Jermell Charlo became the first undisputed super welterweight champion of the four-belt era when he stopped Argentina’s Brian Castano in the 10th round of their rematch on Saturday night in Carson, Calif.
After a stellar fight with plenty of end-to-end action, Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs) dropped Castano twice in quick succession in the 10th. Charlo jumped on the ropes in celebration as the referee still counted his opponent, celebrating Castano’s 154-pound WBO title addition to his WBC, WBA and IBF belts.
After undefeated Philadelphia welterweight Jaron Ennis stopped Custio Clayton of North Preston, N.S. with a vicious right hand in the second round of the show’s penultimate fight, the main event was slightly delayed because Castano showed up late to the arena, according to the fight. promoters.
Ennis (29-0, 27 KOs) underscored his elite welterweight status with a violent victory in a meeting of undefeated contenders. Clayton (19-1-1) fell in a heap after Ennis’ severed right hand, and the Canadian stood on wobbly legs before the fight was called off.
“I keep telling you all every time: we went in and out like a flight,” Ennis said. “We don’t get paid for overtime.”
After an impressive debut in California, 24-year-old Ennis awaits an opportunity against elite welterweights like Errol Spence Jr., who attended that fight.
Charlo survived several impressive first rounds from Castano (17-1-2) in the Fighters Draw rematch 10 months ago in Texas. Charlo is only the seventh fighter to simultaneously hold every major title in any weight class since the four-belt era began in 1988.
Charlo, a Houston native and twin brother of middleweight champion Jermall Charlo, executed an impressive tactical and counterattacking game plan under a near-full moon at Dignity Health Sports Park, the famous outdoor stadium south of the downtown Los Angeles.
After catching Castano with a right uppercut and a left hook for the first knockdown, Charlo dropped Castano again seconds later with two left hands to the head and a left to the body, leaving Castano on the canvas.
Both fighters came out eager for exchanges, Castano pressing forward again and Charlo counter-hitting deftly. Charlo was sharp on the ropes, but Castano got the better of him on a back and forth in a thrilling fourth round.
The fifth round was even better, with devastating shots thrown by both fighters. Charlo then bent Castano’s knees with a huge left hand in the seventh, but Curiously, Charlo didn’t move to pursue a finish.
Turns out Charlo had a better plan after all.
Charlo’s continued success
Charlo’s victory is a defining moment in the history of the best fighters between middleweight and welterweight.
Charlo won his first version of a 154-pound title in 2013, and he won the WBC belt in May 2016. He lost it to Tony Harrison in December 2018, but won it back with a knockout victory in the rematch and quickly added the WBA and IBF Belts by stopping Jeison Rosario in September 2020.
Castano has carved out an impressive career fighting in Buenos Aires, although he has been training in Los Angeles since January. He held versions of the WBA 154-pound title for three years before claiming the WBO bracelet last year.
Castano came awfully close to an impressive upset when he first met Charlo last July. Despite his height and reach disadvantages, Castano consistently pushed forward and forced Charlo into less appealing counter moves.
But the judges couldn’t decide, with one scoring for each fighter and the third seeing a draw. Neither belt changed hands and the fighters planned a rematch for February – but Castano tore his bicep muscle and required a postponement.