Los Angeles (AFP) – After his controversial draw in 2021, Argentine Brian Castaño will face American Jermell Charlo again on Saturday in one of the most anticipated fights of the year, whose winner will be the first undisputed super welterweight champion.
The undefeated Castaño, 32, has the opportunity to become the sixth undisputed champion of a division in the four-belt era, which began almost two decades ago, and the first in South American boxing.
The Argentine, current super welterweight champion (154 pounds – 69.8 kilos) of the WBO (World Boxing Organization), has always claimed to be the winner of the first fight against Charlo, held in July 2021 in San Antonio (Texas).
The fight concluded with a split decision draw that allowed Charlo, the great favorite a priori, to keep his WBA (World Boxing Association), WBC (World Boxing Council) and IBF (International Boxing Federation) belts.
In the cards of the controversial ruling, one judge saw a draw by 114-114, another gave the victory to Castaño 114-113 and the third to Charlo by a bulky 117-111.
Two days after seeing each other again in the ring in Carson (California), both fighters heated up the fight, assuring that this time they will finish it on the fast track.
“My only mistake then was not closing,” Charlo told the media. “I knock people out, that’s what I’m known for.”
“I don’t care if he says he’s going to knock me out,” Castaño replied. “I wait calmly for him to see if he lasts the 12 rounds.”
“In the first fight I felt like a winner and this motivates me to come out victorious in the rematch,” he recalled. “This time I don’t want to leave it in the hands of the judges.”
A “more neutral” scenario
Castaño, who has a balance of 17 wins (12 knockouts) and two draws without losses, said he is more confident in his victory now fighting away from Texas, where Charlo grew up and continues to reside.
“What I learned from the previous fight is not to go back to his house to fight, which is what really conditioned the first fight,” said ‘El Boxi’.
California “is still his home, I’m still a visitor, but I’m calmer about fighting in a place, in quotes, more neutral,” said the boxer, encouraged by Argentine fans in the conference.
The tiebreaker was scheduled to take place in March but was postponed due to a biceps injury suffered by Isidro Casanova (Buenos Aires) during his training sessions.
Charlo, 31, first questioned the existence of the injury but on Thursday thanked him for the delay with irony.
“Thank you, Brown, for giving me more time to prepare. I’m going to be stronger, faster and smarter than ever,” he snapped.
The American, twin brother of current WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo, will once again be the betting favorite when he steps into the ring at Dignity Health Sports Park.
Charlo has a record of 34 wins (18), one draw and one loss, conceded against his compatriot Tony Harrison in 2018.
A year later, Charlo won a rematch with Harrison, taking the WBC title, and in 2020 he knocked out Dominican Jeison Rosario to take away his WBA and IBF titles.
Castaño, trained by his father Carlos, has held the WBO belt since he beat Brazilian Patrick Teixiera by unanimous decision 15 months ago.
It was the second championship title that the Argentine conquered, after having won the WBA belt in the past.
© 2022 AFP