Historically, the only way to tell twins apart was through a complicated series of funhouse mirrors and a 40-part questionnaire designed by ex-Navy SEALs.
Lucky for us, the Charlo brothers — Jermell and Jermall — have a more streamlined identification process.
Jermell is the boxer and Jermall is the puncher. Jermell will take you deep and Jermall will end your night early. Through an 11 year professional career, this was the general line of thinking.
Over the course of 27 professional fights, Jermall Charlo had racked up a tidy 78% knockout ratio, and a highlight reel littered with cartoonishly violent separations of his opponents from their senses.
However, after going the full twelve against Matt Korobov and Brandon Adams this past year, his appetite for destruction appeared to be in question. Had his power failed to follow him up to the middleweight ranks? Was it all an illusion displayed against overmatched opposition and a credulous audience? Should all twins be rounded up and kept in holding pens until we can figure out how to safely get them back to their home planet?
Maybe, probably not, and almost certainly.
With Gennadiy Golovkin chasing Canelo around like the sex demon from “It Follows” and Demetrius Andrade doing whatever the hell it is that he does, the middleweight division is currently wide open. Now was the time for Charlo to make a statement and claim his spot at the grown-ups table of the division.
Enter Dennis Hogan.
The Australia based Irishman is by no means a pushover. What he lacks in power he more than makes up for in consistency and ring IQ. Fighting Hogan is like playing tennis with the wall: you’re not going to get blown out but eventually, the boredom of futility will cause you to make a mistake.
Going to war with no weapons of your own and hoping your opponent blows his dick off with his is a precarious strategy. Thus far, though, Hogan has found a way to make it work, with a trail of dickless victims in his wake to prove it.
Charlo possesses an arsenal capable of blowing off any dick it comes across, including his own. As the two men entered the ring Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on a Showtime-televised card, the question of whose dick would end up where was on everyone’s mind.
Charlo came out attempting to establish distance and time his vaunted uppercut against Hogan’s awkward style. Throwing jabs from the outside as he continually circled on the perimeter, Hogan showed he had no intention of being a stationary target.
Hogan’s unorthodox footwork resembles a man misjudging the last step off of an escalator but, you know, always. Again though, he makes it work for him. Charlo was closing in and landing more punches, but through three rounds he had yet to find a deposit slip for his money punch.
That would all change in round 4.
Mere seconds into the round, Hogan attempted to throw a looping left hook but was countered by a Charlo uppercut on the inside. Hogan’s punch never landed. Charlo’s did, and a hilarious knockdown-into-back-handspring followed. Once again we were all suddenly reminded that Charlo’s power is very real.
Hogan beat the count, but a new meme was born along with the distinct feeling that he was now simply biding his time until his next co-starring role in Charlo’s highlight reel.
We wouldn’t have to wait long.
After two more rounds of table-setting, Charlo served up the main course in round 7. A sneaky faint followed by a crushing left hook sent a bloodied Hogan to the canvas in a heap. He would again beat the count, but this time on alarmingly unsteady feet.
I know that stumbling around cross-eyed and covered in blood is a polite form of greeting in Ireland, but in a boxing ring, it means your night is over. Referee Charlie Fitch called a halt to the action at 28 seconds of the round and with that Charlo was back in the knockout game.
Charlo now waits for the pieces on the new-look middleweight chessboard to move into place. As he plans his next move, one thing has become increasingly clear: he’s no longer a pawn in this game. He has plenty of moves in his arsenal and can call checkmate on just about anyone, given the opportunity.
Will he get it? That’s the question.
This time, however, Charlo was the one giving the answers.
(Photo by Stephanie Trapp)