Jermell Charlo and Brian Castaño's first fight for the undisputed title at 154 pounds last July ended with a split draw and nobody very happy.
Saturday's rematch was a much different story as Charlo and Castaño brought the fans at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, out of their seats several times ahead of a dramatic 10th-round finish. Charlo dropped Castaño twice before the referee stopped the fight at 2:33 to make Charlo the IBF-WBA-WBC-WBO super welterweight title holder.
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) May 15, 2022
At the time of the stoppage, all three judges had Charlo winning with scores of 89-82, 87-84 and 88-83. Yahoo Sports also scored the fight 87-84 for Charlo.
Charlo invested heavily to the body early in the fight and landed the biggest shot of the first round with a huge right hand. Castaño ate it well and was constantly pressuring Charlo, but Charlo had answers for everything he threw.
Castaño made things interesting in the second with his aggressiveness, but Charlo continued being the quicker fighter and landing hard counters. From the jump, Charlo seemed highly motivated to get the finish, unlike in the first fight.
In a move that would negate his successful aggressiveness, Castaño showed off his chin strength in the third and caught multiple blows with it including a big right uppercut from Charlo, who used his footwork to keep the distance. Castaño made some headway and got in close, but couldn’t quite keep up with the busier Charlo.
With 10 seconds left in the fourth round, Charlo and Castaño traded hard blows and brought the fans to their feet as the bell rang. The action picked up again in the fifth round as Charlo and Castaño seemingly abandoned their defense and chose instead to trade blows nonstop. Both fighters landed big shots with Castaño wobbling Charlo near the end of the round, but Charlo holding his own while continuing to land effective counters.
In the sixth, both fighters continued swinging for the fences. Castaño’s in-your-face style caused Charlo some problems and Charlo seemed to be hurt after another Castaño combo, but he recovered well.
After the action-packed middle rounds, the fight slowed down a bit, but Castaño wouldn’t stop pressuring Charlo, who kept finding a home for his counter left hook. Round 9 was the beginning of the end for Castaño as Charlo hurt him and had him wobbly. A sharp left hook in the 10th dropped Castaño momentarily, but the woozy fighter survived the count only to be put back down with another left hook combo. With Castaño unable to get up, referee Jerry Cantu waved off the fight.
With the win, Charlo extends his record to 35-1-1. Castaño's first loss of his career moves his record to 17-1-2.
Jaron 'Boots' Ennis spectacularly KOs Custio Clayton
Rising welterweight prospect Jaron Ennis knocked out his 27th opponent in 29 fights with a finish of Custio Clayton early in the second round of the co-main event Saturday in Carson, California.
The 24-year-old from Philadelphia continues impressing as his competition level has risen. There’s no question after Saturday’s performance that Ennis is ready for another step up. The only problem is the men holding the belts in his division are pound-for-pound greats Terence Crawford and Errol Spence, who have been circling each other for years and are finally in talks for a unification fight.
So Ennis’ title shot will have to wait. The undefeated Ennis, however, made his intentions clear after putting Custio away.
“Anybody right now can get it. I’m the IBF No. 1 contender,” Ennis said in his post-fight interview. “I think Mr. Big Fish (Spence) is in here himself so Mr. Big Fish can get it.”
Spence, who was sitting ringside Saturday to support his teammate Jermell Charlo, responded to the call out with praise for the young prospect, but made clear he wants what he called “the biggest fight in boxing” against Crawford.
“[Ennis is] doing what you supposed to do. That’s what you’re supposed to do,” Spence told Showtime’s Jim Gray. “He hungry. He’s supposed to call me out, call everybody out. Say ‘I want to fight them.’ You gotta be that hungry little lion.”