Jermell Charlo has secured his chance to become boxing’s fully unified 154-pound champion.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that Charlo and unbeaten Brian Castano have agreed to terms for a title unification fight. Showtime is expected to televise Charlo-Castano as a main event either in June or July, though the date hadn’t been solidified as of Sunday.
Their fight likely will take place in Houston, Charlo’s hometown. Charlo, 30, and Castano, 31, will fight for Charlo’s IBF, WBA and WBC championships and Castano’s WBO belt.
La Nacion, a daily newspaper in Castano’s home country of Argentina, first reported that a deal is in place for the Charlo-Castano clash. An official announcement of Charlo-Castano could be made sometime this week.
Their 12-round bout will be the second straight title unification fight for Charlo, who made it clear Castano was his opponent of choice once Castano became a two-time champion February 13.
The Houston native knocked down Jeison Rosario three times and stopped him with a body shot in the eighth round of Charlo’s most recent fight, which took place September 26 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Charlo (34-1, 18 KOs) defended his WBC crown that night and took the IBF and WBA championships from the Dominican Republic’s Rosario (20-2-1, 14 KOs) in their Showtime Pay-Per-View fight.
Charlo and his twin brother, Jermall Charlo, co-headlined Showtime’s pay-per-view event September 26. Jermall Charlo convincingly defeated Ukraine’s Sergiy Derevyanchenko by unanimous decision in their 12-round fight for Charlo’s WBC middleweight title that night.
Jermall Charlo’s next fight has not been announced, yet he, too, is expected to headline a “Showtime Championship Boxing” broadcast this summer, at some point after Jermell Charlo and Castano meet.
Castano, meanwhile, will get another opportunity to knock off a prominent opponent in his division.
The Argentinean champion fought Cuban southpaw Erislandy Lara to a 12-round split draw in March 2019 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Castano (17-0-1, 12 KOs) retained the WBA super welterweight title, though he was later stripped of that belt because he declined to defend it against mandatory challenger Michel Soro in France, Soro’s home country, due to financial concerns.
Castano became a two-time champion February 13, when he beat Brazil’s Patrick Teixeira by unanimous decision in their 12-round bout at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. The favored Castano was the WBO’s mandatory challenger for Teixeira’s title.
Once Castano dethroned Teixeira (31-2, 22 KOs), he became the obvious opponent for Jermell Charlo’s next fight. Castano holds the only 154-pound championship Charlo doesn’t own and both boxers are affiliated with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, which made their fight easier to put together.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.