CARSON, California – Brian Castano conceded that he’s not as strong a puncher as some of the most memorable champions from his native Argentina.
The former WBO junior middleweight champion still suspects that he hurt Jermell Charlo with a few of the flushest punches he landed during their fantastic fight Saturday night at Dignity Health Sports Park. Charlo, who fought masterfully off his back foot throughout their bout, moved away from Castano several times and initiated clinches in the early rounds, but the fully unified 154-pound champion never appeared truly hurt by any of the hard shots Castano landed to his head.
“He [was] probably hurt [with] some of my punches,” Castano said during their post-fight press conference. “But, obviously, I’m not a puncher like [Marcos] Maidana or [Lucas] Matthysse. But I can still punch. He knows it. But like I said, again, I’m happy with my performance, despite the loss, of course. And I feel that there’s some big room for corrections and improvements in my boxing.”
Buenos Aires’ Castano connected with more power punches than Houston’s Charlo, according to CompuBox’s unofficial statistics. CompuBox counted 194-of-610 power punches for Castano, 21 more than Charlo landed (173-of-559).
It was Charlo, however, who eventually hurt Castano in the final minute of the 10th round.
Charlo’s left hook initiated a delayed reaction and sent Castano to one knee with 52 seconds remaining in the 10th round. Castano got to his feet by the time referee Jerry Cantu’s count reached five, but Castano was badly hurt.
Once the action resumed, Charlo backed Castano into the ropes, landed a left uppercut to his head and knocked Castano to his gloves and knees with a left to the body when there were 34 seconds to go in their scheduled 12-round rematch. Castano was slow to get up from that second knockdown, which caused Cantu to call a halt to the action 2:33 into the 10th round.
Castano (17-1-2, 12 KOs) had been down only once in his first 19 professional bouts before Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs) dropped him twice in the 10th round of this “Showtime Championship Boxing” main event. Puerto Rico’s Emmanuel de Jesus dropped Castano in the second round of their November 2016 bout in Buenos Aires, but Castano came back to send de Jesus to the canvas in the sixth round, when Castano recorded a knockout and won the WBA interim super welterweight title.
He absorbed a lot of punishing punches from Charlo on Saturday night, but ultimately the 32-year-old Castano couldn’t withstand Charlo’s power.
“I tried to do my best war possible, [which] I promised I would do,” said Castano, who was behind on the scorecards 89-82, 88-83 and 87-84. “And I feel that I won the first fight, but tonight he caught me. He caught me and that was it. Nothing to say about [that], but I feel like I still have a lot to do in boxing.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.