Jermell Charlo stops Brian Castaño, claims 4th belt at 154 pounds – Daily News

CARSON — Jermell Charlo and Brian Castaño vowed their rematch for boxing’s undisputed 154-pound world championship would not go to the judges this time.

Ten months after fighting to a split draw in Charlo’s home state of Texas for the historic crowning of boxing’s first undisputed super welterweight champion during the four-belt era, neither man wanted to risk another decision.

For nine-plus rounds they fought like they meant it.

One of the best fights of the year ended when Charlo dashed the Argentine WBO champion’s hopes after a pair of knockdowns, culminating in the stoppage at 2:33 of the 10th.

“This is legacy,” said Charlo, who added Castaño’s WBO title to his collection of WBA, WBC and IBF belts. “This is something that is legendary. I’m a legend. This is a beautiful thing.”

Charlo put Castaño on the canvas the first time following a right to the body and a short left to the head that froze the Argentine, who appeared to crumble in slow motion.

Regaining his feet at the count of five, Castaño, 32, was knocked into a corner by a strong jab-right combination as Charlo charged forward. Another left snapped Castaño’s head straight back. The dominant champion added a body shot for good measure, prompting referee Jerry Cantu to wave off the fight and cement Charlo’s undisputed 154-pound status.

Unlike their first encounter, judges at ringside had Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs) comfortably ahead of Castaño (17-1-2, 12 KOs) heading into the fateful championship rounds.

Charlo said he felt nervous during the bout, almost like it was his debut contest, but he never appeared out of sorts even as Castaño out-landed him 194 to 173, per CompuBox numbers.

The mixed scores (117-111, 114-114, 113-114) from their initial bout reflected stylistic differences that were cast aside in the rematch.

Charlo, 31, preferred a far less ambitious attack in the first encounter, and his limited output had the effect of keeping him protected while finding openings through which to dish out his considerable punching power.

“I didn’t finish him so I think that was the only mistake I made,” Charlo said prior to Saturday’s rematch. “I’m usually a closer.”

Charlo found that form and refused to allow Castaño, who showed up to the venue late, to trap him against the ropes without a heavy response, making the first six rounds of their rematch much more active than their July 2021 contest at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.

“One thing we tried to change up was not being on the ropes too much and shoot some uppercuts from different angles,” Charlo said. “Throw punches he doesn’t see. That’s what we did. Throw punches on precise points of the body and break him down.”

Castaño was caught early in their contest last year before regaining his sensibilities and banking rounds, but with the Houston-born Charlo willingly going toe-to-toe on Saturday there would be no coming back this time.

“I didn’t fold,” said Charlo, who showed minimal physical damage on his face beyond a small cut on his lip. “I knew he was coming and would let him come and knew eventually he would not be there.”

A heavy exchange in the opening minute of the fourth round brought the fans at Dignity Health Sports Park to their feet.

Round 5 delivered the most violent stretch from both sides as the super welterweights unloaded power punches and produced loud roars from Argentine and American supporters alike.

“Obviously I applied the most pressure during the first six rounds but he was smarter this time and fights are fights,” Castaño said. “He caught me.”

As the bout moved into its latter stages, Charlo heeded the words of his trainer Derrick James by moving off a torrid brawling pace to more measured shots. Soon Castaño’s pressure dissipated. The deposed WBO titlist explained that Charlo’s decision to box from the sixth round was effective against him.

“I got in my bag around the seventh round,” said Charlo, who carried every round on the three judges’ cards the rest of the way. “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.”

Prior to the main event, budding welterweight star Jaron “Boots” Ennis continued his impressive unbeaten run by knocking out Custio Clayton (19-0-2) with a right hand behind the ear at 2:49 of Round 2.

The unbeaten 24-year-old Philadelphian improved to 29-0 (27 KOs) and secured a mandatory slot for the IBF title at 147 pounds, lining him up to challenge Errol Spence Jr., who watched the contest from ringside.

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