Derrick James is the highly-acclaimed trainer of Jermall Charlo, the unification junior middleweight champion. He recalls his fighter’s thrilling — but equally disputable — split draw with Brian Castano. One key stretch comes to mind in relation to Saturday’s fight.

Castano (17-0-2, twelve KOs), outfought his opponent in their undisputed championship bout at 154 pounds in San Antonio. However, Castano was forced to endure the stormy Charlo (34-1-1 and 18 KOs), rally in the championship rounds.

The judges gave it 114-114 for Charlo, and 117-111 to Castano. Many observers believed that Castano had done enough to win.

“This is the funny part about it, Brian Castano wasn’t who I expected him to be. Jermell Charlo was the only thing that made him that man,” James said to “Morning Kombat”, in April. It wasn’t about [Castano’s] greatness, it was about the fight Jermell Charlo gave him. You can see that [Castano] was running because Charlo was hunting in the final four rounds.

“If you start the fight like this, you might not see the final four rounds or the entire 12 rounds. We must start the fight differently and be different individuals. Castano is what he is. Castano is a pressure fighter, and you can’t beat him if he’s just himself.”

Charlo, 31, has already predicted that the rematch will take place at Dignity Sports Park in Carson (Showtime, 9:59 p.m.). ET) will see him knock Castano out.

Charlo is a Houston native and the twin brother to WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo. He has a history of redeeming himself in big matches after rebounding from a disputed loss against Tony Harrison in 2018. He stopped Harrison late in their rematch one years later.

Castano, 32 is a completely different fighter from counter-boxing Harrison. Castano was able to use his combination of aggression and responsible defense to defeat Charlo’s jab (he landed only 53 of 287 for 18.5% according to CompuBox), and routinely got inside.

Castano was able to disarm Charlo despite his lower output than in previous fights due to Charlo’s heavy counter shots. There was much Monday morning quarterback talk about Charlo’s inefficiency and refusal to let go.

James continues to dispute this notion.

James stated, “It all depends on your taste in boxing and what you like.” What are your expectations? You don’t want to see him throw 1000 punches. He will only be able to do that if you expect to see him throwing only 999. You will be able to see him box and throw power shots, which gives you depth.

You don’t know if it’s a boxer or a puncher, but he can do whatever he wants and that’s what keeps people interested because they don’t know what to expect. This gives him depth, rather than reducing his career or lowering everyone’s expectations of what they would get.

Charlo’s claims regarding Castano’s decision to withdraw from their February rematch has added another wrinkle to the rivalry. Charlo claimed that Castano faked an injury and never left the gym, as he felt he needed to prepare for their second fight.

Castano stated that he would make him pay for all he said and all that occurred in the first fight during last Thursday’s virtual conference. “I’m going break him, and I’m going make him suffer. That’s it. It doesn’t really matter if the event is in front of 1, 2, 3, or 3 hundred people, or even 20,000. He is all I’m after, he alone. That’s it.

Are you a fan of MMA and boxing? Two of the most respected names in combat sports provide the latest news. For the latest analysis and news, subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas or Brian Campbell. Below is a preview of Charlo-vs. Castano 2.

The boxing world’s first undisputed champion of junior middleweight becomes the winner of this fight in the four-belt era.

Saturday’s tripleheader begins with a fight at junior featherweight, when Kevin Gonzalez faces Emanuel Rivera. Gonzalez, a Mexican native, is currently unbeaten at 24-0-1, with 13 KOs. This is his first fight in the United States. Jaron “Boots”, Ennis will be taking on Custio Clayton in an IBF title eliminator for welterweight. Ennis has a 28-0 record and 26 knockouts. Ennis had a phenomenal 2021, where he won two finishes against Sergey Lipinets and Thomas Dulorme.

Here is the complete televised fight deck with the most recent odds from Caesars Sportsbook. Before we move on to the prediction and pick for main event,

Castano deserves a lot of credit for everything that went well the first time. Charlo was clearly hurt by his left hooks and lunging against the ropes during the first round. Castano managed to maintain an aggressive pace with no punishment thanks to his high guard and head movement.

Castano’s performance last summer was in many ways a great one. This leaves some question as to whether he can improve. Charlo on the other side, however, is almost certain to be able.

Charlo’s prediction of a knockout is a positive sign for those who back him as a slight betting favourite. Charlo makes big statements when he fights with intent. Charlo, particularly at the elite level of the fight, is simply a better fighter when he uses his jab to attack and lets go.

Charlo is often too obsessed with finding the perfect counterpunch that will end the fight. For example, he had caught Harrison in Round 11 in their first fight. However, his relative inactivity had made the fight too close on the scorecards.

Charlo can be his worst enemy, regardless of whether he lacks 12-round stamina and frustrates with his intention. If he doesn’t take responsibility for his actions and allow them to go more often, it could lead to him being unable or unwilling to accept defeat. Castano will have a harder time winning if Charlo makes Castano pay for his real estate.

Castano will have to bite down on his mouthguard sometimes to achieve this but Charlo’s speed, power, and boxing intelligence are going to be too much for him over the long-term. Charlo clearly began to see the right angles to do this, as evident by their third meeting.

Pick: Charlo via UD12

Charlo vs. Castano 2, who wins? Which prop is a must back? Check out SportsLine to find Brandon Wise’s top bets on Saturday. All from the CBS combat sport specialist.