By Jim Calfa: WBO junior middleweight champion Brian Castano says he feels he’s going to need a knockout to beat IBF/WBA/WBC 154-lb champion Jermell Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KOs) in their rematch that was officially announced on Friday for March 19th at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
Jermell and Castano fought to a controversial 12 round draw last July in San Antonio, Texas. One of the judges shockingly scored the fight 117-111 for Charlo, tainting the fight badly, as that score made no sense in the eyes of the fans.
The general view by the boxing public is that the Argentinian Castano (17-0-2, 12 KOs) did enough to earn the victory. However, Castano was at a considerable disadvantage, fighting in Charlo’s home state of Texas.
Charlo vs. Castano II will be for the undisputed junior middleweight championship with all four belts in the weight class on the line.
For the 32-year-old Jermell, there’s a good chance, win or lose, that this will be his last fight in the 154-lb division, as it’s believed that he’ll move up to 160.
Jermell’s famous brother, WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo, is expected to move up to 168 to challenge undisputed champion Canelo Alvarez on May 7th.
Assuming Jermall wins that fight, he’ll be the new four-belt champion in the weight class. He will have no reason to return to the 160-lb division, which at this point is a lifeless one now that Gennadiy Golovkin is rarely fighting and no longer taking on tough opposition.
Castano feels he beat Jermell
Brian, 32, says he’s watched the replay of his fight with Charlo many times, and he believes he should have been given the victory last July. According to Castano, he felt he did enough to win by a 115-113 score.
“Look; obviously, I’ve watched it [Charlo vs. Castano] many times. Well, one can point to rounds and all that. I think of the 12 rounds, I won 7,” said Brian Castano to K.O Artists Sports on his fight with Jermell last July in San Antonio, Texas.
“Seven rounds, I won. It was 7-5,” Castano continued. “It was, after all, a fight where I carried. I took the initiative. He boxed, retreating from the outside. He connected with some good shots, but the better shots I connected with,” Brian said of his battle against Charlo.
“And it as like that throughout the fight, except in rounds 2 and 10m where I was hurt. In the 11th, he connected with one hand, but after, I took the fight the whole time,” said Castano.
“Look, the truth is, it really bothered me,” said Castano when asked his thoughts on the judge that scored it 117-111 for Jermell. “I really don’t know what he saw. Perhaps he likes another style of boxing, but he was watching another fight,” said Castano.
The judges may have been impressed with the harder shots that Charlo was throwing during the contest, resulting in the scores that we saw.
With that said, the 117-111 score from one of the judges in favor of Jermell looked out of place from the fight that took place. We don’t know if the pro-Charlo crowd applause influenced that judge during the bout.
Each time Charlo landed, the crowd roared in approval, which possibly factored into the scoring by the judges.
Charlo’s team wanted the rematch in Houston
It would have been a bad idea for the Charlo vs. Castano II rematch to have been staged in Jermell’s hometown of Houston, Texas.
Had the rematch been staged there, it would have given the appearance that Charlo lacks the courage to fight Castano on neutral turf.
“If he scored it 117-111, he was totally looking at it another way. That was one of the reasons it was changed,” said Castano on why the rematch with Charlo is being staged in Los Angeles rather than back in Texas due to the controversial scoring for their previous bout in San Antonio, Texas.
“In reality, I didn’t want to go again to his house because of what happened in the last fight,” said Castano on WHY the Charlo-Castano II rematch is taking place in a neutral venue in California. “This time, they wanted me to go to Houston, where he’s from, and that’s good.
“My intention was a place a little more neutral. Obviously, I’m the visitor; I’m the stranger; I’m the B-side. But at least I know I’m the visitor, but it won’t be that much. It will be a little closer,” Brian said.
Jermell hits the hardest, says Brian
“Yes, I think so,” said Castano when asked if he needs a knockout to win. “I’m going to need to win clearly. I’ll hit him in all the rounds and hope he doesn’t hit me. He only hit me in the second and the tenth.
“I think he’s one of the hardest punchers I’ve ever faced, yes,” said Castano when asked if Jermell is the hardest puncher he’s ever faced in his 10-year professional career.
“He has a respectable punch like they all do in the division. I think in this division, and at this level, you pay for the smallest error,” said Castano. “I made some errors looking for the fight, and that’s why he connected.
“Obviously, just like he connected, I also connected, and we hurt each other. But yeah, in this division , I think he [Jermell], more or less, hits the hardest.
“I think there’s never confidence. Never be confident of anything,” said Castano when asked if going into the rematch with Charlo, he’ll be confident. I’m sure of my work, of my sacrifice, that I train hard every day.
“I know at this level, all the fighters are dangerous, and you can’t be confident against any of them,” said Castano. “That’s why I always put a lot of effort into my training camp so that the fight turns out good.
“You should never underestimate any fighter, and you should always take it very seriously. Be very professional in the gym just as much in the ring. You have to take it seriously,” said Castano.
Jermell has excellent power, but you can’t say his strength is superior to Tim Tszyu and some other contenders in the division. If Charlo does hit harder, it’s not by much.