By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Robinson Castellanos can’t see any reason why he shouldn’t shoot for the top of the 130-pound division now that he has pulled off the biggest upset of his career.
The Mexican veteran, fresh off his surprising stoppage of Yuriorkis Gamboa, wants to challenge Vasyl Lomachenko in his next fight. Castellanos (24-12, 14 KOs) beat Gamboa (26-2, 17 KOs) at a catch weight of 133 pounds, but wants to fight within the super featherweight division after competing almost exclusively at featherweight during his first 15 years as a pro.
“This is like winning a title fight,” Castellanos said through interpreter after defeating Cuba’s Gamboa. “I’m willing to fight with anyone who has a title at super featherweight. If they would give me the opportunity, fighting Lomachenko would be really great. I would love to fight him.”
Ukraine’s Lomachenko could return to the ring sometime this summer. The highly skilled southpaw, who dominated Jason Sosa (20-2-4, 15 KOs) on April 8 in Oxon Hill, Maryland, wants a rematch against Orlando Salido.
Mexico’s Salido (43-13-4, 30 KOs, 1 NC) beat Lomachenko (8-1, 6 KOs) by split decision in just the second fight of Lomachenko’s pro career in March 2014. Lomachenko’s promoters at Top Rank Inc. tried to arrange a rematch for April 8, but couldn’t come to a financial agreement with Salido’s representatives.
A Lomachenko-Gamboa bout had been discussed before Castellanos caused Gamboa to quit on his stool last Friday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Enrique Gilbert, Castellanos’ manager, sees no reason why battering Gamboa shouldn’t at least place Castellanos in the mix to challenge Lomachenko.
The 35-year-old Castellanos has 12 losses, but since starting his career at 5-8, which included losses to Salido and Mikey Garcia (36-0, 30 KOs), he has recorded several impressive upsets. Before dropping Gamboa once apiece in the third and fourth rounds and making him quit following the seventh, Castellanos defeated then-unbeaten Christopher Perez by unanimous decision, former WBA featherweight champion Celestino Caballero by split decision, then-undefeated Ronny Rios by fifth-round technical knockout and a declining Rocky Juarez by a wide unanimous decision.
“I think this win deserves at least a title shot in the next fight for Robinson,” Gilbert said. “I think Golden Boy [Promotions] owes Robinson something for what he did [May 5].”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.