Last time Jermell Charlo had to correct a blemish on his record, fans were treated to a sequel better than the original.
Regardless of the outcome Saturday (Showtime, 9 PM EST), if it happens like that again we’re in for a real treat. Charlo’s second fight with Tony Harrison made fierce what was originally tactical and measured.
The first fight with Brain Castano last July was a barnburner. Castano looked like he might have done enough to win in a fight where both were stunned. Charlo was able to contain the high activity of Castano with the ever present threat of greater single shot power.
They enter with the same strategic advantages and disadvantages they had the first time, but this time with earned knowledge of what it’s like to stand across from each other. A second consecutive draw seems unlikely.
That means by Sunday morning, we will have one clear as crystal champion at 154 lbs.
Let’s get into it.
Stats and Stakes
Titles: Lineal World Jr. middleweight (2020-Present, 1 Defense); WBC super welterweight (2019-Present, 2 Defenses); Ring/WBA/IBF Jr. middleweight (2020-Present, 1 Defense)
Previous Titles: WBC super welterweight (2016-18, 3 Defenses)
Weight: 152 ¾ lbs.
Hails from: Houston, Texas
Record: 34-1-1, 18 KO
Record in Major Title Fights: 6-1-1, 5 KO
Last Five Opponents: 120-8-2 (.931)
Notable Outcomes, TBRB and/or Ring Rated Foes: Vanes Martirosyan UD10; Erickson Lubin (8) KO1; Austin Trout MD12; Tony Harrison KO11; Jeison Rosario KO8; Brian Castano D12
Additional Current/Former Titlists Faced: Joachim Alcine TKO6; Tony Harrision L12
Title: WBO Jr. middleweight (2021-Present, 1 Defense)
Previous Titles: None (Held WBA sub-title at 154 lbs.)
Height: 5’7 ½
Weight: 153 ¾ lbs.
Hails from: Isidro Casanova, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Record: 17-0-2, 12 KO
Press Rankings: #1 (Ring, ESPN), #2 (TBRB, BoxRec)
Record in Major Title Fights: 1-0-1 (4-0-2, 2 KO including WBA sub-title fights)
Last Five Opponents: 164-11-2 (.932)
Notable Outcomes, TBRB and/or Ring Rated Foes: Michael Soro SD12; Erislandy Lara D12; Patrick Teixeira UD12; Jermell Charlo D12
Additional Current/Former Titlists Faced: None
The Pick: Going into the first fight, the questions centered in part on the volume attack of Castano and the accuracy and power of Charlo. We’ve seen what they look like together. The first time, Castano’s offense was more selective as he respected the threat in front of him. Can Castano pick it up enough to make a stronger case to the judges and avoid being stopped?
The scale also raises a question. Charlo came in the lightest he’s been since 2010. Is there a chance Charlo is overtrained? If so, could that affect his timing and make it easier for Castano to get off in combinations.
The thinking here is Charlo’s weight is only a slight deviation so he’s just in very good shape. Castano stunned Charlo early in the first fight and was able to pick his spots to engage wisely but his margin for error remains smaller than Charlo’s. Charlo is still taller, longer, and more dangerous second to second. Eventually in the sequel, Charlo is going to land the big shot he never quite drove home the first time and the fight should turn from there. The pick is Charlo by stoppage.
Rold Picks 2022: 19-6
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org