HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Jermall Charlo was not going to be stopped last weekend. He was going to bring the IBF championship belt back to Houston.
The Houston native did just that, knocking down Cornelius Brundage four times in three rounds to win the IBF super welterweight title in a nationally-televised bout on September 12. In doing so, he improved his spotless record to 22-0. And he is now the world champion.
"The feeling was surreal," Charlo told FOX 26 Sports. "I knew my goal was to become a champion one day and when it all settled down, when I finished the fight, my brother was like, 'Oh, you're world champion! You're world champion!' It's another day for me, but at the same time, I'm champion of the world and it feels good. It's just that I met an accomplishment."
Charlo's twin brother Jermell is also currently unbeaten at 26-0. Together, they are the top two super welterweights now in the world. They say they will not fight one another and there's definitely a chance that they move to different weight classes in the future. Regardless the weight class, though, the two are united in their Houston pride and being role models for those with higher goals.
"I had to bring (the title) back to Houston," Charlo said. "We longed for it here. The city was behind me and it's just, like, I zoned out and went in and put on.
"Stay at it. Stay active. Don't give up. Dreams are real. They come true. So I dreamed and set goals and I accomplished them. For young kids, I could tell them, don't give up."
Charlo had his own role model to look up to. Growing up, he admired what George Foreman was able to do in his boxing career.
"George Foreman meant a lot to me because he fought Muhammad Ali and he was a champion from Houston," Charlo said. "I actually got to meet him a few times.
"It set the tone," he added. "It set a goal for me to accomplish and someone had to do it. It was either me or my twin brother. And it was my calling and I did it Saturday."
When Charlo was interviewed immediately upon winning his fight last Saturday, he brought up how you don't put a dog in a den with a lion. The lion is a common theme with the Charlo twins and is seen everywhere around the gym. In fact, there's a "Lions Welcome" sign upon walking in.
"To become a lion and to be a lion, you have to have that drive and that thrill to never give up and to keep going and to keep pushing," Charlo said.
"This is more like the lion's den when you come in. You hit that bag or it's getting really hard on you or you're doing drills and it's really getting rough and tough, you've got to have that mindset, like, 'I'm not giving up. I've got to persevere' because I know that world title wasn't easy to get, but it's right there in my alley and I had to go get it."