Jermell Charlo admits he doesn’t often feel like he belongs to a matching set these days.
Early on in his career, the undisputed 154-pound champion from Houston, Texas, was virtually wedded to the hip of his twin brother, Jermall, the current WBC middleweight titlist who is older by a minute, as they promulgated their “Lions Only” ethos.
But the two have grown apart in recent years.
In a recent interview, the younger Charlo reflected on his trying relationship with Jermall, who has had to deal with personal issues that have prevented him from getting in the ring for over two years.
Jermall has also made some questionable moves. He made headlines recently for being in a public altercation with Caleb Plant that he had apparently instigated. Jermell was quick to separate himself from that incident on his social media.
And in a sign of their divergent paths, Jermell—not Jermall—will be moving up two weight classes to challenge Mexican superstar and current undisputed 168-pound champion Canelo Alvarez on Sept. 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“Man, it be up and down, dog,” Jermell said of his relationship with his brother on the Million Dollaz Worth of Game podcast. “Straight up, me and my brother, it just be like, you gotta grow with somebody. You can’t just keep—you know, as we grew apart, as we got older, he got his family, I got my family, but in order to [get along] you just gotta grow with somebody. You know what I’m sayin’?
“Sometimes I feel like he don’t be growing and I can’t chastise him. ‘Hey, just live your life, bro, running into the errors that you run into.’ That sh!t ain’t got nothin’ to do with me. I be in my own lane, he be in his own lane. I don’t f— with all his friends, he don’t f— with all my friends, I don’t f— with his wife, he don’t f— with mine, but we got kids, so the kids try to help mend things, but sometimes it’s just like let people learn on their own. That’s how I roll. I got a big fight right now. I got real sh!t to handle. I can’t get distracted by the way he livin’ and whatever he got going on, acting stupid and all that shit. I’m maturing, growing up as a man.”
Despite their growing differences, Jermell stressed the importance of having a “forgiving” attitude toward his brother.
“It has a lot to do with forgiving,” Charlo said. “Everybody got to be forgiving. That’s me, my people, my peers, people that see me going through sh!t with him. I get to a point where, ‘Oh that’s your brother, bro. I get tired of that sh!t too.’ But then I still gotta be like hey we call gotta forgive, we all gotta be on the same page. I try not to have any resentment or any of that type of sh!t going on. I don’t envy him at all. I’m doing my thing in boxing, he’s doing his thing. Look at me right now. I’m going up to 168 in a position that he should’ve been in.”
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.