A superb rematch tops a bill at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California this Saturday night, with undisputed super welterweight gold up for grabs between Jermell Charlo and Brian Carlos Castano.
Charlo vs Castano will be broadcast on SHOWTIME in the USA.
The duo run back their original meeting from July last year, where no man went home as undisputed champion in a split draw.
Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KOs) began his career with impressive wins against the likes of Demetrius Hopkins (UD12), Gabriel Rosado (UD10) and Vanes Matirosyan (UD10), and those types of victory eventually gave him a shot at the vacant WBC title in May 2016.
John Jackson was the opponent, and the 31-year-old was well behind on the cards before finding an eighth round knockout punch to become champion.
Three defences followed before a shock points defeat to Tony Harrison at the back end of 2018, but, after a comeback win, Charlo gained redemption with an eleventh round knockout win in a rematch.
The Texas native then added the WBA (Super) and IBF straps to his collection, knocking out Jeison Rosario in eight rounds.
Castano (17-0-2, 12 KOs) is the current WBO champion, and Charlo couldn’t add the missing piece to the 154 puzzle, in what was a classic original meeting.
The 32-year-old looked to have done enough, but the ‘Iron Man’ finished off well, only to be denied by a sinker of a 117-111 card against him that helped rule the fight a draw.
The Argentine won the belt in February last year, when he expertly routed Patrick Teixeira on the cards. He also has a draw with the gifted Erislandy Lara on his slate, and is an impressive, pressure fighter.
Prediction: Charlo learnt a lot in having to adjust to live with Castano last time, and enjoyed a strong finish to at least earn a share of the spoils. I believe he will have learnt from that experience, and he can take a close but deserved points win.
Ennis clashes with Clayton
Also in action on this card is the super talented Jaron Ennis, and the heavy-handed welterweight bides time in his bid for world title stardom by taking a scheduled twelve rounder with Canada’s Custio Clayton.
Ennis (28-0, 26 KOs) has been sparking out decent opposition, and hasn’t been taken the distance since 2017.
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The Pennsylvanian knocked out Thomas Dulorme inside a round last time out, and prior to that, he halted Sergey Lipinets in six, who took Clayton the distance and held to a draw October 2020.
Clayton (19-0-1, 12 KOs) took a ten round decision win in his last fight over Cameron Krael in December 2021.
Prediction: Ennis is a special talent, and I can’t see Clayton derailing the current hype train. ‘Boots’ can get the job done here with another highlight reel performance, winning before halfway.
Kevin Gonzalez (24-0-1, 13 KOs) should remain unbeaten with a points win in his super bantamweight ten rounder with Emanuel Rivera Nieves (19-2, 12 KOs), while at the same weight and over eight rounds, Marlon Tapales (35-3, 18 KOs), a former WBO world champion, can win early against Jose Estrella (23-18-1, 16 KOs).
The final ten rounder comes at middleweight, where Marcos Hernandez (15-5-2, 3 KOs) may need all ten rounds to take care of Brandyn Lynch (10-1-1, 8 KOs) in a rematch of their eight round split draw from January last year.
The other eight rounder is at lightweight, where Jerry Perez (13-1, 10 KOs) is coming off a knockout loss, but can return to form with an inside schedule win against Erick Lanzas Jr (10-0, 7 KOs).
In a pair of heavyweight six rounders, Geovany Bruzon (6-1, 5 KOs) should stop Steven Lyons (5-8-2, 2 KOs), and Gurgen Hovhannisyan (2-0, 2 KOs) can do the same against Jesse Bryan (20-6-2, 16 KOs).
Anthony Cuba (3-0-1, 2 KOs) can take a points win against Oscar Acevedo (7-0) at lightweight, and Jose Perez (9-1-2, 4 KOs) can also record a win on the cards against Anthony Chavez (9-2-1, 3 KOs).
In four round action, welterweight Jose Mejia should debut with a stoppage win against Matthew Reed (1-2, 1 KO), and Luciano Sanchez can win his battle of the debutants against Adrian Silva.