Saturday, May 14 Live on SHOWTIME® at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT
Undisputed IBF, WBA, WBC & WBO Super Welterweight Championship– 12 Rounds
Jermell Charlo – 152 ¾ lbs.
Brian Castaño – 153 ¾ lbs.
Referee: Jerry Cantu; Judges: Glenn Feldman (Conn.), David Sutherland (Okla.), Zachary Young (Calif.)
IBF Welterweight Title Eliminator – 12 Rounds
Jaron Ennis – 146 ¼ lbs.
Custio Clayton – 146 ½ lbs.
Referee: Ray Corona; Judges: Max DeLuca (Calif.), Alejandro Rochin (Mexico), Fernando Villarreal (Calif.)
Super Bantamweight Bout – 10 Rounds
Kevin Gonzalez – 121 lbs.
Emanuel Rivera – 121 ¾ lbs.
Referee: Gerard White; Judges: Rudy Barragan (Calif.), Carla Caiz (Calif.), Tiffany Clinton (Calif.)
Unified WBC, WBA, and IBF 154-pound world champion Jermell Charlo and WBO 154-pound world champion Brian Castaño received enthusiastic and genuine support from their respective fanbases at a heated and boisterous final press conference on Thursday.
The press conference also featured unbeaten welterweight rising star Jaron “Boots” Ennis and undefeated Canadian Olympian Custio Clayton, who meet in an IBF Welterweight Title Eliminator in the co-main event, plus Puerto Rico’s Emanuel Rivera, who squares off against Mexican contender Kevin González in the super bantamweight telecast opener of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Both fighters made clear their intention to leave no doubt in their rematch of one of 2021’s most significant fights, which was fought to a split draw in July on SHOWTIME. On Saturday night, they again will seek to become the first male undisputed super welterweight champion of the four-belt era.
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Thursday from The Westin LAX:
“I have to be dominant. I have to be the best Jermell Charlo that you all are yet to see. I will dominate this fight way differently than I did the last fight.
“Castaño is the same fighter as he’s been in every fight. He’s going to come and keep coming back up. I will use everything I learned from that fight, on Saturday night. I’m going to take advantage of what I have that he doesn’t have. I’m going to use the skills I’m blessed with.
“I’m going to be stronger, faster, and wiser than I’ve ever been before. Thank you, Castaño, for giving me more time to prepare myself.
“I’m grateful for my opportunities. This is my time, and I’m focused. He’s my target, and I’m going to pop him. I know what I possess in the ring. I know who I am, and I know where I come from.
“I’ve worked very hard since last July. All I have to do is go in there and put it all on the line. With the dedication that me and Derrick James I, along with my whole team, including Joan Guzman, put in, we’re ready.
“Knocking people out is what the f*** I do. That’s what I’m known for. I’m known for the power, and I’m known for the speed. That’s what I’m doing.
“I didn’t finish him, so I think that was the only mistake I made. I’m usually a closer. I have that in the back of my mind. Once he’s hurt again, and hopefully, it’s earlier than later, it’s over.
“There’s nothing he’s going to be able to do when we drop these bombs on him Saturday.”
“I prepare myself very seriously for every opponent I have in front of me. This time, it’s Charlo, and I promise you that I will be more than ready to give the fans a show on Saturday night.
“I thought fighting in his home state was a factor with the judges last time. I still think I’m the visitor here, but it has more of a ‘neutral’ feel than San Antonio did. The lesson I learned is always to have my guard up and be ready for whatever comes my way.
“It will be unique to show everyone what I’m capable of, especially in front of the Latin fans here. This is the culmination of years of work. I’m anxious to go out there and prove that I’m the champion and give the Latin fans the show that they deserve.
“He can say whatever he wants. I could care less if he wants to knock me out. Let’s go out there and see if he can withstand my punishment for 12 rounds.
The lack of respect he has for a fellow athlete bothered me. He said a lot of things that I thought were out of line. I don’t know why he’s all edgy and screaming and nervous. I’d instead show that energy in the ring.
“There isn’t one specific weapon I have that’s better than him because I tailor my style to my opponent. Charlo is going to see what I have in store for him. I’m more than ready to show that what I’ve prepared is more than enough to get the win.
“Charlo is a top-tier fighter. That’s true. But at this level, everyone has power. He’s strong, but nothing about his energy truly stands out to me compared to other fighters I’ve faced. Only one opponent has sent me to the mat, and it wasn’t Charlo.
“Saturday is going to be electric. We’ve been spicing this up. We’re guaranteeing a spectacle. You’re not going to want to miss it.
“The first fight motivated me because I thought that I won. I learned that I couldn’t leave this fight in the hands of the judges. I need to leave no doubt that I’m the superior fighter.”
“On paper, I don’t know if he’s my most formidable challenge. We won’t know until fight night. We’ll see when we get into the ring.
“I don’t watch tape on guys I fight unless I’ve seen them before. We had a great camp, and we will do what we do. Everyone is going to see me shine and make a big statement.
“Most definitely, I’m extending my knockout streak Saturday. We’re going to let it come; 19 in a row is coming. We’re not looking for it.
“We’re not looking past Clayton. We’re coming to do damage on Saturday and look good during it. I can talk about the future afterward, but I’m locked in on Clayton right now.
I know we have a banger of the main event, but I’m coming to steal the show. You know what my motto is, I’m in and out like a lottery.
“People are going to see me go in there and be seamless. This is just another day in the office for me. Another day, another dollar.”
“This would mean everything to me. I took a fight that most people wouldn’t have taken. This is the type of fight that I need in my career. That’s why I’m incredibly prepared for this.
“I’m coming to fight. We can’t say what will happen, but I’m here to fight.
“Of course, he’s confident he will get a knockout, but I’m here to make sure that doesn’t happen.
“I haven’t been able to get the fights that I’ve needed. So we decided to take this one, even though it’s a fight that not many people would have taken. This is the fight in that I need to prove myself.
“It’s hard to say what his flaws are because I don’t watch much footage. I don’t go by what someone did in their last fight. No one performs the same as they did in their previous contest. I have to be prepared on Saturday to do what I’m capable of doing, stopping him from getting the win.
“I’m a brilliant fighter with a great ring IQ. I haven’t been able to show everything yet, but I think that this fight will bring it out of me. This win would show everyone that I belong on his level.”
“I promise that I’m going to be 100% on Saturday night and give the best of myself. You’re going to see Puerto Rico come out on top again, and I’m going to put on a show for everyone.
“This will open up a lot of doors and open up a better future for my family. I’m coming in there as the best version of myself. This is going to be a tremendous fight.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, President, SHOWTIME Sports
“When we announced our schedule back in March, it was clear that the 154-pound division would play a significant role in our plans. But we had no idea the results would be this spectacular. We’ve had every one of the top six super welterweights fight on SHOWTIME in seven weeks. The goal is to answer the question without doubt, who is the best 154-pound fighter?
“Now we have the most critical and meaningful fight in the 154-pound division on Saturday night. SHOWTIME Sports is proud to announce this second chance at history. This is a PPV quality card without the PPV.
“No other platform has this level of quality and quantity for combat sports. May 14 is another Fight of the Year quality fight. No one is consistently giving fans these matchups week after week. That’s what we do at SHOWTIME. We have the best fighting the best week after week.
“If you’re not watching this card, you can’t call yourself a boxing fan. Suppose ever a matchup begged for a rematch. In that case, this is it.” last July in San Antonio, there were 12 grueling rounds between two fighters trying to make history as the first undisputed male 154-pound champion in the four-belt era.