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Judges? Who needs judges? Not Jermell Charlo.
Charlo and fellow 154-pound titleholder Brian Castano fought to a draw in a fight that was supposed to determine an undisputed champion last July. This time, he has said repeatedly, he plans to maintain full control of the result.
Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KOs) and Castano (17-0-2, 12 KOs) will fight a second time Saturday in Carson, California (Showtime).
“I don’t want this fight to go the distance. I don’t get paid for overtime,” he said at a media workout in Los Angles. “I’m excited and I’m ready to go. … Castano is going to have to do something different this fight. If not, he knows he’s getting slept.
“Whatever he does or whatever move he makes, I’m going to be on him. My goal is to knock him out.”
The focus will be on Jermell Charlo this Saturday night. Stephanie Trapp / Showtime
One of Charlo’s biggest victories came in a rematch, his second fight with Tony Harrison in December 2019.
The slick Harrison narrowly outpointed Charlo a year earlier to take the Texan’s title. However, in the rematch, a determined Charlo ended what had been a competitive fight by putting Harrison down twice and then stopping him in the 11th round.
Charlo also sounds particularly motivated for his second meeting with Castano. However, he says his upcoming fight is different from the Harrison rematch.
“I don’t take much from the last rematch I had against Tony Harrison,” he said. “That was a totally different opponent. I’m just preparing for Castaño. There’s no correlation with my last rematch. I’m just focused on who I’m facing.”
Charlo arguably has already built a Hall of Fame resume, with victories over Gabriel Rosado, Vanes Martirosyan, Erickson Lubin, Austin Trout, Harrison and Jeison Rosario.
A victory over Castano on Saturday would be his crowning achievement. He’d become the disputed king of his division, would make it difficult to keep him off pound-for-pound lists (he’s No. 11 on Boxing Junkie’s list) and clinch a spot in the Hall.
Charlo isn’t thinking about the possibility of entering the Hall of Fame one day but “undisputed” definitely has a nice ring to it.
“Being on the undisputed list means more to me than being on pound-for-pound lists,” he said. “I want to be on the top tier and for people to see that I’m undisputed and say that he’s an animal. This is my moment.
“… I don’t worry about pound-for-pound lists and whether I’m on them. If I win these belts, they might have to. If I go in there and knock him out, or handle my business for 12 rounds, that’s it. They won’t be able to deny me.”
Yes, Charlo has a lot to gain on Saturday.