Jermell Charlo vs Brian Castano has the potential to be the fight of the year

I’m not a fan of title diversification in boxing but since we have four recognised belts, it’s quite the achievement to hold them all.

Victory for Jermell Charlo, who holds the IBF, WBC and WBO super-welterweight straps, over WBA champ Brian Castano in Texas would make him only the sixth fighter to unify all the titles.

Bernard Hopkins and Jermaine Taylor held the distinction at middleweight, Terence Crawford and Josh Taylor at super lightweight and Oleksandr Usyk at cruiserweight.

There is a bit of the Marvin Hagler about Charlo. He fights with a chip on his shoulder like Marvin did. It gives him energy.

Charlo is a tremendous operator, a classic box fighter. He is more exciting than brother Jermall and feels he does not get the credit he deserves.

So this could be his passage to the Hall of Fame status he craves.

Castano is tough, and if he comes to win as promised, could make this a fight-of-the-year contender.

Both are crammed in at the weight, which means by the time they enter the ring they will be more than a stone heavier than 11st super welterweight limit.

Charlo is the naturally bigger man and will look enormous to Castano.

The one defeat he suffered on points to Tony Harrison in December 2018 was a surprise. Although he felt otherwise Charlo was genuinely beaten.

One year later he had his revenge taking out Harrison in 11th. Should he get the job done in San Antonio he will look to move up to middleweight with his brother.

Since he won’t be fighting him, Demetrius Andre and Gennady Golovkin are the obvious targets.

First he has to get through the undefeated Castano, who is typical of the Argentine breed, tough as hell.

Styles make fights. I can see Castano bringing out the beast in Charlo who is a ruthless puncher and will want to force the stoppage.

Our own Anthony Fowler will be an interested observer, measuring both opponents to see how he compares.

Fowler fights in a couple of weeks against Roberto Garcia and is ready to move up. But we want another couple of fights before striking out at world level.

There is no short cut in that process. You go too soon you invite punishment and defeat.

Charlo needs to make the most of the next couple of years while still at his peak. I see a late stoppage or points win then up to middleweight.

Follow Barry on Twitter at @ClonesCyclone, @McGuigans_Gym and @CyclonePromo

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