Saturday night on DAZN (Feb. 13, 8 pm ET), the classic and fiery Brazil vs Argentina sports rivalry comes back to boxing, as Brazil’s Patrick Teixeira defends the WBO junior middleweight title against Argentina’s Brian Castano.
Teixeira (31-1, 22 KO) won the belt, kinda, by beating Carlos Adames for the interim strap in Nov. 2019, then he was elevated to full title status when Jaime Munguia moved up in weight. This will be his first fight since the win over Adames, and he’s facing a legit contender in Castano (16-0-1, 12 KO), last seen in Nov. 2019 himself, dominating Wale Omotoso on a PBC card.
Does Teixeira retain or will Castano take the strap? Our staffers make their picks.
Scott Christ (3-0)
I don’t know how to put this with the “How was camp, champ? Are you going to tell me it’s your best one ever?” gloves, so I’ll just put it how I see it: Patrick Teixeira is one of the weakest major titlists in men’s boxing right now. I have him ranked No. 9 at 154 pounds, and in all honesty, if he fought No. 10 (Erickson Lubin), I wouldn’t be picking him to win.
But 154 is a talented, competitive division, too. There are certainly other contenders for “worst” of the world champs. Arsen Goulamirian at cruiserweight springs to mind quickly, and if you just get into lack of achievements, there are lots more with shaky world titles. All of those guys can fight, though; they’re not all elite, but they all can fight, and so can Teixeira.
Teixeira is a gritty, tough fighter, but I just don’t think he can handle Castano’s superior skill set, and Castano isn’t some soft, finesse guy either. Teixeira has to turn this into a firefight; he might be able to do that, and if he does, I still think he goes down. The titleholder will give it a great effort, but I think Castano dominates here. Castano TKO-7
Wil Esco (2-1)
Not gonna lie, I’ve never been all that impressed by Patrick Teixeira. I’m not saying the man is a bum or anything, but he hasn’t shown me anything to believe he’s really an elite fighter while I think Castano has a much higher ceiling. Castano proved he’s good enough to take on top technicians in the sport during his draw with Erislandy Lara, and Teixeira certainly isn’t that. I’ve seen Teixeira take some punishment even in his wins, and I think against a thudding puncher like Castano that could end up having him unravel. I’m going to take Castano to win a second half stoppage after breaking down his man. Castano TKO-8
How to Watch Teixeira vs Castano
Patrick L. Stumberg (2-1)
Patrick Teixeira’s upset of Carlos Adames was an absolute triumph of grit. It was also not particularly heartening about the Brazilian’s chances against Castano, who’s every bit as mean and persistent as Adames while also boasting far superior fundamentals. Castano’s both the better boxer and the better puncher in this matchup, and his proven ability to hunt down southpaws makes it unlikely that Teixeira’s funky movement can throw him off.
The things that Teixeira has going for him here are height and reach, but he lacks the craft necessary to play keep-away against a pursuer as dogged and skilled as Castano. Once Castano starts pinning him against the ropes and getting his body attack going, it’s only a matter of time. Castano TKO-5
Lewis Watson (1-2)
I enjoyed speaking with Teixeira the other week regarding the importance of this fight in the eyes of a Brazil vs Argentina rivalry. Both guys will be desperate to get the victory in the first world title fight between these neighbouring countries since Freitas–Barrios in 2003.
I can’t see this being anything but a war. Both guys can bang, both guys are willing to trade and with the stakes so high, both should be willing to bite down on that gumshield a little harder. I just think that Castano is probably a little cleverer with his work. Slipping Teixeira’s non-stop flurries and cutting the ring off in riposte will probably see him earn tight rounds. Teixeira will want to fight this fight in Castano’s boots, but the Argentine may be too savvy to allow this, working the better from mid-range and distance.
This fight may be hard to score in the opening rounds, but I feel it’s Castano’s to run away with. Castano UD-12