WBO champion Brian Castano will look to carry on the fine sporting traditions of his native Argentina when he meets WBC, WBA Super and IBF title holder Jermell Charlo for the undisputed 154lbs crown in San Antonio on July 17 and feels victory would be like Lionel Messi lifting the World Cup.
Castano (17-0-1, 12 KOs) has been pegged as a 21/10 outsider by the bookmakers, but is already dreaming big, having defeated Brazilian rival Patrick Teixeira for the WBO crown in February and previously held the WBA Regular belt in a run that saw him outpoint the avoided Michel Soro and draw with the slick Cuban Erislandy Lara.
Houston’s Charlo (34-1, 18 KOs) appears at the peak of his powers, but the Argentine feels ready to seize the opportunity of a lifetime in next weekend’s bout at the AT&T Center.
“This is my opportunity. This is the fight of my life. I’m a world champion and Charlo is a world champion. The chance to become undisputed is just days away and I can’t wait. This is my time,” said Castano. “This fight is so important for my life. I hope to become undisputed on July 17 for my country and for my Latin supporters.
“This is one of the most important fights in Argentina’s history. It’s for four belts, undisputed at 154 pounds. It’s a great opportunity for my team, my manager, my family and most importantly, for me. This will be the hardest fight of my career.
“Charlo is a great fighter, there’s no doubt about it. But I came here to do my job and I’m going to come forward. I’m the type of fighter that is always going after you. I’m always there to pressure you. Even though Charlo said that I don’t have anything he hasn’t seen before, he has never seen anybody with my fighting style.
“I’ve seen Charlo knock down a lot of fighters with just one punch. That’s something to look out for. However, I have more of a variety in my arsenal than anybody he has fought before. If I have to be more aggressive and go for more power instead of finesse, rest assured that I can knock him down as well. On July 17, I can guarantee that I will bare my soul, I will leave my heart in the ring and do everything in my power to become the undisputed, unified champion of the world.
“If I win, the glory would be equal to a potential Argentina World Cup title next year. However, soccer is different because you have 10 other people that you can rely on. [Lionel] Messi has 10 teammates that he can pass the ball to when things get tough, but when I’m in the ring I’m on my own. Boxing is more of an individual challenge. When I’m up against the ropes, I have to get out of it on my own. The glory and the excitement of a win would be the same as an Argentina World Cup for my country.”
Main image: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions.