By: Sean Crose
I’ve been waiting for this one for a while now. It looked like the rematch between Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano would go down earlier this year, but a Castano injury pushed the fight back until this weekend. Now, however, the second battle between the two junior middleweight world titlists is finally upon us – and not a moment too soon. These men first met last summer in what could only be described as a war. “After a brilliant battle,” I wrote immediately after the fight, “Charlo-Castano is ruled a draw.” The draw in and of itself wasn’t particularly a bad thing. It wasn’t as if the battle hadn’t been back and forth. What made the decision upsetting was a single, outrageous score by one of the judges in favor of Charlo by a margin of six points. How anyone could have scored that bout 117-111 in favor of either fighter remains a mystery.
That, however, is all in the past. And tonight, at Carson California’s Dignity Health Sports Park, WBA, WBC and IBF champion Charlo and WBO champion Castano will once again battle for the undisputed junior middleweight crown. If that sounds like a big deal, it’s because it is. Undisputed champions are too few and far between these days. No one wants a partial champion. It’s undisputed champions that are demanded in a sport like boxing.
The 34-1-1 Charlo wants to make things clear tonight by knocking the 17-0-2 Castano out. Castano, on the other hand, has an understandable distrust of judging at the moment (Who can blame him?). Still, the man leaves little doubt in the leadup to the fight that he’s going to let it all hang out in the ring on Saturday. Neither man has squared off against another opponent since their first match last July.
One thing fans have to be grateful for is that Charlo-Castano 2 will be aired live on regular Showtime. In a pay per view saturated fight world, it’s nice to have a high level battle go down without the added price tag. Fights of this caliber are becoming less and less common outside the pay per view world. Promoters seem to be okay with bringing in less eyeballs so long as they can bring in more dollars. That’s unhealthy for any sport, but its especially true of boxing, which is perpetually said to be on the ropes, even when it’s not.
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