The undefeated 122-pounder promises an action-packed fight, and a victory, when he steps up against former two-division champion Luis Nery Saturday, February 5 on PBC FOX Sports Pay-Per-View.
On Saturday, February 5, undefeated Carlos Castro opens the Thurman vs. Barrios PBC FOX Sports PPV (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) against former two-division champion Luis “Pantera” Nery (31-1, 24 KOs) in a 10-round super bantamweight battle.
Naturally, there’s extra pressure to kick off the show with a bang and get people in their seats at Michelob Ultra Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
“I’m super excited for this upcoming fight,” said Castro. “It’s a great opportunity to display my skills against a well-known and accomplished fighter like Nery. I’m going to show everyone why I deserve my high-ranking and earn a shot at the world champions.”
The 122-pound orthodox fighter from Phoenix, Arizona is ready for the bright lights and tough challenge. And he’s getting some bright lights to shine under. This will be Castro’s second fight in a row opening a PBC FOX Sports PPV.
In his last bout on August 21, the 27-year-old Castro took a big step up the boxing ranks when he was the opener of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Yordenis Ugas PPV, facing gritty, former world-title challenger Óscar Escandón (26-6, 18 KOs).
However, things didn’t start as planned for Castro. In the first round, Escandón dropped him. “I had no excuse,” he said of the slow opening round. “I just got overconfident, and he landed a good shot. I’m learning from my mistakes and that won’t happen again.”
With the guidance of his new trainer Manny Robles (they had been working together for just four months at that time), Castro dug deep, took control of the fight, and came back to knock out Escandón in the 10th round.
“Manny has helped me get mentally and physically stronger,” Castro said. “So, during that fight he told me to just take it round by round, be calm, and keep on working. As soon as we felt that Óscar was slowing down, Manny told me to go for it and stop this dude. And that's what we did.”
FOX PBC analyst and famed trainer Joe Goossen summed up Castro’s performance that night: “That was a big knockout for Castro. He could have sat on his lead and cruised to victory, but instead he went for the finish, got it, and made a statement.”
Born in Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico, Carlos moved to Phoenix with his family when he was two years old. At age six, he discovered the sweet science and never looked back.
“It was just a coincidence,” Castro says of walking into the boxing gym. “My dad and I used to go to a bakery every night to get bread, donuts, and some coffee for mom, and there was a home gym across the street. My dad took me into the gym. As soon as I stepped in there, it felt like home, and my career started from there.”
Castro had an extensive amateur run, with nearly 200 fights. He won three National Silver Gloves Championships. He made his pro debut at the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix on June 16, 2012, winning a four-round unanimous decision over Tony Green.
He then fought 16 of his first 20 pro bouts at the Celebrity Theater, cultivating a loyal fan base in his hometown. He continued to work his way up the ranks and faced tougher and tougher opponents, compiling a 27-0 record with 12 knockouts.
“ This is the time for me to prove myself. ” Undefeated Super Bantamweight Contender - Carlos Castro
While Castro is a devoted family man, married with two children, he still considers himself a student of the game and a fan of the sport. When he was younger, he looked up to the likes of Oscar de la Hoya, Julio Cesar Chavez, Erik Morales, Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Floyd Mayweather. Today, he enjoys watching Errol Spence Jr., Terence Crawford, and Canelo Alvarez.
His desire to be world champion led him to change trainers, move to California, and progress his skills. That led to working with Manny Robles. This will be their second fight together.
“I think it's been a major improvement on myself, on my self-confidence, and more importantly, on the physical aspect of my boxing career,” said Castro. “He’s taught me a lot and he's helped me correct a lot of things that I thought I was doing right.”
Now Castro is ready for the upper tier of boxers, starting with Nery, who suffered his lone loss in his last fight against Brandon Figueroa.
“Nery is a two-division world champion,” Carlos explained. “I’m blessed he and his team gave me the opportunity. He’ll be mentally prepared. I think he's going to come strong because that loss might have pumped him up. We're expecting the best Luis Nery we can get. I'm training for a hungrier and a better improved fighter.
“Luis Nery is a well-known fighter around the boxing world. Not a lot of people know Carlos Castro. Me defeating Luis Nery is going to get my name out there and is going to get all the boxing people talking about me. It's going to get me the opportunity for a world title. Nery has been there. This guy's done it. But this is my fight. This is the time for me to prove myself. I'm not getting any younger. I need to do it now. And this is the fight to do it.”
FOX Sports PBC analyst and former world champion boxer Shawn Porter believes Castro has the assets to give Nery a tough challenge.
“Castro has that grit and that might that fight fans love to see,” Porter said. “He’s a come-forward fighter with long arms and pop. He’s going to really challenge Luis Nery who’s going to have to redefine himself after being stopped by a body shot in his last fight.”
With respect to Nery, Castro isn’t predicting how he gets the W, but he is predicting getting his hand raised at the end of the night: “The fans are going have to wait for that day because it's going to be an action-packed fight and it's going to end as victory for Carlos.
“After winning this fight, I want the world champions at 122. I don't care who it is. It's either Murodjon Akhmadaliev or it's Stephen Fulton. Whoever it is, I would like to opportunity for that.”
For a closer look at Carlos Castro, check out his fighter page.