By: Sean Crose
Saturday night, at Carson California’s Dignity Health Sports Park, WBA, WBC and IBF champion Jermell Charlo and WBO champion Brian Castano once again battled for the undisputed junior middleweight crown. Their first match for divisional dominance went down in July of 2021. It was an amazing battle, one which ended in a controversial draw. The rematch aimed to bring some clarity to the division, as well as an unquestioned king. Like their first bout, Charlo-Castano 2 was scheduled for 12 championship rounds.
Charlo landed well in the first. Yet Castano appeared to rock his man in the round’s final minute. It was an exciting opening chapter. Charlo continued to land well in the second, though Castano kept coming forward. Castano’s aggression may have gone on to tell the tale of the third. Charlo’s punches, however, were crisp and precise. The fourth was a very high octane affair, with both men throwing and landing. The final seconds of the round, which saw both men trading punches, was explosive.
The furious pace continued in the fifth, but it was Charlo who landed the more effective blows…until the end of the round when the fight turned into a blistering war of attrition. The sixth saw the relentless Castano again getting to Charlo, who was still landing well himself. By the end of the round it was worth wondering how each man was still standing.
Castano’s legs buckled in the seventh – yet he remained standing. Charlo controlled the tempo of the eighth, through a solid jab and crisp counter punching. Charlo was able to maintain range in the ninth. In fact, the Texan appeared to be getting into a flow. The question was whether or not he’d be able to keep Castano at bay for the last three rounds of the bout. The tenth largely saw Charlo remaining in control.
Then, with around a mere minute left in the chapter, a series of punches put the brave Argentine down. Castano got up, but Charlo put him down again. The referee counted to five, then waved the fight off. It was a brilliant battle, but it was Charlo who erased all questions. He is now unquestionably the ruler of the junior middleweight division.
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