Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano fought to a draw 10 months ago in their first attempt at crowning an undisputed champion at 154 lbs, and on Saturday night, they meet again in a rematch on Showtime.
Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KO) and Castano (17-0-2, 12 KO) have both hyped this fight up with a lot of talk about not wanting to leave it to the judges. But will we see a stoppage? Another controversial decision? A clear one?
We’ve got our predictions in.
Bad Left Hook will have live, round-by-round coverage for Charlo vs Castano 2 on Saturday, May 14, starting at 9 pm ET.
Scott Christ (20-12)
I really think Charlo and Castano just match up about evenly given their respective strengths and limitations. If Castano forces close action and gets Charlo to the ropes, he’s going to win rounds. If Charlo can maintain some distance and land his longer power shots, he’s going to win rounds.
Both of them are talking about not letting this go to the cards this time around. If anyone has a better chance at getting the KO, I have to favor Charlo, who can really crack when he’s able to sit down and get that bit of distance when he throws. I think this will be similar in sort of the score cards of the second Harrison vs Charlo fight, and with a similar result, but not a similar style of fight. Castano’s going to win rounds because he gets into Charlo’s kitchen and works away, and then at some point late in the fight, Charlo will find the range and dial in for a stoppage. I just think he’s got the clearer set of adjustments, things he can do better than last time out, than Castano does; Castano may have fought his pure best fight that first time around. Charlo TKO-11
Wil Esco (23-9)
It was a closely fought battle the first time these two met, with me just edging the fight to Brian Castano on my scorecard. Here in the rematch, however, I’m inclined to lean towards Jermell Charlo, as I think he’ll be better equipped to make the adjustments to swing things in his favor here.
Castano is going to do what Castano does, which includes applying a lot of pressure and throwing a lot of power shots. Castano landed minimal jabs in the first meeting and I think Charlo will take advantage of that in this rematch, where he’ll be looking to keep distance and load up on some power shots of his own once Castano breaks a certain distance threshold, as it’ll be important for Charlo to gain Castano’s respect. If Charlo isn’t able to do that, I think Castano gets on the inside and works him along the ropes, but I do think Charlo will have to be expecting this tactic.
Charlo can be an interesting fighter because he does show some vulnerabilities but he also has shown his heart can overcome those deficiencies. I hardly expect Charlo to have an easy time against Castano, and I don’t think he scores the KO that he’s been talking about getting in the promotional build-up, but I still think he ends up with the cards when it’s all said and done. Charlo SD-12
John Hansen (25-7)
As always, the question in a draw rematch boils down to: What’s going to change? What adjustments can and will each man make?
Castano has two areas for improvement. First, start rounds faster. That’s easy to say, but not easy to do given the matchup. Castano did most of his work with power punches, and throwing twice as many heavy shots is a recipe for exhaustion. Jabbing more isn’t likely to help, either, given Charlo’s near 6” reach advantage.
Second, avoid Charlo’s power punches. Again, easy to say, hard to do. Last time, Castano did hurt Charlo early on, but Charlo’s power made a bigger mark on the fight and limited Castano’s work in the closing rounds. And in the only other rematch of Charlo’s career, he fought much more aggressively and dropped Tony Harrison three times, ending the fight early by referee stoppage.
Charlo has easier and more viable adjustments available to him. Even just anticipating a flurry of work late in rounds from Castano could be enough to make a difference. We already saw Charlo make some changes, pick up momentum and close rounds stronger at the end of the first fight.
I didn’t score the first fight live, but I saw it the same way as Scott and Wil, with Castano narrowly winning. But I think all the obvious adjustments favor Charlo. If he makes any of them, it should be enough to swing the decision. Charlo UD-12
Patrick Stumberg (25-7)
On one level, I’m picking Castano for a number of valid reasons. He deserved the win the first time out, has an oft-underestimated level of depth to his offense that should allow him to make the necessary adjustments for a more definitive victory, and is now safe in the knowledge that he can take Charlo’s best shot. I fully expect his masterful infighting to be just as effective this time around, perhaps even moreso with the added aggression his familiarity with Charlo’s power should bring. Unless Charlo can find the killshot that eluded him for over half an hour, Castano’s pressure and superiority in the pocket should carry him to victory.
On a much deeper level, I’m still cranky that Castano not getting the decision kept me from winning last year’s Staff Picks outright. May my spite right this wrong. Castano UD-12
Jaron Ennis vs Custio Clayton
- Scott: Ennis TKO-7
- Wil: Ennis TKO-6
- John: Ennis TKO-9
- Patrick: Ennis TKO-6
Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez vs Dominic Boesel
- Scott: Zurdo UD-12
- Wil: Zurdo TKO-8
- John: Zurdo TKO-4
- Patrick: Zurdo TKO-6
Sergey Kovalev vs Tervel Pulev
- Scott: Pulev TKO-9
- Wil: Kovalev UD-10
- John: Kovalev TKO-5
- Patrick: Kovalev TKO-7
Tony Yoka vs Martin Bakole
- Scott: Yoka UD-10
- Wil: Yoka TKO-9
- John: Yoka UD-10
- Patrick: Yoka UD-10
We previewed ALL of this weekend’s action and much more on the latest episode of Prophets of Goom, Bad Left Hook’s boxing podcast!
If the embeddable player doesn’t show or work for you, we are on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon/Audible, Google, iHeart, Deezer, and several other apps! You can also directly download the MP3 here. There is NSFW language.