WBC, WBA, and IBF light middleweight champion Jermell Charlo and WBO 154-pound champion Brian Castano will fight for undisputed status at San Antonio’s AT&T Center on July 17th in a SHOWTIME televised Premier Boxing Champions event.
The bout will mark the first time in boxing history where all four of the sport’s major 154-pound world titles are on the line.
4-Belt Undisputed Champion
Sources: Jermell Charlo-Brian Castano is a done deal for July 17 on Showtime Championship Boxing. This will be a slugfest, and Castano, with his relentless pressure, is a live dog. Will crown first 154-pound undisputed champion in four-belt era. Jermell can add to growing resume
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) April 15, 2021
The winner of this bout will become the first undisputed boxing champion at 154-pounds since Winky Wright defeated Shane Mosley in 2004. However, there were only three major boxing belts at that time, so Saturday’s winner will be the first four-belt undisputed world champion in the light-middleweight division.
Boxing’s list of four-belt world champions includes Bernard Hopkins, Jermain Taylor, Terence Crawford, and Oleksandr Usyk. Most recently, U.K.’s Josh Taylor became the latest member of the exclusive club when he defeated Jose Ramirez to become the undisputed light-welterweight champion.
Three-Belt Unified Champion
Jermell Charlo’s rise in the sport was put to a sudden halt when he was upset by Tonny Harrison in 2018. But since that defeat, Jermell has come back better than ever.
The 31-year old Jermell reclaimed the belt two fights later, scoring a late stoppage of Harrison while also avenging his only professional defeat. In his next fight, Charlo knocked out Jeison Rosario to annex the WBA (Super), and IBF 154-pounds belts while also being crowned as the new Ring Junior Middleweight champion.
— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) March 19, 2021
Charlo has an impressive record of 34-1 with 18 knockouts. Considered as the better fighter between the Charlo twins, Jermell owns notable victories over the likes of former world champions Joachim Alcine, Austin Trout, and Harrison. He has also defeated title challengers Gabriel Rosado, Vanes Martirosyan, and Erickson Lubin.
The New WBO Super Welterweight Champion’
Brian Castano recently became the new WBO super welterweight champion when he defeated Brazil’s Patrick Teixeira last February via unanimous decision. He earned a crack at Teixeira’s belt after defeating Wale Otomoso in November 2019 to win the WBO inter-continental 154-pound belt.
Castano handles business in dominating fashion.
AND NEW! 🏆 pic.twitter.com/zKqDvEAB0O
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) February 14, 2021
This is the second time that Castano has held a 154-pound belt. In 2016, he won the interim WBA light-middleweight belt and was later promoted to full champion status. However, after he failed to sign a contract to defend the belt against then mandatory challenger Cedric Vitu, he was stripped of the belt.
The 31-year old Castano is undefeated in 18 bouts with one draw. He has 12 knockouts in 17 total wins. The only blot in his record is a 2019 split draw against Erislandy Lara. Aside from Teixeira and Otomoso, Castano also owns key victories over former world title challengers Michael Soro and Cedric Vitu.
Charlo has been very active in the last couple of years but between them, it’s Castano who’s fought more recently. Charlo also has the more impressive resume and Castano figured in a draw in the biggest fight of his career.
Both fighters have great offensive skills and both love to come forward at their opponents. Neither has fast feet or good head movement. Both throw punches at a high tempo. Having said those, there’s a good chance they will spend more time in the pocket than fighting at range.
Castano is the better pressure fighter and he has better blocking abilities. He also delivers more output and is better at fighting at mid-range. Castano is also the more accurate fighter and has the faster hands.
Odds from BetOnline as of 07/15/2021
However, Charlo is the bigger puncher and he has excellent timing. He also owns the better jab and will have the advantage if this is fought at close range. While Castano may be the better technical fighter between the two, Charlo is tougher and he also has more variety in his offense.
I think that Charlo will back up Castano in this fight. He will make life uncomfortable for Castano to get into a rhythm. Castano meanwhile, will try to get into the fight using his footwork and in this fight, he should be the fighter that is able to land the cleaner combinations.
By the middle rounds, Castano will begin to negate Charlo’s aggression by keeping the fight in the center of the ring. But the longer this fight goes, fatigue will start to set in and Charlo’s harder punches will start to take their toll.
Castano is a durable fighter and he should be able to see the final bell here. The championship rounds will be a war. Castano will land more punches but with Charlo delivering the bigger blows, the latter will have the edge in the late rounds scoring and help him win on points.
It should be close but not controversial.
Prediction: Jermell Charlo
I think this fight goes the distance. Charlo only has 18 stoppages in 34 wins despite being a heavy puncher. Castano hasn’t been tested by a power punch in the caliber of Jermell Charlo but based on what we’ve seen from him, he’s a durable foe. As for Castano, I doubt if he gets a stoppage here because Charlo is the harder puncher, and if Castano is to win, he will use his footwork and mid-range fighting. If you’re not sure which fighter to pick, go with the outcome.
Prediction: Fight to go the distance -225 at Bet365
- If you’re confident that Charlo wins this, pick Charlo to win via decision at +125.
- If you’re picking Castano, go with Castano to win on points (+300).