fighter than Andrade or Jacobs. I believe they are all similar fighters. Charlo is still a great fighter with an explosive punch. I’m just ready for this fight. I’m going to make it all happen on June 18 in the ring.
“Both fights against Jacobs and Andrade have prepared me for this fight. I know what it takes at this level now. Charlo has made mistakes before, and I want to exploit those mistakes.
“Charlo is a different fighter than past opponents, and I respect him for being a champion. I’m ready to face the best Charlo possible on June 18, and my only focus is on winning this fight.
“Words don’t win fights. This will be a different story than my other fights against top guys. I’ve been here before and trained hard, and I’m ready to show everything on June 18.
“Since I was a child, I always dreamed of that green belt. This is the fight of my life. I’ve done everything I needed to do to get to this moment. I want to be the new champion on June 18.
“The talking doesn’t matter, and it just matters what happens in the ring. We prepared very well for this fight. Charlo is strong, but I have an excellent right hand too. I don’t think about anything but what I have to do.
“I’m here because I always give my best. For the fans who are watching this fight, they’re going to see a lot of emotion and fire from me. I will show everyone that I’m a great fighter and I’m not afraid of anyone. Charlo will bring the same thing, and I know we’ll give the fans a great fight. I can’t wait to step into the ring on June 18. The ring will clarify everything.”