Brian Castano won’t have to fight Jermell Charlo in Charlo’s hometown after all.
Though there was a time when it appeared that their immediate rematch would be held February 26 at Toyota Center in Houston, BoxingScene.com has learned that their second 154-pound championship match will take place March 19, probably at a venue somewhere in the Los Angeles area. The preference of Argentina’s Castano is to battle Houston’s Charlo again at a site that would be considered neutral territory.
Crypto.com Arena, formerly known as Staples Center, is a potential venue for the Castano-Charlo rematch. The Weeknd was supposed to play Crypto.com Arena on March 19, but the popular artist canceled that concert.
BoxingScene.com first reported a week ago on Twitter that the Castano-Charlo rematch would be pushed back into March from February 26. A 130-pound title bout between WBA world super featherweight champ Roger Gutierrez (26-3-1, 20 KOs) and Chris Colbert (16-0, 6 KOs) will now headline a “Showtime Championship Boxing” broadcast February 26 from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Showtime, which televised the 12-round split draw between Castano and Charlo nearly six months ago, also will air their second bout for full supremacy in the 154-pound division. Premier Boxing Champions founder Al Haymon considered making the Castano-Charlo rematch the headliner of a pay-per-view event, but Showtime is expected to keep it on that premium cable network as part of its “Showtime Championship Boxing” series.
Castano (17-0-2, 12 KOs), the WBO champion, and Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KOs), who owns the IBF, WBA and WBC belts, fought to a controversial split draw July 17 at AT&T Center in San Antonio, approximately a three-hour drive from Houston.
New Jersey’s Steve Weisfeld scored Castano a 114-113 winner of their first fight. Nevada’s Tim Cheatham scored their back-and-forth fight a draw, 114-114.
Puerto Rico’s Nelson Vazquez oddly scored what was a much closer contest 117-111 for Charlo, who somehow won nine rounds on Vazquez’s card.
Both Charlo and Castano pushed for an immediate rematch as soon as they settled for an unsatisfying split draw. Barring another draw, the winner of their 12-round rematch will become boxing’s first fully unified champion within the 154-pound division.
In the 31-year-old Charlo’s only other rematch, he stopped Tony Harrison in the 11th round of a competitive contest in December 2019 at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California. Charlo regained the WBC super welterweight title from Harrison that he first won by knocking out John Jackson in the eighth round of a May 2016 bout in Las Vegas that Charlo was losing by the same score, 69-64, on all three cards entering the eighth round.
Detroit’s Harrison (28-3-1, 21 KOs) upset Charlo by unanimous decision in their first fight, a closely contested 12-rounder that took place almost a year to the day before their second encounter at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The 32-year-old Castano’s second fight with Charlo will mark the first rematch of his nine-year pro career.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.