Jermell Charlo and Brian Castaño vow to knock each other out in heated presser
Only one conclusion can be drawn from today’s press conference call with Ring/IBF /WBA/WBC junior middleweight world champion Jermell Charlo and WBO titlist Brian Castaño.
Don’t expect this fight to go the distance.
They have both been badmouthing each other for months during the buildup of their failed first date for their rematch, which was supposed to happen earlier in the year but was rescheduled to May 14 after Argentina’s Castaño suffered a torn biceps injury during training.
The accusations of foul play by Charlo began shortly after the postponement was announced, and it exploded today in an event in which both fighters exchanged promises to deliver knockouts and revealed glimpses of the distaste they have for each other during a virtual press conference ahead of their Saturday, May 14 undisputed title bout to be broadcasted live on Showtime from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif.
“Everybody wants to know how the rematch will be different,” said Charlo in his opening statements. “I’m considered a puncher and a boxer, and I’m planning to bring some tricks out of the hat this time. I hate that I didn’t close out the first fight the way I should have. I’m going to be better, faster, stronger and more relentless in this fight. I’m going to be the old school Jermell Charlo.
The Charlo-Castaño rematch will come nine months after they went toe-to-toe for 12 grueling rounds in July 2021, with both men appearing hurt during the action before the bout was eventually ruled a split draw. And they have never ceased to trade barbs, insults and threats since then while they waited for the negotiation for their rematch to play out.
Charlo said that this time he will finish the job he started in 2021.
“You don’t give people like me opportunities again. I’ve fought for my whole life. I know that I have to seize this opportunity. I’m dead focused and laser sharp. I’ve been grinding since before his bicep injury. He gave me time to prepare my body. While he was playing games, I’ve been getting better. I’m going to have him hurting and crying. This isn’t about Castaño, this is about Jermell Charlo.
“I want to step up to the plate and be greater than I’ve ever been. I didn’t come this far to give up or let somebody like this come beat me. I know the mistakes that I made in the first fight and I’m ready to cross the ‘t’s’ and dot the ‘i’s’ on them.”
While the first fight happened in Charlo’s home state of Texas, this time the pair will be fighting in a more neutral territory in California, where the large Latino community and even the great Argentine presence in the area may become a factor.
Charlo begs to differ.
“I’ve fought at this venue before. I’m not worried about the crowd. He knows that when we’re in there, it’s just me and him. I’m an evolved and more focused Jermell Charlo. I’m ready to go, straight up.
“I just want to show the world why the Charlo twins are where we’re at,” said Charlo, in reference to his twin brother Jermall, currently the WBC middleweight titlist. “I’ve been doing this way longer than Castaño. I’m going to let him keep thinking it’s cool, but he’s going to find out what it’s really like on May 14.”
With both men being hurt in the first fight and being even on the brink of a stoppage a few times each, the question of their mutual evaluation of their punching power became a subject.
“His power isn’t important to me,” said Charlo. “I don’t care if he’s stronger now. It’s about skills and everyone is going to find out what the deal is on May 14. I thought I won the first fight, period. I hurt him way more. He may have edged a few rounds. I won the early rounds of the fight and the late rounds of the fight.
“I know I’m on a whole other level than he is and I’m going to present myself when it’s time. May 14 I’m going to be peaking. I’m going to let him keep talking, because I’m going to be dangerous in this fight. Everyone knows what I possess in the ring. I’m comfortable through the storm. I was made for this and bred for this. I’m comfortable being in this situation.”
Castaño: “I want the knockout. I need it and I crave it”
Accustomed as he is to fight abroad, both in his long amateur career as well as a professional, Castaño is familiar with the idea of needing a knockout to win in hostile territory.
This time he feels it will be just as important as it was in Texas back in 2021.
“I want the respect that I’m warranted and that I should be given from him,” said Castaño. “The first fight was a close fight, but the second fight is going to be even worse for him, because I’m knocking him out. This is what every fighter dreams of. This is what we all set out to do. You build your legacy fight by fight, then you get an opportunity like this and you have to make the most of it. I want to show the people around the world that I’m a winner.
“I want the knockout. I need it and I crave it. That’s my chance to redeem myself and prove that I should have won the first fight outright. I went into his home state and turned the crowd against him.”
Charlo was quick to point out that he hails from Houston and that the fight took place in San Antonio, where the larger Latino community may have been inclined to root for one of their own, and later corrected host Brian Custer when he introduced him as a Houston native by saying “USA” instead.
But Castaño reiterated his threat to stop him regardless of his nationality or the location of the fight.
“Charlo knows that he’s going to have his hands full and that I won the first fight. I like to do my talking inside the ring, but I will say that I’m a warrior and I’m going to show that I’m worthy of this victory. I don’t care what Charlo says, I’m going to be ready for whatever comes my way.”
When the time came to discuss the injury that forced the postponement of the bout, Charlo was quick to dismiss the injury as a hoax and as a distractive maneuver by Castaño to buy himself more time to prepare for the bout.
Castaño dismissed that notion vigorously.
“The bicep injury occurred during a sparring session and I had to stop everything for a while. Charlo was saying lots of things about it and all I was trying to do during that time was recover. After coming back from that, I’m so happy because everything has been perfect physically. I feel better than ever going into May 14.
“It’s all about me and him inside of the ring. I’m going to make him pay for everything he said and everything that happened in the first fight. I’m going to break him and I’m going to make him suffer.
A question by The Ring on their evaluation of their performances in their first fight and the adjustments to be made ahead of the rematch led to just another chance for both of them to indicate that all roads lead to a knockout.
“I watched the entire first fight from beginning to end and I studied it. I thought that I won by one or two points. I won the fight in the key moments enough where I should have come out with the win,” said Castaño. “A victory will make my dream come true. When you’re in the prime of your career and you have a chance like this, you just can’t let it go. I have the opportunity and I’m going to make the most of it.”
A press release by Showtime/PBC was used in this article.