Written by Tré Berry III | 07/13/2021
Often misrepresented, cast outside of the 📦box of what they want him to be, and a collective misdirected view of his passion, Super-Welterweight King 🇺🇸Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo (34-1-0, 18KO👊) is one who large contingents of boxings fanbase, and administrators take out of context in terms of how he operates, and who he is at his core…but the hood understands exactly who he is, as the streets can identify with the code he personally lives by.
At times, it feels like boxing has preset personality types that they want to pit you in, so that they can rollout the generic promotional package and the “appropriate” 📰press, according to what category they deem you to fit in. The most typical examples are the…marketable fighters with the gift of gab…the blood and guts warrior…the quiet – straight to the point operators…to those who hedge on using the mental game, and use it to their advantage to play the role as the villain.
Some fighters don’t really fit in any category that they deem to be acceptable, and if you notice, more often they will castigate you instead of trying to learn more about that fighters personality, and what makes them tick. When you put a microscope to this particular equation, the Charlo’s (Mell more-so in this case) don’t fit into what the average fan, or the big wigs in boxing typically want their fighters to be whenever the topics of him potentially being a face of boxing is brought up…and Jermell Charlo is perfectly okay with that.
Jermell isn’t the greatest of 🗣️talkers, so though he means well, it may not always come across as such. Being that he’s a bit of a hot-head (yeah dude has an anger problem), you’d think he would fit into the villain role…but he is one who doesn’t try to intimidate – he’s just a very intense individual, who wears his heart on his sleeve, and has a quick temper whenever he feels disrespected, going from 0-to-1000 when he feels like his peace is threatened, which scares some people, because they don’t understand the root of it.
He does bask, and show out in big public displays with his accomplishments in terms of what he has been able to earn with his ⌚physical possessions (such as the photos used for this article, taken back home in Houston), which may rub some people the wrong way…but that’s part of his culture that he came up in, and when you make it out of where he came from, you’re gonna show out in every way possible, knowing the alternative of what would’ve happened if his hard work didn’t take him new places & allowed his surroundings to get to him.
He comes off as unapproachable because he doesn’t open himself up to the public on that level, but he takes the walls away, and draws down the 🌉bridge once he starts to get to know you, and is comfortable around you. That is his way of protecting his peace, and holding onto the sanctuary that he recognizes that he needs to calm himself down, as he doesn’t want to be that triggered guy at this stage of his life.
I personally have a friend who I grew up with, possessing the same mindset, and personality as Mell (even looks like him), and often people had the wrong idea, and formed a conclusion about him after their first impression, pitting him as the angry dude up to no good…and more than a dozen times, I had to explain to people that you needed to get to know him, so that you could see past the defensive 🛡️shield, so-to-speak. In most cases, once they got to know him, they changed their tune gradually, and a few of them became close friends with him, to the point they tend to reference those times often as something to laugh at, and look back on.
Back to Jermell…it is interesting that he isn’t discussed as much as other top boxers in media, including Mell’s counterparts under his own stable, and it also seems that his next fight in particular against WBO Super-Welterweight Titlist 🇦🇷Brian Carlos Castaño isn’t galvanizing the push that it needs, by the big wigs, and news sources in the sport, regardless of it being an Undisputed World Championship title match with a portion of history attached to it.
One can ask the question…why is that the case❓ could it be that not enough people know Castaño to care on that level? it could be, but then you’d have to ask the follow-up question…why isn’t Charlo being heralded as a mega-star, as one who could carry the main event as a marketable fighter? he tends to become an afterthought sometimes when we talk about the elite boxers of the sport, which shouldn’t be the case.
He holds 4 of the 5 Super-Welterweight belts (at the time that this is typed), but it seems that people are reluctant to even put him in a range that’s right outside of the ⚓Top-10 P4P list – perhaps that being the same stance held by those people even IF he wins. There may be quite a few reasons to these questions brought up, with plenty of contextualized reasons, and nuance to the answers.
There is one overarching answer though, to where you don’t have to think that hard, or delve too deep into the mix. People have a hard time understanding the culture that the Charlo’s embody. Some people are scared of them, and what they represent…some try to strip them away of their marker because they think they lack class (which isn’t the case, but often peoples perceptions become their own reality).
Some just don’t want to see someone like Mell achieve that level of greatness as representation. What’s the common theme here? Frankly, people don’t seem to like the Charlo’s, outside of those that can relate in living out their upbringing, and living that lifestyle. That being considered, when you play the numbers game, you can see why such is the case.
With that being said…Jermell doesn’t give a damn about public perception about him or his brother, and refuses to be what others want him to be. He is who he is, and he’s shown up to this point that he’s going to do it the way HE wants to do it, and if he walks further into the path of ⛰️greatness going forward, he can force the status-quo’s hand, twist that hand, and force them to abide by the “take-it-or-leave it” approach.
He doesn’t care how people feel about him on that level, and if you’re able to boil away the pre-judgmental assertions, you will see that Mell just wants to maintain his peace, work, achieve in this sport, and protect/provide for his family, just like everybody else who doesn’t look, or act like him. The moral of the story is to be you always, and the work will show.