By: Hans Themistode
Most of the boxing world stood in awe of Brian Castano. Just last weekend, the current WBO 154 pound titlist took on unified champion Jermell Charlo at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. Heading in, most observers gave Charlo the edge. While their contest would ultimately end in a split decision draw, there were plenty of onlookers who believed Castano (17-0-2, 12 KOs) did more than enough to pick up the win.
Although Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KOs) has racked up several high-quality wins over the course of his career, in the mind of many, Castano is a step above the rest of the competition he’s faced. For those who believe that’s the case, however, they’ll be immediately met with fulmination from current WBC middleweight titlist, and twin brother of Jermell in Jermall Charlo. Not only is he not convinced Castano is the best fighter his brother has ever fought but in fact, he believes he knows someone in the division who could defeat him.
“He threw a lot of punches,” said Jermall to a group of reporters following his brother’s split decision draw. “If you watch boxing you know. Tony Harrison would beat him.”
In back-to-back fights in 2018 and 2019, both Harrison and Charlo split a pair of meetings. Their first contest came in December of 2018. Despite being the heavy favorite, Charlo had significant trouble avoiding the jab of Harrison. That, in turn, resulted in the first defeat of his career, albeit controversial.
The two would do things again one year later but with vastly different end results. Charlo would score the stoppage win in the 11th after registering three knockdowns throughout the fight. Still, regardless of the explosive ending, Harrison was very much in the fight. At the time of stoppage, judge Tim Cheatham had it 95-94 in favor of Harrison. On the other hand, both David Southerland and Lou Mouret had it 96-93 in favor of Charlo.
With two close fights in the book between them, Jermall isn’t the only one who believes Harrison is a better fighter than Castano.
“I don’t think he was the best fighter he ever fought,” said Derrick James, trainer of Jermell. “He only had his way when Jermell stayed in one spot on the ropes. Other than that, he didn’t do anything. He’s not the best fighter he ever fought. I think Tony Harrison was probably better than him.”