Jermell Charlo vs Brian Castano: Texas set for historic showdown at 154

The pair will collide to determine the first undisputed champion at 154lbs.

A potentially intriguing and highly anticipated contest takes place this coming July 17 as WBC, WBA and IBF champion Jermell Charlo takes on WBO champion Brian Castano for the undisputed junior middleweight championship.

With all four of the major sanctioning bodies titles on the line, the winner of this contest will become the first man to hold all four belts in the 154 weight class.

Set for the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, Charlo (34-1) enters the bout as solid 2/5 odds on favourite with Planet Sport Bet to beat his Argentine opponent (17-0-1).

Charlo - not to be confused with his identical twin brother Jarmall - has bounced back impressively from his sole defeat to Tony Harrison.

Avenging his defeat 12 months later, Charlo has gone on to claim further world honours by stopping Jeison Rosario in the eighth round, adding the WBA and IBF belts to his reclaimed WBC title.

He now faces another potentially tough battle against the unbeaten Castano, who, while less experienced, has certainly proven himself at the elite level.

"El Boxi" defended his WBA 'regular' crown with a controversial points draw against Erislandy Lara before outpointing Brazilian Patrick Teixeira to win the WBO strap.

Bouncing back to the top

Working under the astute guidance of acclaimed trainer Ronnie Shields, Charlo, a skilled and rugged fighter, explained that his first career loss against Ferguson in 2018 has fundamentally changed his approach to the sport.

"Once you lose a fight, that's the hardest thing. I lost before, and it separates me from my twin brother. He's never lost. He's an undefeated champion right now.

"I was an undefeated champion that lost, and I had to figure the ropes out. That loss made a big difference for me. Charlo explained.

"After I avenged my loss, I came back to fight Jeison Rosario, who was supposedly the new guy. We really trained differently for him because he was a bigger guy. But we stayed strong, and we got it done. He continued

However, Charlo is under no illusions about the scale of the task facing him in the opposite corner.

"Brian Castano is a great fighter. He comes to fight. He doesn't stop. He does many things that are impressive to the rest of the crowd, and I feel that he will fight. He will bang. He will box. He will move back. He will move forward-lateral movement.

"Derrick and I have been working hard to prepare for everything. It takes a lot to jump in the ring and become an undisputed champion, and with that being said, I'm going to do everything I can in my willpower to win this fight."

Castano, for his part, enters this bout with the mindset of an unbeaten champion and, while considered the underdog in this unification showdown, is a live underdog at 2/1 odds.

The 31-year-old Buenos Aires native certainly boasts plenty of confidence despite his relative inexperience compared with his similarly aged opponent.

"I feel great; I'm having a great training camp and looking forward to stepping into the ring. This is the fight of my life, and I feel so good about it.

"This fight is such an honour and a privilege. To have the chance to unify the four belts is such a unique opportunity. It's about making history. Only a few fighters have achieved it and write a golden page in the history books of boxing. I plan to be the first Latino to do so.

"My prediction is that I am going to win, and he will suffer."

Where and when?

Jermell Charlo vs Brian Castano will take place at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, on Saturday, July 17.

What's on the line?

Everything. Charlo will put his WBA, IBF and WBC titles on the line, with Castano defending his WBO title.

Jermell Charlo knocks down Jorge Cota on his way to winning in 2019
Jermell Charlo knocks down Jorge Cota on his way to winning in 2019

Where can I watch it?

Charlo vs Castano will be broadcast live on Showtime in the US, with the event scheduled for 9pm ET. 

Tale of the Tape

Name: Jermell Charlo

Nickame: "Iron Man"

Residence: Lafayette, Louisiana, US

Pre-fight record: 34-1 (18 KOs)

Stance: Orthodox

Weight: 154 lbs

Height: 5'11"

Reach: 73"

Rounds Boxed: 234

KO Percentage: 51.43%

Name: Brian Castano

Nickname: "Ray Sugar" / "El Boxi"

Residence: Isidro Casanova, Argentina

Pre-fight record: 18-0-1 (12 KOs)

Stance: Orthodox

Weight: 154 lbs

Height: 5' 7 1/2"

Reach: 67"

Rounds Boxed: 106

KO Percentage: 66.66%

Where's the value?

Given recent performances, Charlo is undoubtedly deserving of his odds on favourite status for this undisputed showdown at Planet Sport Bet.

With 18 KO's, including seven in his last nine bouts, Charlo can certainly bang and with his opponent also scoring 12 KO's from his 17 contests, a potentially explosive fight could be on the cards.

Of course, with so much at stake, we do expect both fighters to enter this bout with a degree of caution, feeling each other out over the course of the opening rounds.

However, given his pedigree, we expect Charlo to take control of the fight, potentially earning a late stoppage to ensure his position as the #1 in the 154lb weight class.

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