By Paul Magno
Two of the division’s most aggressive battlers meet in a super welterweight battle with major implications Saturday night on FS1.
When a division is as deep and as full of parity as super welterweight is right now, there’s no margin for error. The cliché of a “must win” fight becomes a truism.
This Saturday, November 2, headlining an FS1 PBC Fight Night and FOX Deportes card (10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT) live from MGM National Harbor in Maryland, undefeated former 154-pound titlist Brian Castaño (15-0-1, 11 KOs) meets veteran battler Wale “Lucky Boy” Omotoso (28-4, 22 KOs) in a 10-round super welterweight battle with “must win” implications.
The Premier Boxing Champions card includes a co-feature pitting former world champions Javier “El Abejón” Fortuna and Jesús Andrés Cuellar against one another in a 10-round super featherweight showdown.
Just about three months after the biggest performance of his career—a twelve-round split decision draw with former world champ Erislandy Lara – Argentina’s Castaño found himself stripped of his WBA super welterweight title over failed efforts to put together a bout with mandatory challenger Michel Soro.
This upcoming bout is Castaño’s first step forward from that mess and toward another world title.
Omotoso, meanwhile, is walking proud after a three-round crushing of heavy-handed Curtis Stevens in August. It was the biggest win of his career. The Lagos, Nigeria native, who now resides in Los Angeles, brings a gritty determination that helped him escape gang life in Nigeria for a second chance in America through boxing.
Castaño wants a shot at reclaiming a world title that he never lost in the ring. The only way to do that is by stringing together impressive victories against quality opposition. A loss on Saturday would completely derail his mission and likely send him back to Argentina where he’d have to regroup as a big fish in a small pond.
Omotoso is looking to build off the upset Stevens stoppage and make his own case for a world title shot against one of the division elites. While a loss on Saturday would be less devastating for him than for Castaño, it would send him right back to his place before Stevens as a tough, capable trial horse for main stage talent.
Castaño is a talented, versatile fighter who proved his world class chops in the bout with Lara. A come-forward boxer by nature, he is smart in his aggression with a high-guard defense and upper body movement to not only avoid shots, but also set up counters.
The undefeated Argentine is also brimming with confidence. He will not second-guess his efforts and is not afraid to put everything out there in pursuit of a win.
On the downside, Castaño, because he sometimes doesn’t vary the pace or speed of his efforts, can be predictable. He also doesn’t make the transition from offense to defense (or vice versa) well and that creates openings for incoming offense.
“ I want to show against Omotoso and the world that I’m ready for everyone ”Undefeated Super Welterweight Contender – Brian Castano
Omotoso comes forward and keeps coming forward, something which puts stress and pressure on his opposition. Although he claims his right hand as the best offensive weapon in his arsenal, he’s got solid power in both hands although he slings shots from the side rather than sitting down on his punches. A lead left hook he likes to throw is not all that devastating, but it is off-putting and could be used as a quality setup punch.
Extremely tough and tenacious, Omotoso is a hard man to beat down and keep down. His sturdy chin and instinct to fight back make him a very difficult foe to handle in a toe-to-toe battle.
Because he’s so dedicated to coming forward, however, he often fights with too much weight over his front foot and that makes him ineffective against fighters who have lateral movement and/or quality footwork.
Brian Carlos Castaño via Boxing Junkie / USA Today
“I want to show against Omotoso and the world that I’m ready for everyone. He is a warrior that always comes straight forward to fight. He has proven many times that he can take punches and compete with anyone. Since I´m a warrior too, I think the fans are going to be in for an exciting war.”
“I’m very excited for this fight against a great opponent who is always in exciting fights like me. None of the welterweights wanted to fight me because I’m too dangerous, so now I’m on my way to fighting the best at 154-pounds. I feel stronger and more solid in my base at this weight. I know that I’m going to have to be at my best against Castaño and do what I know how to do.”
It’s going to be an interesting bout if the come-forward Castaño decides to meet the come-forward Omotoso in a head-on collision. Castaño may have the hand speed and overall skill to win the bout in that manner, but he’ll be vulnerable to Omotoso all night and would be presenting the underdog with a solid chance of scoring the upset.
The Argentine has the ability to mix some movement and nuance into his approach and would be wise to do so.
The Nigerian, meanwhile, needs to barrel forward and keep Castaño moving back, where he has shown defensive lapses and liabilities. Omotoso needs to turn a boxing match into a fist-flinging brawl and count on Castaño throwing caution to the win in the midst of battle.
Whatever happens Saturday, though, the winner of Castaño-Omotoso will stay on track for big things in the immediate future. The loser will be forced to take maybe two full steps back.
Article courtesy of PBC