Jermell Charlo stopped Brian Castano tonight on Showtime, ending a tremendous rematch in the 10th round to become the first undisputed men’s champion at 154 lbs in the four-belt era.
Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KO) and Castano (17-1-2, 12 KO) were well-matched once again, and with their fight taking place at what has become affectionately known as “The Punch Bowl” in Carson, Calif., there was something special in the air from the early going.
Even Castano reportedly showing up late and needing extra time to get ready, causing a lengthy delay on the Showtime broadcast, didn’t hamper anything. Once the bell sounded, it was war — an even better fight than their first one 10 months ago.
Charlo boxed well backing up this time, landing some sharp counters along the way, but once Castano got cooking in the third round, it became a back-and-forth, all action fight once more. Castano pushed a pace that at times gave Charlo some clear issues, but one single, beautifully-timed shot in round 10 really ended the fight.
Castano did get up, but was back down again quickly because he was not on good legs. Referee Jerry Cantu gave him that shot to fight on, but it was over there, and Cantu then made the right call to stop the fight.
With the win, Charlo took the WBO belt from Castano, adding it to the WBC, WBA, and IBF titles he brought into the fight again. Though title belts in boxing have certainly been watered down, becoming undisputed is still special, because very few have done in the four-belt era especially. It means something, and it clearly meant a lot to Jermell Charlo.
“This is unbelievable,” Charlo said after the win. “Lions Only, we put on a show. I gave you 10 hard rounds, I gave it my all, and that’s all there is to it.”
“I was pretty sure he was going to get back up (from the first knockdown), but I knew it was over,” Charlo said of the finishing moments.
“This is legacy, man. This is something that is legendary. I’m a legend,” he said of the win, with Jim Gray noting his unusual calmness. “Life is beautiful for me. It’s amazing, I work really hard, and I see the fruits of my labor,” Charlo continued.
Charlo and Castano shook hands after Charlo’s interview, with Jermell telling his opponent he’s tough, and Castano saying, “Everything said before the fight, it’s all bullshit. We showed we’re warriors tonight and that’s the main thing, we have to feed our families.”
Castano had a simple reply to what what different this time: “That he hit me, he got me,” he said with a laugh.
Charlo raised Castano’s hand and called him a champion, saying he represents Argentina well. Charlo said he’s not sure what he’ll do next.