When light heavyweight contender Marcus Browne steps into the ring against Lenin Castillo at NYCB Live-Nassau Coliseum in Unionville, N.Y. on Saturday night, there won’t be a title on the line.
For a highly-ranked contender like Browne, who saw a prime opportunity to fight for his first world championship go up in smoke earlier this summer, that’s tough to handle.
But Browne (21-0, 16 KOs) can’t let that disappointment knock him off his game. He knows that if he gets derailed by Castillo (18-1-1, 13 KOs), then that high-ranking and the chance for a world title will drift away.
Browne said he doesn’t plan to lose sight of what’s in front of him and he’s not taking Castillo lightly in a 10-round match that will be broadcast on FS2 beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT. Browne-Castillo will be on the undercard of a telecast that will be headlined by former welterweight champions Andre Berto and Devon Alexander on FOX and FOX Deportes in primetime at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.
When the bell rings, the 27-year-old southpaw from Staten Island plans to give Castillo a heavy dose of all his skills. And those skills include his sharp jab, excellent footwork, lots of head movement, combination punching and a powerful right hand that finish things off.
Whenever Browne, a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic boxing team, unveils these skills he comes out victorious. Oftentimes, by knockout.
And while he refuses to say how this fight will end. He promises to not look beyond Castillo and deliver an impressive win for the fans.
Besides, Browne knows a victory keeps him on track toward a world title. And he doesn’t intend to let anyone stand in his way.
“A victory keeps me in title contention and keeps me moving forward, so I’m not sleeping on this kid,” Browne said. “He knows what a victory against me will do for him. I’m thinking the same way. I’m staying focused and I’m staying hungry. This fight is no different from the 21 I’ve had previously.”
For his part, Castillo, who is from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, is eager to prove he’s just as talented as Browne and just as worthy of a title shot. He has not displayed the power in his right hand that Browne possesses, nor the footwork, head movement, hand speed, punching combinations and sharp jab.
Nor has Castillo faced the same level of opposition as Browne. He enters this fight a huge underdog. But he’s ready for whatever the New York native throws his way Saturday night.
“I’ve been following Browne’s career for some time. Facing him was something I was waiting for, and now it’s better because he is [ranked] No. 2 in the WBO,” Castillo said.
If Castillo is going to upset Browne, he’ll need to be aggressive. He lacks Brown’s jab, hand speed and power, so making this fight ugly appears to be his best shot.
Avoiding Brown’s stiff jab will prove difficult. None of Brown’s previous foes have been able to do so. Browne has knocked out five of his last six opponents and looked very impressive in stopping Thomas Williams, Jr. and Sean Monaghan last year to climb higher in the rankings. In his last fight he scored an impressive TKO victory over Francy Ntetu on Jan. 20.
But Castillo is undaunted. He is confident he will leave the ring victorious and put himself in the title conversation.
There is one problem, however, Brown is also extremely confident. He isn’t looking beyond Castillo and is refusing to have his title shot taken from him. An upset Saturday night is unlikely.
Browne will not state aloud that he will finish Castillo early. He hasn’t called a knockout against any of his previous opponents, but read between the lines and you’ll hear Brown say that he expects to end this fight before Round 10.
“I’m going to show my skills. And the fight’s going to go as long as it goes,” Browne said. “I‘m ready for 10 rounds. But we don’t get paid for overtime.”
- Marcus Browne