Another great fight between Brian Castano and new undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo.
The judges were not needed this time.
In a fight that was even more entertaining than their thrilling first encounter last year, Jermell Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs) engaged in another slobberknocker with Brian Castano (17-1-2, 12 KOs), but this time Charlo was able to stop Castano late and earn the status of undisputed junior middleweight champion. Castano came in with the WBO belt, Charlo had the WBA, WBC, and IBF titles, and the fans in Carson, CA were treated to a classic.
There was definitely not much of a feeling out process for the opening round as we’re accustomed to seeing. Charlo was sent in retreat by a Castano left hook midway through the first frame, but he responded with good power shots of his own and a rare commitment to the body. Castano was pressuring as expected but Charlo wasn’t as content to sit along the ropes as he did so frequently in the first fight. Charlo was the sharper counterpuncher but Castano showed a granite chin and an ability to fire right back with heavy power shots upstairs.
Round 4 was just an all-action slugfest, with both men landing big shots and arguably hurting each other visibly. Castano stunned Charlo with a right hand but Charlo connected on a huge hook right as the bell sounded. The Argentine had a dominant start to the fifth round and jarred Jermell’s head with a right hand and a left hook. Against the ropes, Charlo clocked Castano with a counter straight right and then a jab to suddenly make the round a lot closer than it was shaping up to be.
Castano’s combination work and more committed jab continued to bother Charlo, but Jermell answered with a more measured pace in Round 7 and rocked Castano with a monster left hook. Somehow, someway, Castano stayed upright and came forward a mere seconds later.
Charlo started to take over as the pace slowed a bit and he worked his boxing primarily through the center of the ring. He did a better job of not letting Castano cut off the ring as easily as he did in the first fight, but that didn’t deter Castano from throwing some haymakers and engaging in lightning quick exchanges.
The fight took a dramatic turn for good in Round 10, as a left hook on the inside by Charlo prompted a delayed reaction knockdown of Castano. It was only the second time Castano had ever been dropped in his career. Castano beat the count but he was wobbly, and Charlo unleashed a series of punches including a left to the body that put him down a second time. Fight over!
Official result: Jermell Charlo def. Brian Castano by KO at 2:33 of ROund 10 to become the undisputed junior middleweight champion
In the first fight, Charlo had Castano hurt in the 10th but couldn’t close it out. On this occasion, he sealed the deal to unify the 154 lbs division in sensational fashion. Enter him in your P4P lists if you haven’t already, because he is that good.
Scorecards at the time of the stoppage were all in Charlo’s favor (87-84, 88-83, 89-82), which was harsh on Castano but momentum was firmly on Jermell’s side and even if you had it closer it looked like Charlo was going to have a clear-cut decision win. Instead, he made an emphatic statement to the rest of the junior middleweights.