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Brian Castano sees no reason to make significant adjustments when he meets Jermell Charlo a second time for the undisputed 154-pound championship Saturday in Carson, California (Showtime).
After all, from his perspective, their draw last July should’ve been scored in his favor.
“Absolutely,” he told Boxing Junkie through a translator. “I thought I won 115-113. Charlo is a strong fighter. We hurt each other equally. I just thought I was the superior fighter that night.
“Maybe they (judges? promoters?) wanted to see a rematch so badly they declared it a draw.”
The rematch between Castano (17-0-2, 12 KOs) and Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KOs) was originally scheduled for March 19. However, Castano suffered a minor tear in his right biceps, which resulted in a two-month postponement to give the injury time to heal.
Now at full strength, he has been training in the Los Angeles area to give himself the best chance to have his hand raised.
One area in which he might improve is punch output. Castano has become an elite fighter by applying smart, but relentless pressure on his opponents. However, in the first fight with Charlo, he threw fewer punches (586, according to CompuBox) than he normally does.
Does he need to be busier to win on Saturday? Not necessarily, he says.
“I believe I have to throw a similar number of punches or even less,” he said. “I have to focus on landing quality punches, not hitting his arms, not hitting his guard. It’s quality over quantity.
“I’m going to try to hurt him more than the first fight. That’s the key.”
The 32-year-old Argentine hopes his hard, accurate shots will result in a knockout or catch the attention of the judges so he isn’t disappointed again.
“I’ve been working hard to make sure that doesn’t happen,” he said. “If I get a knockout, obviously that’s great. If not, I’ve been working hard to impress the judges twice as much so there isn’t any doubt whatsoever.
“What I have to do is go out and win every round with twice as much impact. If I do, God willing, the outcome will be different.”
And if he is successful this time?
As it is, not many fighters from Castano’s country have made the impact that he has internationally. If he becomes the first undisputed junior middleweight champ in the four-belt era, he’ll join the likes of Carlos Monzon, Nicolino Locche and Sergio Martinez as true boxing heroes from Argentina.
“You have to keep in mind that no fighter from Argentina has ever been undisputed champion [in any weight class],” he said. “To take it to a level where I’m among the all-time greats from my country, that’s something I’m trying to accomplish.
“To make it would be a dream come true.”
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