By: Sean Crose
“The fight was a brilliant, back and forth affair,” I wrote last summer of the Jermel Charlo-Brian Castano undisputed junior middleweight title match. “Ultimately, the fight was ruled a draw,” I continued, “which was fair. What was most distinctly not fair was the 117-111 score in favor of Charlo submitted by judge Nelson Vazquez.” Sadly, that evening’s terrific championship battle ended up showcasing yet another evening of scoring officials being scoring officials. Both fighters, however, were willing, eager and ready to return to the ring to let the world see once and for all who the better boxer is.
For this Saturday evening, at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, the 17-0-2 Castano will once again square off against the 34-1-1 Charlo for the undisputed junior middleweight crown. Castano holds the WBO belt, while Charlo holds the WBA, WBCA and IBF titles. Both men possess an incredible amount of confidence as well as the belief that he, not his opponent, is the true king of the junior middleweights. Even more than a title fight, Saturday’s bout will be a battle for clarity. Provided another draw isn’t arrived at by the judges, or that some outright robbery occur, Charlo-Castano 2 will provide the world with a true undisputed champion.
The rematch was supposed to go down last March, but a Castano injury pushed things back a bit. Castano is reportedly healthy and the anticipated second go round between the two men is now ready to go. It’s a fight well worth getting excited over. In fact, there should be more buzz behind this one than there is going in. Such is the plight of an event that comes just after Taylor-Serrano and Bivol-Canelo. Still, if the first Charlo-Castano throwdown was any indicator, the rematch might well be a beauty.
Yet the 32 year old Castano – clearly feeling burned by the judge’s decision in his first fight with Charlo – is hesitant to believe he’ll be better treated by ring officials this time around. “My message to the fans is that I cannot promise to win the fight” the Argentine said at a recent press conference, “but I do promise to leave it all out in the ring. We will try everything to lift all four belts on fight night.” Charlo, on the other hand, has come across as ready for war. “I hate that I didn’t close out the first fight the way I should have,” the 31 year old said last month. “I’m going to be better, faster, stronger and more relentless in this fight. I’m going to be the old school Jermell Charlo.”
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