Before 2018, not many people knew the name Hugo Centeno Jr., but the middleweight contender said he has earned a spot to fight for the interim WBC middleweight title against Jermall Charlo.
Centeno Jr. spoke with Fightful before facing off against Charlo on April 21 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. While Centeno Jr. said he’s ready to score a major upset win over Charlo, Centeno Jr. said simply fighting on a big stage for a title proves he belongs among the elites in boxing’s 160-pound division.
“Even just being here at this position, it shows people that I have earned my way here. No one handed me a world title, no one has handed me anything. I’ve earned my way to being in the top five, top four, whatever it is, in one of the hardest divisions in the world. It’s not like anyone put a ranking next to my name and said, ‘You’re fighting this guy.’ Just fighting for this interim world title, it means the world to me because it’s been 20 years of hard work that I’ve put in and sacrificed in my life. I’m excited,” Centeno Jr. said.
Charlo is coming off a strong performance over Jorge Sebastian Heiland last summer, scoring an impressive TKO victory. While Charlo has stated that he’s not looking for a knockout this time around, Centeno Jr. said he is preparing for any type of situation that could rise in his fight against Charlo, whether that would be a boxing match or a slugfest come April 21.
“Honestly, I know he’s coming in here to fight, whether it’s to box or to brawl. I’m ready for whatever comes my way. I’m not going to come in and look for a knockout, but if the opportunity shows itself, I’m going to take it,” Centeno Jr. said.
Fightful will have live coverage of Charlo vs. Centeno Jr. as well as the rest of the Showtime Championship Boxing card headlined by Adrien Broner vs. Jessie Vargas. The interview with Centeno Jr. can be seen in the video above.