Jermell Charlo made his way into the WBN Pound for Pound Top 10 for the first time with a rematch knockout of Brian Castano.
Charlo again showed he’s the master of the return bout in a history-making performance.
Unified WBC, WBA, and IBF World Champion Jermell Charlo picked up the WBO title with a dramatic stoppage of Castaño to put the result beyond doubt.
Both men wrote another chapter of their 2021 masterpiece as Charlo became the first ever undisputed male 154-pound champion in the four-belt era.
The event went down live on SHOWTIME from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson.
FIGHT OF THE YEAR
The bout, another Fight of the Year-type encounter, headlined a Premier Boxing Champions event before an announced crowd of 7,406.
The end came when Charlo (35-1-1, 18 KOs) dropped Castaño with a short left hook as he was fighting off the ropes with around a minute left in the tenth.
Castaño (17-1-2, 12 KOs) rose on unsteady legs and was allowed to continue, and Charlo jumped on him, landing a vicious left to the head and body that caused Castaño to collapse and referee Jerry Cantu to wave off the bout at 2:33 of the 10th.
Saturday’s ending was reminiscent of how Charlo closed his fight with Tony Harrison in their 2019 rematch when he KO’d Harrison in the 11th round after Harrison dethroned him in 2018.
Charlo, 31, is trained by Derrick James. He helped orchestrate Errol Spence Jr.’s 10th-round Yordenis Ugas victory to pick up a third welterweight title on April 16 from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Charlo and Castaño went toe-to-toe for 12 grueling rounds the first time they fought on SHOWTIME on July 17, 2021, with the back-and-forth tilt ending in a split-decision draw. Charlo didn’t leave it in the judges’ hands on Saturday.
“This is legacy,” Charlo said in the ring afterward. “This is something that is legendary. I’m a legend. I knew Castaño was going to give it his all. I knew I had trained very hard, but you all can see that I came in at 152 pounds because I was really in shape, and I wanted to make sure that this was my fight.”
The rematch was announced on March 19 but got rescheduled after Castaño suffered an arm injury in training. The delay angered Charlo, who accused Castaño of deceit in the run-up.
But the two shook hands and praised the other’s tenacity on Saturday after sharing the ring for 22 rounds.
“We showed that we are warriors,” Castaño said. “We both were fighting back-and-forth. He’s a champion. He hit me. He got me. But I’m okay.”
Charlo produced a calm, clinically efficient, and ultimately punishing performance. Expecting Castaño to fight aggressively and apply pressure, Charlo boxed effectively off his back foot, utilizing a stiff jab and a counter-left that repeatedly found its target, none more violently than in the match’s final moments.
Just like the first match, Castaño again landed several overhand rights and was successful in spots with his constant pressure.
Again, the pair fought the fight at a torrid pace, with both fighters hurting the other.
But just like in the first fight, Charlo gathered strength as the war went on and won the final three rounds on all the judges’ scorecards. Charlo again wrested control of the contest in the late stages on Saturday.
“I listened to my corner this time,” he said. “But I got in my bag around the seventh round. I started sitting down a little bit more instead of boxing so much and moving around.
“I saw that he was wearing down a little bit, and I was breaking him down. So I just saw my punches being more effective. I get stronger in the later rounds if they didn’t know.”
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