Jermell Charlo became the first undisputed light middleweight champion in history by knocking out Brian Castano in Los Angeles last night.
The WBC, WBA and IBF champion won the WBO title from Castano in sensational fashion in the 10and round when he dropped the Argentine twice before referee Jerry Cantu left the fight.
After a few tight early rounds, Charlo began to assert his authority over the fight and was well ahead on the judges’ scorecards at the time of the stoppage.
The 31-year-old took his fate into the hands of ringside officials when he landed a monstrous left hook in the closing stages of the 10th round.
Castano’s reaction was delayed but he eventually hit the ground and appeared to stagger as he got to his feet.
Charlo seized his moment with a flurry of follow-up shots that once again sent his 32-year-old opponent to the canvas.
Castano didn’t get a chance to beat the count as the referee called off the fight after five seconds.
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This isn’t the first time Charlo and Castano have met in the ring.
The light middleweight duo battled it out to a split decision draw last July.
It looked like Castano had done enough to win the fight, but one of the judges scored it 117-111 in favor of Charlo, and another scored a draw, prompting a rematch.
After leaving no doubt in the second fight, Charlo joins Bernard Hopkins, Jermain Taylor, Terence Crawford Josh Taylor, Oleksandr Usyk and Canelo Alvarez as one of the seven undisputed champions of the four-belt era.
Charlo admitted immediately after the fight that he was feeling nervous ahead of the biggest fight of his life.
“I consider it a bit annoying. I felt like that was my first fight, you know, when you get nervous and you get ants in your pants. I just wanted to be in there,” he told Jim Gray after the fight.
The Louisiana native explained why he managed to complete his rematch with Castano after struggling to draw in their first fight.
“I listened to my corner this time, I can say,” Charlo said.
“I got into my bag around the seventh round. I started to sit a little more, instead of enjoying boxing so much and moving around. I see he was getting a bit exhausted and I was breaking it down.
“I just started to see my punches being more effective. I get stronger in the last few rounds, if they didn’t know that, and that’s what happened.