Fight Picks: Charlo-Castaño II
On Saturday, Ring Magazine, IBF, WBA and WBC junior middleweight titleholder Jermell Charlo and his WBO counterpart Brian Castaño will meet for the second time to decide who is the undisputed champion at 154 pounds at Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, California.
The two will collide on Showtime, the broadcast begins at 9:00 p.m. ET/ 6:00 p.m. PT.
Charlo defeated a host of solid fighters including Gabriel Rosado (UD 10), Vanes Martirosyan (UD 10) and Joachim Alcine (TKO 6) before capturing the vacant WBC title with a come-from-behind knockout over John Jackson (KO 8). He made three defenses – most impressively knocking out Erickson Lubin (KO 1) – but lost his title in controversial fashion to Tony Harrison (UD 12). After one comeback win, he regained the title, struggling at times before knocking out Harrison (KO 11). The 31-year-old added the WBA and IBF titles to his collection when he stopped Jeison Rosario (KO 8) in September 2019. In his last outing, he fought Castaño to a controversial draw.
Castaño, who is rated No. 1 at 154 pounds, was a standout amateur. The Argentinean is an aggressive boxer-puncher who holds wins over Michel Soro (SD 12) and Cedric Vitu (TKO 12) in France. The 32-year-old has since drawn with Erislandy Lara (D 12), stopped fringe contender Wale Omotoso (TKO 5) and widely outpointed Patrick Teixeira (UD 12) to claim the WBO title.
Will Charlo (34-1-1, 18 knockouts) be fully dialed in unlike last time? Castaño (17-0-2, 12 KOs) fought the fight of his life in their first meeting, but can he go one better this time and secure the victory? If Charlo is unable to get any early success, will he be able to find a plan B to revert to? Has Castaño fully recovered from the biceps injury that curtailed their intended March date?
Online gambling group William Hill lists Charlo as an 1/2 (-200) favorite, while Castaño is priced at 6/4 (+150); the draw is 16/1 (+1600).
Here’s how the experts see it: THE RING MAGAZINE/RINGTV.COM
TOM GRAY: CHARLO UD
“The fight should come down to who adjusts best from their first bout, but something tells me that Castaño has lost his chance to become undisputed forever. He could easily have got the decision last time, but it was not to be. He’s now back on enemy territory for the second time and securing a points win will be just as arduous. I foresee another close fight and the scoring will be uncomfortably wide in Charlo’s favor.”
ANSON WAINWRIGHT: CHARLO SD
“In the first fight Castaño fought the fight of his life and appeared to do enough to win. Charlo on the other hand wasn’t at his best and it showed. The Texan is a hot and cold fighter, we don’t know which one will turn up until fight night. I suspect Castaño will bring his usual brand of pressure but Charlo will be a little more switched on having shared a ring with the hard-charging Argentinean. We’ll get another close and possibly controversial result. I think Charlo edges things by razor thin split decision.”
LEE GROVES: CASTAÑO UD
“The key to this fight will be how Castaño performs in the early rounds. If he establishes strong momentum in the opening minutes, he tends to stay at that level for the remainder of the fight, but if Charlo can keep Castaño in check, he’ll receive the breathing room he needs to operate the way he wants. I believe Charlo fought closer to his best in the first fight than Castaño did based on their statistical histories, yet many people thought Castaño was at least very competitive with Charlo and more than a few thought he should have won. Also, since the fight will be staged at a more neutral site than Charlo’s home state of Texas (Los Angeles), the Argentine may also get a better shake from the judges. Castaño 12-round unanimous decision.”
MARTY MULCAHEY: CASTAÑO MD
“In making my predictions for their initial meeting I tabbed Jermell Charlo the winner by majority decision, but said bettors “should look into the draw proposition”… which was the judges’ final decision. This time I am reversing my opinion, despite my belief Charlo has a better skill set and can improve more. However, Castaño just has Charlo’s number in my opinion. Castaño showed the ability to time and counter Charlo, at times even beating him to the punch, and in a close fight that will turn on the finest of margins Castaño’s earned confidence is the deciding factor. It could be tricky for judges again, so I will go with a majority decision win for Castaño on the strength of a championship round flash knockdown.”
MICHAEL MONTERO: CHARLO UD
“In the first bout, Charlo started off slow but finished strong, winning the championship rounds on all three judges’ scorecards. I believe that he “found something” late in that fight. This time around, I expect the Texan to start faster. My sense is that Charlo will make enough adjustments to carry a decision win over Castaño in their highly-anticipated rematch. Charlo 116-112, unanimous decision.”
NORM FRAUENHEIM: CHARLO TKO 10
“Brian Castaño has vowed not to let the rematch go to the scorecards for a second time. The Argentine, forced to settle for a draw in a fight many thought he had won, has enough power to fulfill the promise. But Charlo knows that. Charlo also knows how to adjust. He’s 1-0 in rematches. His lone loss was a controversial decision to Harrison in 2018. A year later, he got some revenge with an 11th-round stoppage of Harrison. Look for him to do more of the same against Castaño.”
DIEGO MORILLA: CASTAÑO KO 9
“If there is someone who realizes the importance of getting it right this time, it’s Castaño. In spite of his numerous health issues, he is a strong and relentless fighter who could defeat any fighter in his division on a good night. And he’s training hard enough to have a very good night. Reports from his camp tell the story of a zero-distraction policy and a superb physical condition ahead of what could easily end up being the biggest fight in his career. The dramatic back-and-forth that took place in the first fight will happen again, but Castaño will press hard enough in one of those moments to score a dramatic stoppage towards the end of the fight.”
