There’s one king at 154, and it’s Jermell Charlo. The Unified WBC, WBA and IBF World Champion Jermell Charlo picked up the WBO title with a dramatic tenth-round KO of Brian Castaño in a rematch of their 2021 masterpiece to become the first ever undisputed male 154-pound champion in the four-belt era on Saturday, May 14 live on SHOWTIME from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson.
The bout, which was another Fight of the Year-type encounter, headlined a Premier Boxing Champions event before an announced crowd of 7,406.
Photo: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME
The end came when Charlo (35-1-1, 18 KOs) dropped Castaño with a short, left hook as he was fighting off the ropes with around a minute left in the tenth. Castaño (17-1-2, 12 KOs) rose on unsteady legs and was allowed to continue and Charlo jumped on him, landing a vicious left to the head and body that caused Castaño to collapse and referee Jerry Cantu to wave off the bout at 2:33 of the tenth.
Saturday’s ending was reminiscent of the way Charlo closed his fight with Tony Harrison in their 2019 rematch when he KO’d Harrison in the 11th round after Harrison dethroned him in 2018.
Charlo, 31, is trained by Derrick James, who helped orchestrate Errol Spence Jr.’s 10th round stoppage of Yordenis Ugas to pick up a third welterweight title on April 16 from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Charlo and Castaño went toe-to-toe for 12 grueling rounds the first time they fought on July 17, 2021 on SHOWTIME, with the back-and-forth tilt ending in a split-decision draw. Charlo didn’t leave it in the judges’ hands on Saturday.
“This is legacy,” Charlo said in the ring afterward. “This is something that is legendary. I’m a legend. I knew Castaño was going to give it his all. I knew I had trained very, very hard but you all can see that I came in at 152 pounds because I was really in shape, and I wanted to make sure that this was my fight.”
The rematch was previously announced to take place on March 19 but was rescheduled after Castaño suffered an arm injury in training. The delay angered Charlo, who accused Castaño of gamesmanship in the run-up.
But the two shook hands and praised the other’s tenacity on Saturday after sharing the ring for a combined 22 rounds.
“We showed that we are warriors,” Castaño said. “We both were fighting back-and-forth. He’s a champion. He hit me. He got me. But I’m okay.”
Castaño again caused the rematch to start later than scheduled when he arrived late to the arena on Saturday night, pushing back the start of the match. Instead of fighting angry and impatiently, Charlo produced a calm, clinically efficient and ultimately punishing performance.
“I don’t care about being late,” Charlo said. “I don’t care about who’s early. I knew once I got to this arena, and I’m fighting outside in this beautiful place, I had to get it on.”
Expecting Castaño to fight aggressively and apply pressure, Charlo boxed effectively off his back foot, utilizing a hard jab and a counter-left that repeatedly found its target, none more violently than the final moments of the match.
Just like the first match, Castaño again landed a number of overhand rights and was successful in spots with his constant pressure. The fight was again fought at a torrid pace with both fighters hurting the other. But just like in the first fight, when Charlo gathered strength as the fight went on and won the final three rounds on all the judges’ scorecards, Charlo again wrested control of the bout in the late stages on Saturday.
“I listened to my corner this time,” he said. “I got in my bag around the seventh round. I started sitting down a little bit more instead of boxing so much and moving around. I saw that he was wearing down a little bit and I was breaking him down. I just saw my punches being more effective. I get stronger in the later rounds if they didn’t know.”
Mexican light heavyweight star Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (44-0, 30 KOs) of Mazatlan, MX, made Mexico proud today as he defeated former interim world champion Dominic Boesel (32-3, 12 KOs) of Freyburg, Germany via knock-out at the 1:33 marker of the fourth round of their scheduled 12-round light heavyweight fight. The fight, pit the #1 Boesel against the #2 Ramirez for the WBA Light Heavyweight Final Title Eliminator at Ontario’s Toyota Arena. Ramirez put his power on display for the boxing world to see to claim the crown as the #1 light heavyweight for the WBA and the new mandatory for the world championship.
“I feel great about my performance,” said Ramirez. “As I said, I would put on a spectacular show here in LA. I got the victory via knock-out. I was expecting his best; we were expecting heavy shots. I trained way too hard for this position, and no one will take it from me. I used my distance more, and I attacked the body more. I know my last fight was tough, but I was really prepared for this one. I ate more tacos for this fight. I feel this is my natural weight. Everyone knows I want Bivol. He needs to stop running and sign the contract. I’m coming for you and that belt. I deserve that fight. I think I can beat him since I’m bigger, stronger, and smarter.”
Photo: Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions
“I thought I would hit him more with my jab,” said Boesel. “I came confidently to this fight. He got me in the liver with the first punch. I couldn’t do much when I got hit with the body shot.”
In the co-main event of the night, rising lightweight star William “El Camaron” Zepeda (25-0, 23 KOs) successfully defended his WBA Continental Americas Lightweight Title for the second time against the resilient, former world champion, Rene “Gemelo” Alvarado (32-11, 21 KOs) of Managua, Nicaragua in a 10-round lightweight fight. Both fighters gave the crowd the show of the night, as they traded shots back and forth. Zepeda delivered power shots, while Alvarado took them and returned with intensity. Zepeda took the victory via unanimous decision with scores of (98-92), (97-93), and (96-94) all in his favor.
“It was a great fight with a great fighter,” said William Zepeda. “I have a lot to learn, and we need to work on some things. I want to thank Alvarado for the opportunity. He gave me some of his experience, which I am grateful for. We’re going to keep giving it our all. Now to enjoy this victory. Thank you to all my fans.”
Also, part of the live stream, John “Scrappy” Ramirez (10-0, 8KOs) of Los Angeles, CA, will fight for a regional title for the first time against new opponent Jan Salvatierra (8-2, 4 KOs) of Cabo San Lucas, MX, in a scheduled 8-round fight for the vacant NABA Super Flyweight title. The battle ended early after Ramirez landed a power shot that propelled Salvatierra out of the ring. The referee waved off the fight at the 2:25 marker of the first round, crowning Ramirez the winner via knock-out.
“I knew I was going to end the fight via knock-out,” said John Ramirez. “I am excited the fight ended dramatically, but there is more to come from me. I am going to keep working, keep rising until I can claim that world title.”
Opening up the DAZN live stream, fan-favorite Katsuma “El Cuete Japonecito” Akitsugi (10-0, 1 KO) of Hollywood, CA, faced veteran Jose Gonzalez (23–1, 13 KOs) of Guadalajara, Mexico in a scheduled 10-round featherweight fight. Early in the third round, an accidental head-butt opened up a cut on Gonzalez’s left eye. After review from the doctor at :01 of the fourth round, it was determined that the fight could not go on and Akitsgui was given the victory by technical decision.
“I don’t even feel like I fought,” said Akitsugi. “I was trying to fight the full ten rounds. Unfortunately, the head butt was an accident. I wanted to continue, but it is what it is. I can’t wait to fight on more Golden Boy cards.”
Unified WBC, WBA, and IBF 154-pound world champion Jermell Charlo talked his upcoming showdown at a media workout in Los Angeles Wednesday, before he enters the ring this Saturday, May 14 live on SHOWTIME from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif., headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event.
Charlo made clear his goal is to prevent the judges from deciding his fate when he faces WBO 154-pound world champion Brian Castaño in a rematch of one of 2021’s most significant fights, which ended in a hotly contested split draw They again will seek to become the first undisputed super welterweight male champion of the four-belt era.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will also feature Philadelphia’s Ennis in an IBF Welterweight Title Eliminator against unbeaten Canadian Olympian Custio Clayton that serves as the co-main event. Ennis said he was looking forward to recording a knockout in front of a new Southern California fanbase, and he also predicted a win for Charlo in the rematch.
Here is what Charlo had to say Wednesday from Churchill Boxing Club in Santa Monica:
Photos: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME
“I don’t want this fight to go the distance. I don’t get paid for overtime.
“I’m excited and I’m ready to go. I’m ready to rock. I’m putting it all on the line and I’m ready to destroy. I’m going to give the fans an exciting and entertaining show and just have fun out there.
“Castaño is going to have to do something different this fight. If not, he knows he’s getting slept. Whatever he does or whatever move he makes, I’m going to be on him. My goal is to knock him out.
“I approach this fight like I approach any fight. I come in there like I’m 0-0. Let’s go in there and see who’s better. Let’s see who the real dog is.
“I don’t take much from the last rematch I had against Tony Harrison. That was a totally different opponent. I’m just preparing for Castaño. There’s no correlation with my last rematch. I’m just focused on who I’m facing.
“I’m just focused on my career and my craft. Being on the undisputed list means more to me than being on pound-for-pound lists. I want to be on the top tier and for people to see that I’m undisputed and say that he’s an animal. This is my moment.
“I’ve made some changes, but it’s still going to be the same Jermell Charlo. I’m ready to take advantage of what’s in front of me.
“I don’t know if this fight will be like the first one. It could be a quicker night. It should be. If not, it’s going to be entertaining for 12 rounds.
“I don’t worry about pound-for-pound lists and whether I’m on them. If I win these belts, they might have to. If I go in there and knock him out, or handle my business for 12 rounds, that’s it. They won’t be able to deny me.
“I haven’t fought at this venue since much earlier in my career. It’s a little bit chilly right now in Southern California, but I know that once I get warmed up, I’ll be able to adapt no matter what it’s like Saturday.”