Brian Castano demonstrated for 12 rounds exactly why the challenger was such a heavy favorite against defending champion Patrick Teixeira on Saturday night.
Argentina’s Castano pressured the Brazilian southpaw for most of their 12-round, 154-pound title fight, landed almost twice as many punches and took Teixeira’s WBO junior middleweight title at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. The unbeaten Castano won a unanimous decision, as judges Robert Hoyle (119-109), Lou Moret (120-108) and Zachary (117-111) each scored their fight for Castano by wide distances on the Joseph Diaz Jr.-Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov undercard.
The 31-year-old Castano (17-0-1, 12 KOs), who went off as an 8-1 favorite, became a two-time 154-pound champion and ended Teixeira’s five-fight winning streak. His victory versus Teixeira thrust Castano into position to land a higher-profile, title-unification fight in the 154-pound division against Jermell Charlo (34-1, 18 KOs), who owns the IBF, WBA and WBC belts.
The WBA stripped Castano of its world 154-pound title in June 2019 because he wouldn’t travel to France to face mandatory challenger Michel Soro in Soro’s home country for a second time. It took Soro’s promoters 10 months to pay Castano’s purse in installments following Castano’s 12-round, split-decision win over Soro in July 2017.
Prior to Saturday night, Castano had boxed only once in the nearly two years since his controversial, 12-round split draw with Erislandy Lara (27-3-3, 15 KOs) in March 2019 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Castano retained his title that night, but the WBA stripped him of it three months later.
Teixeira (31-2, 22 KOs) lost the WBO 154-pound championship he won in his previous bout by defeating Dominican contender Carlos Adames in November 2019. Teixeira beat Adames (18-1, 14 KOs) by unanimous decision in their 12-rounder 14 months ago at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
Before Saturday night, the 30-year-old Teixeira hadn’t lost since Curtis Stevens knocked him out in the second round of a middleweight match in May 2016 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Castano seemed on the verge of stopping Teixeira in the 12th round. He landed a right to Teixeira’s body and followed up with a left uppercut that made Teixeira turn away from him and retreat with approximately 1:20 to go in their fight.
Teixeira valiantly made it to the final bell, though.
Castano hit Teixeira with an overhand right on his shoulder that knocked him off balance with about 50 seconds to go in the 10th round. Castano followed up with a left hook to Teixeira’s head several seconds later.
Teixeira tried to build on his solid showing in the eighth round by pressing the action in the ninth round. He kept Castano on his back foot at times in that round, but Teixeira took several head shots on the inside in the second half of that round.
Teixeira finally started backing up Castano and landed several thudding body shots in the first half of the eighth round. Castano resisted in the second half of that eighth round, but Teixeira stood his ground and traded with his durable opponent.
A left hand by Castano knocked Teixeira into a corner 30 seconds into the seventh round. Teixeira didn’t have much on his punches in that round and he couldn’t keep Castano from pressuring him and landing short shots.
Castano caught Teixeira with a left hook with about 35 seconds to go in the sixth round, which amounted to another strong showing for the challenger.
Teixeira caught Castano with a right uppercut and then a left uppercut with just under two minutes remaining in the fifth round. There wasn’t enough on either of those shots to affect Castano, who got right back to swarming Teixeira.
Castano continued to pressure a retreating Teixeira throughout the fourth round. A left hook by Castano landed to the side of Teixeira’s head with just under a minute to go in the fourth round.
Castano muscled Teixeira into the ropes and landed several head shots in the opening 30 seconds of the third round. Teixeira landed a hard right hand late in the third round, but that round mostly was dominated by Castano.
Castano snapped back Teixeira’s head with a right hand just 10 seconds into the second round. Castano pressed the action for much of the second round.
Reiss warned Teixeira for a low blow with 55 seconds remaining in that second round.
Castano landed a straight right hand with about 25 seconds to go in the first round. The challenger mostly kept Teixeira on his back foot during those first three minutes and defended himself well when Teixeira threw punches at him.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.