- Charlo will face Jose Benavidez Jr in his first outing for 29 months on Saturday
- The 33-year-old admits he has encountered problems in his time out of the ring
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Jermall Charlo has lifted the lid on his mental health struggles away from the boxing ring as he gears up for his long-awaited return this weekend.
Charlo, who still holds the WBC middleweight title, is set to make his first appearance since June 2021 against Jose Benavidez Jr in Las Vegas on Saturday night – although his championship will not be on the line in a 10-round contest.
It has been a long and arduous 29 months away from the sport for the 33-year-old, made all the more difficult when his twin brother, Jermell, dominated the limelight by climbing up two weight divisions to lock horns with undisputed super-middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez in September.
As the heavier of the two twins, many felt Canelo had named the wrong brother when announcing the fight. And Jermell’s passive display on the night suggested that may actually have been the case.
Jermall Charlo has lifted the lid on his mental health struggles away from the boxing ring
The WBC middleweight champion is set to make his long-awaited return on Saturday night
Yet in the background, Jermall was only just coming to the end of a troubling journey back to boxing.
The heavier Charlo twin opened up on his battle with mental health, which led to drink and drug abuse, in an interview with The New York Post ahead of his bout against Benavidez Jr this weekend.
‘Depression, self conflation, going from hot to cold really fast is shocking to you,’ he described the ordeal.
‘Dealing with all kinds of cases of [being] bipolar, being by yourself, thinking that you shutting the world out is gonna help you. But you need to be able to speak to someone and help you get past whatever you’re going through.
‘It just feels like everybody is against you, I don’t care if you’re in the Uber, a cab, wherever, everybody is just against you. Why I felt like this, [I don’t know].
‘I couldn’t tell that some people weren’t against me, it was just that at the moment it’s the way you’re feeling and I turned my back against pretty much the world. I just had to start getting help with it and it made me a lot better.’
During his time away from boxing, Jermall’s relationship with his brother also deteriorated as he grappled with alcohol and drug problems, with Jermell revealing that they had grown apart in recent years.
Jermall says they are now in the process of repairing things. ‘We’re good,’ he said. ‘We talk, I could call him 1700603203. Normally I wouldn’t even be able to call him, he wouldn’t answer, or we wouldn’t talk.’
Jermall had grown apart from his twin brother Jermell (right) in recent years, but the pair are now repairing their relationship
Charlo says he is a more patient person as he prepares to lace up the gloves for the first time since June 2021
And as he looks to make a winning return in Vegas on Saturday night, Charlo insists he is now a more patient person after overcoming his mental-health issues.
‘My patience has grown a lot more now,’ he added. ‘I’ve extended my hand to start helping more than I ever did. I’m starting to feel a lot better. Clear minded, I’m not trying to tailor things with drinking and alcohol abuse, or drugs, or just being so obnoxious and things like that.
‘You have to learn patience. That’s one of my major things that I’ve learned from having these two years off is patience and just being grateful. I’m back. I learned how to take care of my body a lot better, mentally and physically. I feel like I’m back. My mind has met up with my physical ability and I’m kind of more so in my prime.
‘When your back is against the wall, when it starts burning or you go down to a knee, you look up at the people that you know for sure are gonna help you back up, no matter what. All around, having a good team around you is the best support.’