Jermell Charlo declined during fight week to speak about the first significant physical setback of his career, the hand injury that has kept him out of the ring for 16 months.

Charlo has undergone consistent, intense physical therapy on his left hand since he had a cast removed from it earlier this year. The right-handed Charlo broke two bones in his left hand during a sparring session a few days before Christmas, 

which first caused the postponement and ultimately the cancellation of his 154-pound championship defense against Australia’s Tim Tszyu, who was the mandatory challenger for Charlo’s WBO junior middleweight title.

The Charlo-Tszyu fight wasn’t rescheduled before Charlo chose to take a higher-profile, more profitable fight versus Alvarez, boxing’s biggest star in the United States.

Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs) has seemingly had full use of his left hand throughout training camp for the biggest fight of his 15-year professional career, 

but he wouldn’t go into detail about how it feels when he was interviewed by a group of reporters following their final press conference Wednesday at MGM Grand.

“You know, I don’t speak on those things because, you know, I don’t wanna make an excuse for myself,” Charlo said. “I wanna get in there and be a dog.”

Houston’s Charlo, 33, hasn’t fought since he knocked out Argentina’s Brian Castano (17-1-2, 12 KOs) in the 10th round of their rematch in May 2022 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

He was scheduled to fight Tszyu (23-0, 17 KOs) on January 28 at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena, but his hand injury forced him to withdraw from their “Showtime Championship Boxing” main event late in December.

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