By: Sean Crose
WBA, WBC and IBF junior middleweight titlist Jermell Charlo hopes the word “undisputed” will truly mean just that after he squares off for the second time with WBO junior middleweight titlist Ryan Castano tomorrow night at the Dignity Park Health Center in Carson, California. The first fight between the two men, which went down last July, ended in a highly controversial draw. The truth is – there are those who feel Castano should have won the fight. With so much on the line, each man realizes he must truly assert himself after the opening bell rings tomorrow evening in California. For the 34-1-1 Charlo, the more well known of the two fighters, the moment will be particularly telling.
“You don’t give people like me opportunities again,” the Texas based titlist has said of the back and forth first match, which saw both fighters rocked at different stages of the contest. “I hate that I didn’t close out the first fight the way I should have. I’m going to be better, faster, stronger and more relentless in this fight. I’m going to be the old-school Jermell Charlo.” At the moment, the thirty one year old feels he has to do more than just win Saturday night to get approval. “I think I’ve got to knock him out to get the actual credit that they kind of don’t give,” he said after Thursday’s final press conference.
There may be some truth to this comment, as boxing fans are a notoriously critical bunch. “I’m gonna show him,” Charlo said to The New York Post. “I’ve got to prove something, man. If I get tired…I wouldn’t be able to prove anything to y’all. If I get tired of listening to what critics say, then I won’t have a reason to keep fighting. I’ve got to have a fight in me, to always want to do this, to keep going, to stay hungry, I’ve got to continue to want this.”
Still, the 17-0-2 Castano himself knows that a dominant performance isn’t only the most likely way to earn a victory this Saturday evening – it perhaps may be the only way. “I’ve been working hard to make sure that doesn’t happen,” he recently told Boxing Junkie. “If I get a knockout, obviously that’s great. If not, I’ve been working hard to impress the judges twice as much so there isn’t any doubt whatsoever.”
The Jermell Charlo-Brian Castano 2 card will be aired live on Showtime Saturday night starting at 9PM eastern time.
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