AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW Sun: Jermell Charlo v Brian Castano II

All four major belts will be on the line this weekend as Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano renew their rivalry in Los Angeles, California. These two men first met back in July 2021 and fought to a close but controversial draw. The stakes couldn’t be higher in the rematch with the winner becoming the first undisputed light middleweight champion in recent history.

Heading into the first fight, Charlo was a sizeable favourite but the fight was competitive from the opening bell and after twelve rounds, the overwhelming feeling was that Brian Castano had done enough to spring an upset. Ultimately, the fight was called a draw much to the annoyance of Team Castano but it set up this mouth-watering rematch.

Jermell Charlo is a supreme talent who wasn’t at his best ten months ago but he will be looking to remind the world exactly why he is the unified light middleweight champion. The 31-year-old, who’s twin brother is the reigning WBC middleweight champion, has collected the WBC, WBA & IBF in recent years and is still considered the finest 154lb fighter in the world despite the controversial draw with Brian Castano.

Brian Castano fits the label of underdog perfectly. The 32-year-old Argentinian was a fine amateur and has done very little wrong in his ten-year professional career. He captured a world title in his eighteenth fight but is still not given credit he deserves by the boxing community.

Not many people gave the Argentinian much of a chance against Charlo the first time but he ripped up that script and gave a brilliant account of himself. Despite being wobbled in the second round, Castano rallied and took the fight to Charlo and managed to take the pre-fight favourite out of his comfort zone.

This rematch will play out very similar to the first contest due to the fact Castano knows only one way to fight. His front foot approach is predictable but very effective and he uses his marauding style perfectly to offset the gameplan of his opponent. Charlo enjoys the fight at mid-range and likes to dictate the tempo of a fight so that it suits his style. Castano refused to let that happen in the first fight and he will need to do that once again this weekend.

The one worry for Team Castano is that Jermell Charlo will be a lot better this time around. The unified champion did under perform in the first fight and it’s difficult to envision him not improving this time around. Despite not being at his absolute best, Charlo still had moments in the first contest and if he does improve, this rematch may be his to lose.

Long term readers of this article will remember we backed Castano at underdog odds last year but it feels like that could have been the perfect opportunity for him to claim supremacy at 154lb. He has also had well documented injury issues heading into this rematch and that may just swing the odds in the favour of Charlo.

This will be competitive once again but if Jermell Charlo has made the necessary adjustments, he should emerge victorious and cement his place as the number one 154lb fighter on the planet.

On the undercard, we have the pleasure of witnessing the next chapter in the career of Jaron Ennis. The 24-year-old puncher from Philadelphia is a blue-chip prospect who has all the attributes to become a multi weight world champion. At 28-0 he has huge amounts of experience for someone so young and it is difficult to not build him up as a future superstar.

As you would expect, Ennis was a standout amateur and his professional career has been perfectly managed to this point. This weekend he takes on Custio Clayton who is 19-0-1 and has some very solid wins on his record but he is ten years older than Ennis and the timing could be all wrong for the Canadian.

Ennis is a special talent and will be looking to hand Clayton his first stoppage defeats this weekend. With twenty-six knockouts in twenty-eight fights, it’s evident Ennis carries ferocious power but it’s interesting to note all those knockouts have come inside the first six rounds. He will be expecting another early night here and (3/1) for him to win in rounds 1-3 is tempting.

We also have action over in France this weekend as rising heavyweight contender Tony Yoka faces the biggest test of his career against Martin Bakole. Yoka won Olympic gold in 2016 after defeating Britain’s Joe Joyce and he has made steady progress as a professional building a record of 11-0 (9KO).

Martin Bakole is a very capable heavyweight who hails from Congo but trains full time in Airdrie, Scotland. With a record of 17-1, he is a well-respected contender but he must travel in the away corner to secure opportunities and that may go against him this weekend in France.

This fight is the perfect opportunity for Yoka to put himself on the radar of the world class heavyweights. The Frenchman has all the attributes to be a real contender but he will need a statement victory here to build some momentum behind him. In front of his home crowd, the Olympic gold medallist will be looking for the knockout and it could well come if he is patient enough to break Bakole down.

At (6/5) Tony Yoka to win by KO/TKO is bet that merits serious consideration this weekend.

JORDAN NEILD (@jjneildwriter)

BACK Jermell Charlo to win 2pts at 1/ 2 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)
BACK Tony Yoka to win by KO/TKO 1pt at 5/6 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)
BACK Jaron Ennis to win in rounds 1-3 1pt at 3/1 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)

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