Castaño and Charlo, to decide who is the super welterweight king

CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Jermell Charlo and Brian Castaño came within inches of becoming the first undisputed junior middleweight champion 10 months ago when they had to settle for a draw.

That disappointment simply fueled the desire of both to take the step that they lacked, in the awaited rematch.

Charlo (34-1-1 with 18 knockouts) will face Argentine Castaño (17-0-2 with 12 knockouts) in pursuit of the four main titles of the 154-pound division, on Saturday night, at the famous stadium tennis court in Carson, south of Los Angeles.

Only six fighters have held all the titles in their respective divisions during the era when four belts are available. But the chance to make history only makes this rematch a little more enticing for both fighters.

Packed with action, the first fight was impressive enough. Charlo was a 3-1 favorite, given his superiority in height and reach. However, he barely salvaged a draw against a Castaño who gave a superb display of resources and tenacity.

“I’m going to use everything I learned in that fight this Saturday night,” the American said. “I’m going to take advantage of the things I have that he doesn’t have. I will use the skills he has blessed me with. I will be stronger, faster and smarter than ever. Thank you, Castaño, for giving me more time to prepare.”

Charlo holds the super welterweight belts of the World Association, the World Council and the International Boxing Federation (WBA, WBC and IBF). Castaño is champion by the World Boxing Organization (WBO).

The Argentine considers that he did enough to win the previous fight. But the three judges in Texas, Charlo’s home state, disagreed.

One gave Charlo a wide lead and the other a slight margin in favor of Castaño. The third ruled a tie.

“The first fight motivated me, because I think I won,” Cataño said. “I learned that I cannot leave this in the hands of the judges. I need there to be no doubt that I am the best fighter.”

Castaño is shorter and less experienced. Those handicaps disappeared before the big heart he showed in the first fight.

He devised a way to avoid Charlo’s jab to get closer. Instead, the American had trouble repelling his style throughout the night.

Both fighters were hurt at times during the give-and-take fight. Castaño pressed relentlessly while Charlo tried to win through counterattacks on the ropes, without displaying his impressive power to deal enough damage.

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