By Joseph Santoliquito
The undefeated super welterweight is ready for another world title shot following a one-sided victory over Wale Omotoso Saturday night on FS1.
OXON HILL, MD — It gnawed at Brian Carlos Castano for months. Should he have started pressing earlier? Should he have gone left when he stepped right? Should he have thrown more body shots instead of aiming for the head? Did he give Erislandy Lara too much respect when they fought back in March to a split-decision draw?
Castano doesn’t possess a time capsule to reverse that, so what he’s done in the meantime is invest in the present.
It’s been a good move.
Castano continues to make himself a viable contender to any one of the beltholders at 154 pounds, especially after dismantling the rugged Wale Omotoso Saturday night on FS1 from the MGM National Harbor in Maryland.
“The Lara fight did frustrate me,” Castano admitted. “I knew, and I know today, I could have done more and I could have thrown more punches. I know I won that fight. This day, I regret not doing what I could have done.
Castano wasn’t going to waste any time against Omotoso.
Midway through the first, Castano (16-0-1, 12 KOs) caught Omotoso with a quick one-two combination that had the Nigerian fighter backing up. If anything, Omotoso respected Castano’s power—and his speed.
Omotoso began the second more active, flicking his jab. That couldn’t hold off Castano. Seconds later, the fighter from Argentina was backing Omotoso (28-5, 22 KOs) into the ropes once again. Castano worked well up and down and dropped a right to Omotoso’s body.
The third followed the same routine as the first two rounds. Omotoso tried using his jab to cleave Castano’s high defense and couldn’t. When Castano hit Omotoso, it meant trouble. Castano’s anvil rights and lefts to the body had Omotoso reeling.
The “Lucky Boy” didn’t go down, though Castano’s dominance was so apparent, it was easy to see the judges possibly scoring the third a 10-8 round for Castano.
Down three rounds, Omotoso came out firing in the fourth. Just when it looked like Omotoso could possibly win the round, Castano came forward again, banging hard shots off of Omotoso’s head. This may have been the first round Omotoso won.
In the fifth, both fighters went at it—Omotoso trying to fight his fire with Castano’s. It was a courageous move, though it may not have been a wise one. Midway through the frame, Omotoso appeared to suffer an injury to his left shoulder.
After five, the ringside physicians took a close look at the shoulder. Omotoso could not answer the bell for the sixth. However, based on Castano’s dominance to that point, it may not have mattered.
“I’m ready to be a champion again,” Castano said. “I’m prepared for any of the champions in my division. There are lots of great fighters in this weight class, but I truly believe that I can beat any of them.”
Javier Fortuna scorches Jesus Cuellar in two rounds
Fortuna sent Cuellar to the canvas with a right toward the end of the first. Cuellar made it to his feet and was saved by a bell that rang as Fortuna poured it on.
Cuellar couldn’t match Fortuna’s handspeed or do anything to get out of the way of his shots. In the second, a beautiful counter hook followed by a right put Cuellar down and nearly through the ropes. Mere seconds after that, referee Bill Clancy wisely ended it at 2:01 of the second round.
It was a good sign for Fortuna. The stoppage was his first since he stopped Mario Beltre in June 2017.
Ryan Karl survives knockdown, beats Bergman Aguilar
Ryan Karl was the favorite going in but all that went out the window when Bergman Aguilarknocked Karl (18-2, 12 KOs) down in the first round. Ultimately, Karl found his footing and went to work, defeating Aguilar (15-6-1, 6 KOs) when he didn’t answer the bell for the sixth round.
Aguilar was visibly wincing in his corner and holding his left hand. He indicated that he hurt his hand throwing a jab in the first.
Rangy light heavyweight prospect David Morrell Jr. (2-0, 2 KO) looked impressive in stopping outclassed veteran Quinton Rankin (15-7-2, 12 KOs) at 1:01 in the second round of a scheduled eight-rounder.
In the preliminary opener of the FS1 broadcast, lanky welterweight Anthony Velázquez (8-0, 8 KOs) kept his kayo streak alive by stopping the game Michael Crain (3-4, 1 KO) at 1:59 of the seventh in a scheduled eight-rounder.
Super lightweight Gary Antuanne Russell (12-0, 12 KOs) followed Velázquez’s performance with a second-round knockout at :40 over Juan Huertas (14-3-1, 10 KOs) in a scheduled 10-rounder. Russell, the former 2016 U.S. Olympian, applied great pressure early. The barrage of punches caused Huertas’ left eye to swell. Huertas was smart enough to take a knee in the corner and end it there.
In the FS1 swing bout, junior welterweight Shyngyskhan Tazhibay (9-0, 2 KOs) beat Nícolas Atilio Velásquez (11-7, 3 KOs) by four-round unanimous decision.
Some of the worthwhile off-TV undercard results included: Bantamweight Gary Antonio Russell (16-0, 12 KOs) KO 1 (2:01) over Samuel Gutiérrez (16-26-6, 6 KOs); super welterweight Paul Kroll (6-0, 5 KOs) KO 4 (2:05) over Farhad Fatulla (1-4); super lightweight Patrick Harris (18-0, 8 KOs) KO 6 (:25) over Joaquim Carneiro (25-12, 23 KOs); lightweight Dravontay Speed Rawls (13-1-1, 8 KOs) W 8 Wanzell Ellison (11-2-1, 5 KOs).
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