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Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano meet on February 26th at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas

Image: Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano meet on February 26th at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas

By Matt Lieberman: Fans will be getting a treat on February 26th with junior middleweight champions Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano squaring off for undisputed 154-lb championship on Showtime Boxing at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

ESPN’s Mike Coppinger reports the news of the Charlo vs. Castano 2 fight having been agreed on for February 26th. This should be an excellent fight for as long as it lasts.

The question is, can Brian Castano stand up to Charlo’s explosive power once again. If so, will the judges get the scoring right this time?

Collectively, the boxing public thought the scoring for the previous Charlo vs. Castano fight was bad last July, and they don’t want to see a repeat.

Four months ago, IBF/WBA/WBC 154-lb champion Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KOs) and WBO champion Castano (17-0-2, 12 KOs) fought to a virtual standstill for 12 rounds on July 17th, with the judges scoring it a majority draw.

Image: Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano meet on February 26th at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas

Going into the bout, this writer felt that Charlo, 31, would have too much power for Castano, but the Argentinian warrior stood up to the hard shots from the Texas native and appeared to take over the fight in the second half.

Castano showed no fear of Jermell and wore him down in the championship rounds with his steady pressure.

While Charlo did land some nice shots that would have knocked out most fighters, Castano took them and kept nailing him with punches. Jermell looked frustrated and furious at the end, not used to having an opponent that could fight back.

It was pretty clear at the end that the promoters for the Charlo vs. Castano event had to set up a rematch because there were too many cries of robbery from the fans, who as a whole felt that the Argentinian had done enough to win

It was strange hearing Jermell get booed in his home state at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, but the fans weren’t happy with what they felt was scoring that made no sense.

Charlo looked like a world-beater in the first two rounds, but by the third, he started to show fear after getting hit by some big shots from Castano.

From that point on, Jermell looked overly cautious and not showing the same fearlessness that we’d seen from him in the past. Charlo seemed like he was enjoying himself, but he was getting hurt by Castano.

The Charlo vs. Castano II fight winner will need to deal with the two mandatory defenses that are now due. WBO mandatory Tim Tszyu and IBF mandatory Bakhram Murtazaliev are waiting for their title shot.

Surprisingly, Charlo and Castano are meeting so soon, as they thought they’d both take care of their mandatory obligations before meeting again. But it’s understandable why the promoters wanted to set up a rematch as soon as possible to take advantage of the interest in their fight last July.

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