Jermell Charlo is none too pleased with how the proceedings of his upcoming rematch with Brian Castano has thus far played out.

The 154-pound full unification clash pitting Charlo’s WBA, WBC, and IBF titles against Castano’s WBO belt, was supposed to take place March 19 at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, but Castano ended up suffering a right biceps injury, forcing him to withdraw. The fight, as BoxingScene.com previously reported, has been rescheduled for May 14 on Showtime, although the venue has not yet been determined. Their first bout, which took place last July at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, ended in a somewhat controversial split decision draw.

Charlo said he was suspicious of the timing of Castano’s injury because it came just days after he made a forceful appeal to his representatives to make sure there was stringent drug testing.

“I asked for legal drug testing,” Charlo told Brian Custer on The Last Stand Podcast. “I asked them to [take a] drug test on Tuesday and then, all of a sudden, on a Thursday, he pulls out [of] the fight.

“I was told to be quiet. Sorry, I can’t be quiet. Can’t be quiet when [I’m] holding all these belts in the back and you know your life is on the life and your family cares, so then I started thinking like, ‘Hold on, I must speak up.’”

“Y’all wanted me to sit down and be quiet and not train for a fight coming up?” Charlo added. “They wanted me to be quiet and not say anything about all of these things.”

Charlo’s displeasure has been mounting for a while. The Houstonian relayed that he was disappointed in his handlers – Premier Boxing Champions and the WBC sanctioning body – ahead of the first Castano bout when he found out that drug testing was noticeably lax.

“We only drug tested one time and that was before I asked,” Charlo recalled “I asked one of Al Haymon’s advisors, or people that represent Al Haymon, like ‘Hey, why ain’t we being drug tested this whole camp. The whole camp nobody came.’ You know what they told me? ‘Hey, Charlo you were supposed to request for that a month ago.’

"Never have I requested for a drug test. Months and months go by. [The Jeison] Rosario fight [in 2020], [the Erickson] Lubin fight [in 2017], my whole career being number one in the WBC. WBC, I’m mad at ya’ll, because y’all said y’all a clean sport and if anybody fights for y’all title you ‘ll make sure they're protected. We barely drug tested for the last fight.”

"Never have I requested for a drug test. Months and months go by. [The Jeison] Rosario fight [in 2020], [the Erickson] Lubin fight [in 2017], my whole career being number one in the WBC. WBC, I’m mad at ya’ll, because y’all said y’all a clean sport and if anybody fights for y’all title you’ll make sure they're protected. We barely drug tested for the last fight.”

(Charlo’s comments may strike some as rich, particularly as it relates to the WBC. Charlo himself – along with his twin brother, the middleweight titlist Jermall – came under drug testing suspicion in 2018 ahead of their Dec. 22 fight date at the Barclays Center in New York City. Both at the time were enrolled in the WBC’s Clean Boxing Program venture, which was rolled out in 2016. One of the requirements it imposes on its fighters is that they must be subject to mandatory random blood-and-urine tests administered by VADA. According to BoxingScene.com contributor Thomas Hauser, both Charlos effectively missed their tests when collection officers stopped by their home and gym and could not find them; attempts to call the brothers were not successful either. Jermall Charlo, the middleweight, later claimed he was out of town “doing promotional stuff on Fox." Their participation, in separate bouts (Jermell against Tony Harrison, Jermall against Matvey Korobov), on the Dec. 22 card would go on unimpeded.)

One consolation for Charlo is that he said he has received assurance that the rematch will feature much more accountability on the drug testing front. Charlo spoke to his advisor, Al Haymon of PBC, who Charlo said promised him that drug testing protocol would be ramping up for the rematch. 

“I knew it was a month approaching [the original date of the rematch] and I contacted a bunch of people, and said 'hey, can y’all please make sure y’all doing the proper drug testing?’”  Charlo said.

“I spoke with Al Haymon personally yesterday. He said drug testing will be heavy and it will be in-depth. “So I trust Al. Al is my guy. If you know Al personally like I know him, he leads you to the victory and that’s it.”

While the 31-year-old Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KOs) did not go so far as to claim that 32-year-old Castano (17-0-2, 12 KOs) used banned substances, he did not shy from insisting that the actions of the Argentinian and his team seem rife with dubious intentions.

“These guys are from Argentina,” Charlo said. “Not to talk bad about Argentina. But when you know that the risk is very high and that your reward might be a little low, you’ll try to find every type of way to take an advantage. If you can't beat me that way, you’ll try to beat me this way.

"He ain’t taller than me, his reach ain’t longer than me, we the same age, [our] weight the same – I’m literally thinking logical. I’m losing my mind trying to figure it out. That's why my coach says don’t believe in these conspiracy theories, but I’m believing like a warrior, I’m believing like a real lion in this situation.

"I don’t believe he did PED, and if he did, you can take steroids for six months, six weeks, and let that go through your system, rehydrate, wash it out, get it clear, before they start testing you. I asked to be tested more than once, more than once in this situation with Brian Castano. I've spoken out about us being tested. I’m a clean fighter...I believe personally he didn't sustain the injury that he did."

Another issue that still sticks in Charlo’s craw is the commotion that took place the day before the night of the first fight. Sebastian Contursi, the manager of Castano, took issue with Charlo’s gloves, leading to a brief standoff that was eventually quelled. Adding to the drama was the shouting match that took place between Contursi and Charlo at the weigh-in.  

Charlo also lamented the money he spent on his camp and how the postponement derailed his preparation to drive a large contingent of his supporters to Los Angeles.

“They’re still complaining about my gloves,” Charlo said. “They making me come and talk like this. Now we [were] deep in camp, I’m sparring and training, I'm getting my tour bus wrapped up here. I’m spending my money on sparring partners, training… I have [trainer] Derrick James coming in and out of town. We’re all spending money.”