Brian Castano says the pressure is on Jermell Charlo, not him

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The way Brian Castano sees it, he has one advantage going into his showdown with Jermell Charlo for the undisputed 154-pound championship Saturday at AT&T Center in San Antonio: The pressure is on his opponent.

Charlo, from Houston, is fighting in front of his fellow Texans. And Charlo’s favored to win.

“He has all the pressure on him being in his home state,” Castano said at a news conference Thursday. “I’ve been training so hard for nine months and I’m comfortable as the underdog, so I don’t feel any pressure.”

Of course, there is a lot at stake for both fighters. The opportunity to become the first to win all four major titles at 154 in the four-title era could be a one-time thing.

If Castano wins, he’ll instantaneously become one of the most storied fighters in the history of his country.

“We have a war to fight on July 17,” he said. “I’m not thinking about anything beyond that fight. My mind is fully set on becoming undisputed champion Saturday night. …

“I want to make not only Argentina but all of Latin America proud. That’s what I want to do on Saturday night.”

Castano (17-0-1, 12 KOs) has relied on volume punching and toughness to put himself in this position. His work rate allowed him to fight to a surprising draw with slick Erislandy Lara in March 2019 and outpoint Patrick Teixeira to win the WBO belt this past February.

That undoubtedly will be his plan of attack against Charlo (34-1, 18 KOs) on Saturday. At the same time, he has the experience – including almost 200 amateur fights – to make adjustments if necessary.

“When it comes down to it, if I have to lower my punch output to put more power on my punches, then I will,” he said. “I don’t like to focus on past fights, because we have our own game plans for this fight. I have a plan to come out victorious Saturday night.

“… In the end, I can only focus on what I’m going to do. If Charlo wants to be more finesse, I can deal with that. And if he wants to brawl, then by all means I will welcome that as well.”

And, finally, Castano, from Buenos Aires, has been inspired by the Argentina soccer team’s 1-0 victory over rival Brazil on Saturday to win the Copa America for the first time since 1993.

Major championships on back-to-back Saturdays sounds like a dream come true for him.

“Seeing Argentina win the Copa America last Saturday night motivated me even more,” he said. “[Lionel] Messi deserved his title, and he made the entire country happy. I hope that the party can continue a week later with an undisputed champion as well.”

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