DUKE MCKENZIE (FORMER THREE-DIVISION TITLEHOLDER/TV ANALYST): CHARLO TKO
“Rarely does a return fight match up to the first fight but I can’t see how Charlo-Castaño 2 can’t live up to their first meeting, with everything up for grabs. I see Charlo raising his game. Taking nothing away from Castaño but he’s had his night and boxed the fight of his life in their first fight. I think Charlo will be more aggressive this time around and not get backed up as much, landing his trademark right hand and will win inside the distance, in around nine or 10 rounds.”
LIAM SMITH (LIGHT MIDDLEWEIGHT CONTENDER): CASTAÑO SD
“I thought Castaño won the first one. I feel Charlo might come with a bit of a different and better edge to himself. He knows Castaño is a proper fighter and I do see it being very close again. I just think Castaño is a little bit fresher at 154, I think Charlo has outgrown the weight and it’s starting to show in his performances. I pick Castaño to edge it on points. It probably will be split decision.”
CAMILLE ESTEPHAN (PROMOTER, EYE OF THE TIGER): CHARLO UD
“Charlo will probably come out a little faster in the second fight with a bit more urgency especially using his right hand earlier on. Although I think it will be another very tough fight, I see Charlo winning this one by unanimous decision, he has size and power advantage.”
RAUL MARQUEZ (FORMER WORLD CHAMPION/COMMENTATOR): CHARLO UD
“Charlo needs to control distance and keep the fight in center of ring. Castaño knows one way that’s coming forward. Pressure and more pressure. This fight will be a barnburner I’m going with Charlo by close unanimous decision.”
KATHY DUVA (PROMOTER, MAIN EVENTS): CHARLO PTS
“Charlo should win this one by decision. As long as he boxes intelligently and doesn’t fall into the trap of trading with Castaño like he did the first time they met, Charlo should come away with the win. He has everything he needs to win this fight.”
JOLENE MIZZONE (MANAGER): CASTAÑO
“I don’t think that Charlo will make any adjustments from the last fight and I think that Castaño will make adjustments. I think Charlo is looking beyond Castaño and that is going to hurt him in this fight. If I am wrong and Charlo does make adjustments he can win this fight, but I don’t think he will. Castaño split decision or TKO 10.”
ROBERT DIAZ (MATCHMAKER, GOLDEN BOY): CHARLO UD
“Who can make the adjustments and improve from the first fight. I believe we didn’t see the best version of Jermell as he might have taken Castaño lightly. Castaño will be non-stop in your face. Jermell will have to stay of the ropes and keep the fight in the center of the ring while using his height and reach, box and keep Castaño outside. In the end, Charlo wins a 12-round unanimous decision.”
RUDY HERNANDEZ (TRAINER): CASTAÑO UD
“We get a second chance to see another interesting fight. The boxing fans were so high on Charlo barely anyone gave Castaño a chance in the first fight. Castaño beat [Patrick] Teixeira and looked OK doing so but when he fought Charlo, he looked just a little better. Castaño seems to do just do enough. I believe if he came into the ring with the destroyer mentality, he could be one of the great ones, but that’s not him. I was more impressed with how he was able to adjust to styles put in front of him. Charlo has the talent, the will and the desire. This fight will be better than the first. They’ll pick up where they left off. Round 13. In another tough fight, Castaño beats Charlo by unanimous decision.”
MARC RAMSAY (TRAINER): CHARLO UD
“The first fight was excellent. I remember Castaño as an amateur and he was very good. Lots of people are overlooking Castaño, underestimating him but now that the surprise effect is over, I think Charlo should be able to adapt and have a better understanding of who he is facing. I see Charlo wining a unanimous decision.”
ALEX STEEDMAN (COMMENTATOR): CHARLO PTS
“This may depend on who learned most from the first fight or perhaps who has the capacity to make their style prevail. Charlo seemed to have the fight under control so the question is: did Castaño unnerve him or was it a lack of something else? For sure Castaño has power and drive but he can be outboxed, and I think Charlo can do that more comfortably this time. Charlo by decision.”
VICTOR SILVA (TV ANALYST): CASTAÑO UD
“We had a great fight before and now that they know each other, I think it will be even better. Desire will be most of what we see here and handling the distance will be the most important issue. I believe Castaño will not make the same mistakes and will win by unanimous decision.”
KALLE SAUERLAND (PROMOTER, WASSERMAN BOXING): CHARLO TKO
“I think Charlo will learn from his mistakes in the first fight. I don’t think he was boxing to his full ability and that he’ll learn more from the first fight than Castaño will have and I think he can up his game. I’m going Charlo, late stoppage.
WAYNE MCCULLOUGH (FORMER WORLD CHAMPION/ TRAINER): CASTAÑO
“What a fight Jermell Charlo and Brian Castaño gave the first time around. Now, in the rematch for the undisputed junior middleweight championship, Charlo could do more damage when he gets the room to punch. He showed that last time with his long accurate left jabs and hard straight rights to Castaño’s head. Castaño is non-stop with constant pressure for 12-rounds and can hit hard. They hurt each other last time around and I think this time will be much of the same. They’ll land hurtful punches but they’ll recover and fight back. I believe Castaño will pile on more pressure than last time and stay even closer to Charlo and out work him to claim a points win. Even though this fight could change hands with one punch, I think Castaño will overcome and come away with the win.”
Final Tally: Charlo 12-8
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