Brian Castaño is ready to prove he’s the best…
The 32-year-old Argentine professional boxer and Jermell Charlo will meet once again to determine the best junior middleweight in the world.
Castaño and Charlo have agreed to terms for a rematch on February 26, 2022, at Toyota Center in Houston that will crown an undisputed 154-pound champion, multiple sources have told ESPN.
All four belts were set to be unified in July, but the bout resulted in a draw. The rematch was threatened by sanctioning body obligations, but it’s expected both mandatory challengers — Tim Tszyu and Bakhram Murtazaliev — will step aside.
“I think … he will try to avoid [the rematch],” Castano, ESPN’s No. 1 junior middleweight, said after the first bout. “He will probably come up with something else. But in reality, it is me who is going to give him the rematch. If he doesn’t want it, OK. We move on to the next fight.”
Only Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KOs) didn’t try to elude the encore encounter. He swept the final three rounds on all three scorecards to pull out the draw, but even he acknowledged the 117-111 tally was “kind of a large range.”
“I do believe I won the fight; I don’t believe it was that close,” said Charlo, ESPN’s No. 2 junior middleweight. “I should be undisputed right now.”
Charlo will have his chance to enter that rarified air once again, and this time, the fight will land in his hometown. The 31-year-old avenged his only loss — a controversial decision vs. Tony Harrison — via 11th-round KO in 2019.
Against Castano, it was Charlo who was on the beneficial end of the controversy. He won the fight 114-113 on one card, with the same score in favor of Castano on the other.
The PBC fight was exhilarating from the opening bell, with Castano (17-0-2, 12 KOs) applying nonstop pressure and Charlo seeking counter-punching opportunities. Down on the scorecards and on the brink of losing his three titles, Charlo connected on a fight-altering counter left hook in Round 10, but the knockdown never materialized.
“He was like belligerent all over the ring; he could barely stand up,” said Jermell Charlo, the twin brother of middleweight champion Jermall Charlo. “I just couldn’t get him out of there. He’s tough as f—.”
Seven months later, Charlo will have another opportunity to prove he’s the best 154-pounder in the world. And so will Castano, who left San Antonio with a bitter taste in his mouth.
“I feel that they robbed me,” Castano said. “I’m not taking anything away from Charlo. He’s a big puncher. He caught me with some good punches at times, but I survived, and overall, I thought I won the fight.
“And needless to say, I want the rematch because he still has the three belts that I need and feel should be mine.”