Four world titles in the junior middleweight division will be on the line this weekend when Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano face off in the ring.

A victory would see either fighter become the first undisputed champion in this division since Winky Wright. After their first fight, which became an instant classic, was ruled a tie in July of last year, both men believed they had done enough to ensure victory. Castano controlled the tempo of the first fight but was almost knocked down by Charlo, and so this Saturday in Los Angeles they will look to finally settle the dispute.

Charlo always dangerous

Jermell Charlo is a unified light middleweight world champion, holding the WBC, WBA and IBF titles. Boxing pedigree appears to run in the Charlo family, with Jermell’s identical twin brother Jermall being a middleweight world champion holding the WBC championship belt.

Unlike his upcoming opponent, Charlo has lost a professional fight to Tony Harrison in which he lost the WBC light middleweight title. However, in their rematch he regained the belt in emphatic fashion with a TKO victory in the 11th round.

Charlo is a powerful fighter who will look to creep into range using his jab to good effect in order to set up his power punches. Although this means he can be caught in his approach, his slipping shots and high guard allow him to maintain a good defensive position.

In his rematch against Harrison, Charlo used his left hook to particularly good effect as a counter punch and as a slip and left-hook to the body combination. He did this to address the problems that he encountered with Harrison’s jab. It is likely that he will want to utilise this powerful left-hook to take back some control of the fight from Castano who dictated the tempo for much of their first encounter. Charlo is currently the favourite to win the rematch at 1/2 and it’s 16/1 for another draw.

Castano will look to control tempo again

Castano had an extremely accomplished amateur career, amassing an impressive record of 179-5-5. He was introduced to the sport by his father Carlos Castano who was also a professional boxer and who is still his son’s trainer.

In his professional career he maintains an undefeated record, winning 17 of his 19 fights, drawing against Erislandy Lara and Jermell Charlo which subsequently set up the much-anticipated rematch between Castano and Charlo. Although he is undefeated, he is the underdog at 6/4.

Castano will want to be cautious of Charlo’s power and effective counter-striking, which almost caught him out in the first fight. If he can learn from the mistakes he made and nullify Charlo’s power shots whilst still maintaining control of the tempo of the fight as he did in their first meeting, we could see a victory for Castano.