Charlo vs. Castaño: For The Belts, For History, For Everything

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History is on the line when the two 154-pound champions square off for the undisputed crown in a potential Fight of the Year Saturday night on PBC on SHOWTIME.

History will be made this Saturday, July 17 on SHOWTIME, live from AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. 

In a bid to become the first ever four-belt, undisputed super welterweight champion, WBC, WBA, and IBF world titlist Jermell Charlo (34-1, 18 KOs) takes on WBO belt holder Brian Castaño (17-0-1, 12 KOs) atop a Premier Boxing Champions card.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING card (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) will also feature undefeated interim WBA lightweight champion Rolando “Rolly” Romero facing late replacement and former world title challenger Anthony Yigit. In the opening bout of the telecast, unbeaten middleweight banger Amilcar Vidal battles veteran contender Immanuwel Aleem in a 10-round contest.

The Story

Jermell Charlo has been on fire since suffering his first defeat.

Months after the controversial 2018 decision loss to Tony Harrison that cost him his WBC super welterweight title, the Houston native blasted tough veteran Jorge Cota in three rounds. One full year after the loss, he avenged himself with an eleventh-round stoppage of Harrison to take back his belt. Then, in September of 2020, he won the WBA and IBF straps with a brutal body-shot stoppage of hard-hitting unified champ Jeison Rosario. 

Boasting career victories over a veritable who’s who of division elite, Charlo now moves forward to face the defending WBO champ in an attempt to become the undisputed king of the super welters.

Proud Argentinian Brian Castaño is also focused on division domination, although his road to the top has not been as well-chronicled as Charlo’s.

After an accomplished amateur career, the Buenos Aires native fought his way to his first world title in 2018.

However, just about three months after an impressive twelve-round split decision draw with Erislandy Lara in 2019, he found himself stripped of his title over failed efforts to put together a bout with mandatory challenger Michel Soro.

He would eventually fight his way back to a title shot and, this past February, capture the WBO super welterweight title via decisive unanimous decision over defending champ Patrick Teixeira.

The Stakes

At stake are all four recognized world title belts and the distinction of being the first four-belt undisputed super welterweight champion in boxing history. 

The Matchup

Charlo fights tall and does his best work at a distance where a sharp jab sets up a thudding follow-up right and creates space to showcase picture-perfect punching technique.

Despite having a well-documented mean streak, Charlo is a careful, cautious boxer-puncher at heart who jockeys for position before letting his hands go. The 31-year-old can do just about everything well in the ring, but off-putting movement and rhythm-busting unorthodoxy have served to handcuff him in the past. 

On defense, Charlo is all-around solid with good upper body movement and an ability to pick off incoming shots with his gloves. Keeping opponents at arm’s length also allows for a split-second of additional reaction time.

Castaño is a come-forward fighter who throws lots of punches and is, above all else, supremely confident in his abilities. Although not gifted with one-punch power, the 31-year-old wears opposition down with quick hands and constant pressure.  

Unlike the tall, straight up-and-down Charlo, Castaño, who stands just a bit over 5-foot-7, fights relatively low and does his best work on the inside where he can sling punches and apply pressure.

Defensively, Castaño has worked hard to improve his game. He employs a high-guard defense and bends well at the waist.

Now is the time for me to put it all on the line. Unified World Super Welterweight Champion - Jermell Charlo

The Words

Jermell Charlo

“This is the most important time of my life. Now is the time for me to put it all on the line. Castaño is going to leave everything in the ring. So we’re not playing any games. The belts and the money are not on my mind. What’s on my mind is the legacy. Not a lot of people get these opportunities. This fight is going to solidify a lot of different things in people’s minds about the Charlos.”

Brian Castaño

“This is my opportunity. This is the fight of my life. I’m a world champion and Charlo is a world champion. I hope to become undisputed on July 17 for my country and for my Latin supporters. I can guarantee that I will bare my soul, I will leave my heart in the ring and do everything in my power to become the undisputed, unified champion of the world.”

The Breakdown

Charlo-Castaño will be a very intriguing tactical battle between two fighters employing almost entirely opposite and conflicting ring styles. 

Charlo’s preference for distance and a controlled pace will clash with Castaño’s instinct to push forward and break an opponent down with activity. Like with all encounters, the winner will be the one to impose his will on the other. However, in this particular case, with such a difference in skill sets and mindsets, seizing tactical control will be an absolute necessity. 

To Charlo’s benefit is a five-and-a-half inch reach advantage, which will aid him in keeping the fight at a manageable distance. Also to his advantage is his edge in pro experience and the fact that, despite doing his best work on the outside, he’s also a very good inside fighter when necessary.

Castaño, though, is the kind of battler usually resistant to cool, calm tactical strategy. He’ll just keep coming forward, throwing punches and tenaciously imposing his will. It’ll take someone putting a respect-earning hurt on him to stop his forward march.

Charlo will have to get primal with the Argentinian. Before he wins the tactical war, he’s going to have to flat-out batter him into submission. This is something we’ve yet to see anyone do to the gutsy Buenos Aires native.

Saturday’s bout will showcase a little of everything for fight fans. There’ll be strategy, grit, and aggression—with all of it happening under massive high-stakes pressure. The winner will walk away with everything as the first-ever completely undisputed, four-belt super welterweight champ. 

For a closer look at Charlo vs Castaño, check out our fight night page. 

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