Jermell Charlo will get a second chance to go undisputed at 154 lbs, as will Brian Castano when the two meet in a highly-anticipated rematch on May 14, live on Showtime.
Their first fight was a much-debated draw, but Charlo — again, like Castano — is promising to show more this time around and put a stamp on the fight.
“Everybody wants to know how the rematch will be different. I’m considered a puncher and a boxer, and I’m planning to bring some tricks out of the hat this time,” he said at their virtual press conference.
“I hate that I didn’t close out the first fight the way I should have. I’m going to be better, faster, stronger and more relentless in this fight. I’m going to be the old school Jermell Charlo.”
Charlo, who had scored three straight stoppage wins before the draw with Castano last year, promises to do more damage this time around.
“You don’t give people like me opportunities again. I’ve fought for my whole life. I know that I have to seize this opportunity. I’m dead focused and laser sharp,” he said. “I’ve been grinding since before his bicep injury. He gave me time to prepare my body. While he was playing games, I’ve been getting better. I’m going to have him hurting and crying. This isn’t about Castano, this is about Jermell Charlo.
“I want to step up to the plate and be greater than I’ve ever been. I didn’t come this far to give up or let somebody like this come beat me. I know the mistakes that I made in the first fight and I’m ready to cross the ‘t’s’ and dot the ‘i’s’ on them.”
Houston’s Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KO) had home state ground in his favor last time out in San Antonio, and this time around will face Castano (17-0-2, 12 KO) in Carson, Calif., at a venue that has become a notable hub for great fights over the years. He may face a more hostile crowd this time around, but isn’t concerned about that.
“I’ve fought at this venue before,” he said, referencing his 2013 win over Demetrius Hopkins at what was then known as Home Depot Center, now Dignity Health Sports Park. “I’m not worried about the crowd. He knows that when we’re in there, it’s just me and him. I’m an evolved and more focused Jermell Charlo. I’m ready to go, straight up.”
“I just want to show the world why the Charlo twins are where we’re at,” he added. “I’ve been doing this way longer than Castano. I’m going to let him keep thinking it’s cool, but he’s going to find out what it’s really like. His power isn’t important to me. I don’t care if he’s stronger now. It’s about skills and everyone is going to find out what the deal is.”
Like his rival, Charlo obviously felt he deserved the win when they met nine months ago.
“I thought I won the first fight, period. I hurt him way more. He may have edged a few rounds. I won the early rounds of the fight and the late rounds of the fight.
“I know I’m on a whole other level than he is and I’m going to present myself when it’s time. I’m going to be peaking. I’m going to let him keep talking, because I’m going to be dangerous in this fight.
“Everyone knows what I possess in the ring. I’m comfortable through the storm. I was made for this and bred for this. I’m comfortable being in this situation.”