American Jermell Charlo, right, and Argentina's Brian Castano, left, meet Saturday in a rematch to decide an undisputed light middleweight world boxing champion after fighting to a draw last July
Los Angeles (AFP) - American Jermell Charlo and Argentina’s undefeated Brian Castano meet Saturday at Los Angeles in a rematch to determine boxing’s first undisputed four-belt light middleweight world champion.
Charlo will defend the WBA, WBC and IBF 154-pound crowns against WBO champion Castano in a rematch of their draw last July at San Antonio, where judges scored the fight 117-111 for Charlo, 114-113 for Castano and a 114-114 draw.
“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,” Charlo said.
“I don’t know if this fight will be like the first one. It could be a quicker night. If not, it’s going to be entertaining for 12 rounds.”
The rematch had been scheduled for March but Castano suffered a torn biceps during training camp and the bout was pushed back.
“I was training with one hand for quite a few weeks after the arm injury, but right now I really feel better and stronger than ever,” said Castano.
“The bicep injury occurred during a sparring session and I had to stop everything for a while. Charlo was saying lots of things about it and all I was trying to do during that time was recover.”
Charlo, 34-1-1 with 18 knockouts, suffered his only loss to compatriot Tony Harrison in 2018, but won a 2019 rematch for the WBC title and then took two more belts by knocking out Dominican Jeison Rosario in 2020.
“I’m excited. I’m ready to rock. I’m putting it all on the line and I’m ready to destroy,” Charlo said. “I’m going to have him hurting and crying.”
Castano, 17-0 with two drawn and 12 knockouts, won the WBO crown 15 months ago by unanimous decision over Brazilian Patrick Teixiera.
“A victory will make my dream come true,” Castano said. “I’m going to break him and I’m going to make him suffer. I want the knockout. I need it and I crave it.
“It’s my chance to redeem myself and prove that I should have won the first fight outright. This time, we’re going to try everything to make sure we don’t leave the fight in the hands of the judges.”
Charlo, whose twin brother Jermall is the unbeaten WBC middleweight champion, said being rated the undisputed king of his division means more to him than being considered among the top pound-for-pound fighters.
“I want to be on the top tier and for people to see I’m undisputed and say that he’s an animal,” Charlo said. “This is my moment. I have to seize this opportunity.”