Brian Castaño (15-0-1, 11KOs) looks to re-enter the junior middleweight title mix, as the unbeaten Argentine takes on veteran trialhorse Wale Omotoso (28-4, 22KOs)—a Nigerian contender now based in California—in a scheduled 10 round clash, which headlines Saturday evening’s edition of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on FS1.
The show airs live from MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
Also on the show, Javier Fortuna (34-2-1, 23KOs)—a Dominican Republic born and boxer who now lives and trains in the greater Boston area—takes on Argentina’s Jesus Cuellar (29-3, 22KOs) in a 10-round lightweight battle between former lower weight titlists.
Ryan Karl picked up his third straight win, although the free-swinging Texan would have preferred a more conclusive ending than the 5th round injury stoppage he picked up over Bergman Aguilar.
The fun-filled slugfest was stopped in between rounds five and six, when it was discovered that Costa Rica's Aguilar suffered what he believed to have been a broken left hand.
Karl struggled to defend against Aguilar's whipping right hand, hitting the canvas twice in the opening round. The first trip was waved off as a slip. but Karl was dropped for real midway through the round courtesy of a right hand crashing across his exposed chin.
Interestingly, the punch was thrown primarily due to Aguilar having already injured his left by that point.
To his credit, Karl quickly recovered and outworked Aguilar throughout the rest of the round. From there ensued a shootout for as long as Aguilar could withstand the pain in his hand. Karl continued to force a furious pace, enjoying the handicap of Aguilar being forced to fight from southpaw to conventional stance as he was limited to a one-handed fighter.
Karl sought to impose his will in round three, though perhaps a bit too overzealous. A determined body attack led to Aguilar hitting the canvas from a shot that was well below the border, with Karl drawing as stern warning from referee Bill Clancy.
Aguilar did his best to fight on, but the unbearable pain in his hand—particularly his knuckle—forced the end of the contest, which came at 3:00 of round five.
Karl moves to 18-2 (12KOs) with the win, having now scored three straight stoppages. Aguilar falls to 15-6-1 (5KOs), having dropped four of his last five starts.
David Morrell Jr. left a lasting impression in his televised debut, scoring a highlight reel 2nd round knockout of Quinton Rankin.
The rookie super middleweight scored knockdowns in each of the two 0ne-sided rounds of action, the latter of the two a left uppercut that forced the stoppage at 2:59 of round two.
Morrell Jr. (2-0, 2KOs)—who trains with welterweight Jamal James in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he made his pro debut this past August—was quick to impose his will on North Carolina's Rankin (15-7-2), dropping the journeyman midway through round one. Rankin beat the count and made it out of the round, but did nothing to change the course of the contest.
The beginning of the end came early in round two. Morrell Jr. had Rankin wobbly and on the defensive, finishing him off with a left uppercut which forced his foe to double over on the canvas. The bout was waved off immediately, the end coming at 1:01 of round two.
Unbeaten junior welterweight Shyngyskhan Tazhibay earned unexpected airtime, doing his best to seize the moment in scoring a four-round shutout over Argentina's Nicolas Velazquez (11-8, 3KOs).
Scores were 40-36 across the board in an awkward, mauling affair. Tazhibay (9-0, 2KOs)—a Kazakhstan-born prospect who now trains out of Barry Hunter's Headbangers Gym in Washington D.C.—took whatever opening were made available in between frequent clinches, providing whatever action was to be found in the final bout of the FS2 preliminary telecast.
Gary Antuanne Russell remains a knockout every time out.
The 2016 U.S. Olympian ran his record to 12-0 (12KOs) following a 2nd round knockout of Panama's Juan Huertas in their junior welterweight matchup. Russell—who hails by nearby Capitol Heights, Maryland—came out swinging from the opening bell, landing heavy power shots on the open chin of Huertas (14-3-1, 10KOs) in his best effort to match the 1st round knockout turned in by his older brother, Gary Antonio Russell on the non-televised undercard.
Huertas did his best to absorb, but quickly began to fade early in round two. Russell cornered his visiting foe, connecting with a violent right hook out of the southpaw stance which froze Huertas in place. A left hand upstairs followed by a body shot forced Huertas to a knee as he was counted out at 0:40 of round two.
Russell—who picked up his fifth win and knockout on the year—is the youngest boxing brother of reigning featherweight titlist Gary Russell Jr.
Anthony Velazquez was forced to put in work to preserve his unbeaten record and perfect knockout to win run came to a close. The Springfield, Massachusetts native outworked and overwhelmed Delaware’s Michael Crain (3-4, 1KO) en route to a 7th round stoppage in the FS2-televised opener.
The scheduled eight-round welterweight affair saw pockets of competitive action, with Crain holding his own in the opening round against the much taller and harder hitting Velazquez (8-0, 8KOs). Rounds began to pile up for Velazquez, though none particularly dominant as his long right hands were enough to constantly touch his squat southpaw foe but never fully discourage him.
Crain connected with a straight left hand at the end of round four, catching the attention of Velazquez who had controlled the frame to that point. The unbeaten prospect shook off the blow and took over, punching in combination and slowly wearing down Crain before forcing a referee stoppage.
The official time was 1:59 of round seven. The bout marked the first time Velazquez has been forced to fight past the 4th round, which came in his previous outing.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox