Charlo punches his ticket into the International Boxing Hall of Fame with a magnificent victory over Castaño to become the first ever undisputed 154-pound champion in the four belt era, capping off a thrilling night of action on PBC on SHOWTIME.
Jermell Charlo’s patience was waning. He had to wait a few additional months to get his rematch with Brian Castaño, and on Saturday night, he had to wait a little longer when Castaño arrived late to the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
It looks like Charlo’s patience paid dividends.
The Houston-based IBF/WBA/WBC World Super Welterweight Champion added the WBO belt Castaño once held with a masterful stoppage victory at 2:33 of the 10th round in a Premier Boxing Champions event on SHOWTIME.
Charlo made history in becoming the first-ever undisputed male super welterweight world champion in the four-belt era.
“This is unbelievable! I did it for us USA! I did it for us. Shoutout to Carson, California, L.A. and the whole surrounding area,” Charlo exclaimed. “Thanks for coming out tonight. Lions Only. We put on a show. I gave you a hard-fought 10 rounds. I gave it my all and that was my end result.
“I could consider this fight being a little bit nerve-racking. I felt like this was my first fight. You get nervous and you get the ants in your pants. I knew Castano 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. I’m just super excited me and my brother did for Lions Only. The future is bright.”
The first Charlo-Castaño fight ended in a split-decision draw on July 17. 2021. The original rematch was slated for March 19 at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, but that was postponed when Castaño injured his right biceps during training in February, pushing the fight back almost two months. It’s an injury Charlo doubted.
Then, Castaño arrived late to the venue Saturday night, forcing the fight to start late.
To his credit, Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs) remained poised. He knew he had something on his side—confidence. He came into the fight weighing 152¾ lbs., the lightest Charlo had been in over 10 years, since he weighed 148¼ for an eight-round fight on Nov. 12, 2010 against Luis Grajeda.
“I don’t care about being late. I don’t care about who’s early,” Charlo said. “I knew once I got to this arena, and I’m fighting outside in this beautiful place, I had to get it on.”
And finally, the opening bell rang.
Charlo found a rhythm early. With 2:03 left in the first, Charlo popped Castaño (17-1-2, 12 KOs) with a jab to the face, and doubled with two left hooks to the body. With :55 left, Castaño snuck in a left hook that caught Charlo on the jaw and him backed up.
Charlo closed the first by nailing Castaño with a left to the face.
With 1:23 remaining the second, a Charlo right caught Castaño, followed by a left. Charlo used great movement, and through the first two rounds was not pressed up against the ropes. He countered well with the left hook, and tied up Castaño every time he neared.
Charlo began the third well. He stayed with a consistent jab, a sound weapon. He went to body with a right, and really nailed Castaño with a right with 1:22 left in the round.
Through three, Charlo appeared in command.
With 2:22 in the fourth, Charlo plowed Castaño with a left hook to the body. Castaño kept coming, and tried pressing Charlo against the ropes, as in the first fight, but Charlo used great footwork to get out of harm’s way. Castaño, to his credit, fought his best, to that point, in the closing seconds of the fourth.
Castaño finished the fourth by crushing a right on Charlo’s chin. Charlo defiantly stared at Castaño as the round ended, as if to say, “You can’t hurt me.”
Castaño started coming on more in the fifth. With :40 left in the fifth, the two went banging at each other, neither willing to give in to the other. The defining punch of the round was a Charlo overhand right, which backed Castaño up. Just when Castaño looked like he was trouble, he fought back again.
Charlo seemed slower in the sixth. With :59 left, Castaño hit Charlo with a right and he bore forward with his high guard. Castaño kept pressing Charlo, who finished the round with a right to Castaño’s jaw.
With 1:32 remaining in the seventh, Charlo caught Castaño coming forward with a left hook to the chin that jolted Castaño. Charlo returned to the center of the ring and used his jab again. He used the jab to control the distance, and made Castaño think every time he neared.
“I listened to my corner this time,” Charlo 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.”
Castaño stalked Charlo in the eighth. Castaño caught Charlo on the face with 2:04 with a lead right. Charlo winged a left hook off Castaño’s head with :31 remaining in the round.
In the first 17 seconds of the ninth, Charlo pelted Castaño with a right, followed by a left hook. Charlo kept cleaving Castaño’s high guard with the jab. Castaño was coming forward. But he wasn’t punching. Charlo was up on his toes in the last minute of the ninth, and Castaño had a hard time keeping up with Charlo’s movement.
With 2:03 left in the 10th, a Charlo left hook followed by the right got through. Charlo looked strong. Then finally, with :52 left in the 10th, Charlo cracked Castaño with a compact left hook to the jaw. Castaño’s delayed reaction saw him crumble to the canvas for the first knockdown.
“I threw a body shot and I threw a left hook and that’s all she wrote,” Charlo said. “Once I saw him crumble in front of me, I was pretty sure he was going to get back up, because that was the first knockdown. But I knew it was over.”
Referee Jerry Cantu allowed Castaño to continue with :38 left, though it seemed Castaño was out on his feet. Charlo jumped on the wobbly Castaño and knocked him down a second time with :32 remaining in the 10th with a left to the body and a right uppercut.
Finally, Cantu saw enough and waved it over at 2:33—as Charlo promised, he would stop Castaño.
“The right hand landed perfect and I threw the uppercut,” Charlo said. “This is legacy. This is something that is legendary. I’m a legend. This is a beautiful thing. They’re going to keep putting them in there. When you’re at the top like this, you get a bunch of mandatories. You get a bunch of No. 1 guys so you just have to prepare for it and be ready at all times.”
There was a lot of tension between the two fighters before the fight, but both exhibited class afterwards.
“Everything that was said outside was all bullsh-t,” Castaño said. “Everything that happened in the ring tonight, we showed that we are warriors. That’s the main thing. We have to feed our families.
“We both were fighting back-and-forth. It was power back-and-forth and then his right hand came over and stopped the fight. He’s a champion. He hit me. He got me. But I’m okay.”
Jaron “Boots” Ennis explodes on Custio Clayton
Jaron “Boots” Ennis continues to be the welterweight bogeyman. The 24-year-old Philadelphian is the best fighter in the world without a title belt, and each fight he is more impressive, bringing him closer to his destination.
Ennis (29-0, 27 KOs) kept his streak alive of not going beyond six rounds, by devouring the previously undefeated Custio Clayton (19-1-1, 12 KOs) at 2:49 of the second round in an IBF title.
“I’m just trying to perfect my craft, getting better and better each and every time and doing what I need to do, and that’s getting that knockout,” Ennis said. “I keep telling you, we don’t get paid for overtime.”
Ennis, making his California debut and with 11 first-round knockouts, was supposed be tested by Clayton, a 2012 Canadian Olympian. Boots exerted a good jab at the outset, creating a punch zone.
Within the last 40 seconds of the first round, making the switch from righty to southpaw, Clayton was retreating and in trouble.
Boots took no breaks between the first and second rounds, standing between rounds. Ennis started the second, as he finished the first, as a southpaw. Clayton could not get near Ennis to even land a punch. With less than a minute left in the second, Boots reverted back to an orthodox stance, catching Clayton on the top of his head with a right hand.
The shot knocked Clayton down and took away his equilibrium. Referee Ray Corona gave Clayton an opportunity to get up. When he did, Clayton couldn’t walk in his own, staggering to the ropes. It was the second time Clayton had been down in his career and first time he was stopped. It was the 21st time that Ennis knocked down an opponent in his last 11 fights.
“He had a high guard so I was trying to come around with the right hook,” Ennis said about Clayton. “He leaned down and I just threw an overhand. I thought he was going to get up. He’s a durable, tough guy. Nobody has ever stopped him. I thought he was going to get up but I saw he fell again, so I was like, ‘this is over.’
“I’m not sure if I’ve ever lost a round. You have to check BoxRec. I don’t think I have though. But we’ll check BoxRec and I’ll let ya’ll know.
“Anybody can get it right now. But I’m the IBF No. 1 contender and I think ‘Mr. Big Fish’ is here himself, so it’s time to go fishing.”
It was the 19th-straight stoppage for the burgeoning superstar Ennis.
Kevin Gonzalez remains undefeated with unanimous decision
Kevin Gonzalez made a highly successful United States debut. The southpaw super bantamweight took a comfortable decision in a competitive fight, beating Emanuel Rivera by unanimous 10-round decision to kickoff the TV portion of the show.
Early on, Gonzalez (25-0-1, 13 KOs) put on some good pressure and had Rivera backing up a few times.
In between the third and fourth rounds, Rivera’s trainer Emilio Lozada asked Rivera if he wanted to quit, and when the fighter said ‘no,’ and sent him back out. Gonzalez’s corner did not take easy on him, either. Gonzalez’s trainer, Jacob Najar, demanded his fighter go out and take charge.
Gonzalez, 24, used a solid inside attack and left uppercuts against Rivera, who faded as the fight progressed.
For a closer look at Charlo vs Castano 2, check out our fight night page.