It’s not the main event (Saturday, DAZN, 8 PM EST) but it might be the best fight of the weekend on paper. It’s certainly the most intriguing in the big picture of its weight class.The winner can, and should, be seen as one step from a four-belt unification clash with lineal Jr. middleweight king Jermell Charlo.

Given the offensive mindset of both men, fans are likely to have something to look forward to no matter who wins. It’s a mandatory that feels like more than politics leaving us with more than enough to look forward to before unification questions can genuinely arise. Call it the boxing version of a World Cup semi.

Brazil vs. Argentina to get to the final.    

Let’s get into it.

Stats and Stakes

Patrick Teixeira

Age: 30

Current Titles: WBO Jr. Middleweight (2019-Present, 1st Attempted Defense)

Previous Titles: None

Height: 5’11 ½    

Weight: 153 ¼ lbs.

Stance: Southpaw

Hails from: Sao Paolo, Brazil

Record: 31-1, 22 KO, 1 KOBY

Press Rankings: #9 (TBRB, Ring, ESPN, Boxing News, BoxRec)

Record in Major Title Fights: 0-0 (1-0 in interim title fights)

Last Five Opponents: 104-19-3 (.837)

Notable Outcomes, TBRB and/or Ring Rated Foes: None

Additional Current/Former Titlists Faced: None


Brian Castano

Age: 31

Title: None

Previous Titles: None (Held WBA sub-title at 154 lbs.)

Height: 5/7 ½  

Weight: 153 ¾ lbs.

Stance: Orthodox

Hails from: Isidro Casanova, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Record: 16-0-1, 12 KO

Press Rankings: #4 (Brian Castano), #5 (TBRB, Ring), #6 (ESPN, Boxing News)

Record in Major Title Fights: 0-0 (3-0-1, 2 KO in WBA sub-title fights)

Last Five Opponents: 146-11-3 (.923)

Notable Outcomes, TBRB and/or Ring Rated Foes: Michael Soro SD12; Erislandy Lara D12

Additional Current/Former Titlists Faced: None

The Pick: While he carries a reach advantage of roughly nine inches, and stands several inches taller, Teixeira’s isn’t a style that uses those edges to try to create space. Instead, the titlist uses a deceptively quick right jab to try to open up opportunities for his left. There is a real whip to some of Teixeira’s shots but he can sometimes square up when he steps forward with his left and it leaves him open. Castano has the edge in the level of opposition he’s defeated or been competitive with, despite fewer fights. The challenger throws more compact shots, has a tighter defense, and will likely have a strength advantage in tight quarters.

There are reasons to like both guys here. If Teixeira can be first more often, it could stop Castano from putting together the sort of combinations and body assaults he will need. He might not fight long, but Teixeira may have quicker hands and his long limbs from the southpaw stance will be an issue. If Castano can stay from mid to close range, he’s going to find a long target and one he may be able to bully as the rounds wear on. 

Teixeira was stopped once against Curtis Stevens who landed a massive shot Teixeira never saw coming. To his credit, Teixeira beat the count and was deemed too wobbly to go on. Castano may be a better overall opponent but he doesn’t appear to carry the same kind of power as Stevens. This feels like a fight that will go rounds and see a lot of leather fly. In the end, Castano’s tighter offense and better defense should be enough to sway the judges in a competitive decision.      

Cliff’s Notes…

The main event for the DAZN show still looks good even with now-former IBF Jr. lightwewight beltholder Joseph Diaz blowing weight by more than three pounds. Missing weight isn’t the same as being out of shape and Diaz appeared stout and may have sacrificed his belt to avoid sacrificing his body. Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov is a legitimate threat no matter the scale. Quick and heavy handed, he’s the upset pick by decision here...ESPN (8:15 PM EST) has a solid main event even after losing Joe Smith-Maksim Vlasov. Former lightweight titlist Richard Commey returns against Jackson Marinez. Marinez could still be undefeated but for a highly debatable call against Rolando Romero last year. Marinez is tough and quick but doesn’t seem to carry big power. The straighter shots and better pop of Commey should see the veteran to the winner’s circle.   

Rold Picks 2021: 3-0

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at