CARSON, CA – Twelve thrilling rounds couldn’t separate Jeremy Charlo and Brian Castano when they met in July, and 10 months later they haven’t changed much through nine rounds.
Brutal and brutal exchanges raised the brooding crowd at Dignity Health Sports Park. Many rounds are difficult to record. Fierce battle back and forth from bell to bell.
Finally, a series of shots – right hand to the body followed by a left hook to the head – changed the battle forever. Castano collapsed into a pile in round 10 of Saturday’s Instant Classic, a PBC rematch on Showtime that topped the first fight that ended in a draw.
Somehow, somehow, Castano got to his feet before the 10 count, but his bravery was just a prelude to the fast finish. The Argentine was in no position to continue, and Charlo sensed the moment.
He sprinted to Castano and unleashed a slate of rights and rights that impacted him one last time, then head to the clamps to celebrate as the referee counted to 10 with seven seconds remaining in the round. For the second time, Charlo scored the knockout in a rematch (versus Tony Harrison in 2019) and is now the undisputed champion at 154 pounds after adding the Castano title to the three he already owns.
“I showed the fans, I showed these haters that I can just stand there and trade,” said Charlo, who was leading 87-84, 88-83 and 89-82 to enter the 10th round. On the ropes a lot… Put the shots on really delicate parts of the body and let go. “
Round 10 was the same frame in which Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs) had his fight-changing shot 10 months earlier. Castano (17-1-2, 12 KOs) was in control of the first meeting when Charlo hit him hard with a reverse left hook, but he never fell. Castano seemed to win that match, but was only ahead by one scorecard, 114-113 (other scores were 114-114 and 117-111 for Charlo).
This time, Charlo was even sharper. He landed effective counter punches from the ropes. His punch and movement allowed him to escape trouble and eventually lead to the blow that ended the competition and hailed the ninth undisputed champion of boxing in the four belt era.
Castano, 32, said: “He was smarter this time. I felt like I won the first match but tonight he caught me and that was…I feel like I still have a lot to give in boxing… .I’m happy with my performance despite the loss. There is a lot of room for corrections and improvements in boxing.”
But it was Charlo who made the right corrections to score the biggest win of his career. Coach Derek James said he instructed Charlo to fire his shots over the shoulder to catch Castano with subsequent punches when the Argentine was dodging. The strategy succeeded.
“We were breaking it,” James said.
The first six rounds were marked by constant slowdowns at a frantic pace, and Charlo was able to match Castano’s punch to his punch. Castano, as always, applied consistent pressure and was able to slip into a bundle of sharp left hooks that landed gushingly.
“His plan is to have good shots at the end of the round,” said Charlo, whose twin brother Jermol holds the middleweight title. “I told myself, I have to stay stronger.” I was trying to set everyone else down.”
Charlo, who is from Houston, ate the picks and really took over in Round 7 after hitting Castano with his left hand. He did not follow up but the opportunity came up again after three rounds. And he made a big capitalization.
Now, Charlo, 31, is undeniable as the judge of the junior middleweight division after another final win in the rematch.
“I’m a permanent, I’ve been going all 12, and unfortunately my strength gets stronger with the rounds,” said Charlo. “I’m not done yet. I’m still learning and developing. I can learn from this fight…it’s hard to beat.”
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