Brian Castaño ready to prove himself against former champion Erislandy Lara
Brian Castaño (15-0, 11 KOs), the World Boxing Association super welterweight world champion, is just one week away from his bout against former world champion, Erislandy Lara (30-3-2, 14 KOs). The title fight will be held on Saturday, March 2 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and will be Castaño’s first main event in the United States. Though it’s his first major fight stateside, Castaño is determined to prove himself as a legitimate world champion.
“I’ve been boxing since I was a small child and now this is my opportunity to prove myself on the biggest stage,” Castaño told Premier Boxing Champions. “This fight is the moment I’ve been waiting for and the kind of tough challenge that I love. I want to make a statement to the American audience against one of the best fighters in the world.”
Castaño is looking to solidify his name amongst other Argentinian world titlists such as Marcos Maidana, Lucas Matthysse and Sergio Martinez with this title defense. Castaño told PBC that he recently spoke to Martinez and said he was “able to learn a lot” from conversations with the former world champion leading up to the fight against Lara.
This will be Castaño’s second fight as the WBA’s world champion. He previously held the WBA interim championship, a title which he won in 2016 via knockout against Puerto Rico’s Emmanuel de Jesús. Castaño was awarded the world title after Demetrius Andrade vacated the belt in October of 2017.
In March of 2018, Castaño made his first defense as the regular world champion with a last minute stoppage against French veteran, Cédric Vitu
With exactly one minute to go in the fight, Castaño knocked Vitu down with a pair of alternating hooks. Vitu would beat the count, but Castaño finished off the fight with a flurry of unanswered punches at the 31 second mark of the 12th and final round.
Castaño will be making a major step-up in competition when he enters the ring in Brooklyn on March 2nd. Lara is arguably Castaño’s most notable opposition to date.
Lara established himself in the boxing world as an amateur, winning two gold medals and a world championship as a member of the Cuban national team. Since defecting from Cuba in 2008, he has been able to translate his technical skills to the professional ranks.
Lara reigned as the WBA light middleweight champion from 2014 to 2018. He made a total of six title defenses before losing by split decision to Jarrett Hurd in a bout that was awarded Fight of the Year by ESPN, Sporting News and the Boxing Writers Association of America.
Lara has not fought since the loss to Hurd — an 11 month layoff, which is the longest of his career. Despite the long layoff, Castaño acknowledges Lara’s skill and experience.
“When you are a world champion, there are no easy foes,” Castaño said to PBC. “The opponents come stronger and stronger each time. Lara moves around the ring very wisely and has great timing on the counterpunch. Lara is a slick fighter that can be difficult to catch.”
The clash of fighting styles between Castaño and Lara should make for an entertaining bout. Castaño spends most of his time pressuring forward while Lara is known for his technical style and defensive abilities.
Although Lara is coming in with a more accomplished résumé , a well-known name and proven boxing skills, Castaño is a young champion ready to prove that his potential is promising.
“I’ve taken my career quietly to this point, but I know that I have to make myself known by putting up a great performance in this tough fight,” Castaño said to PBC. “I probably haven’t faced someone like him before. This is the opportunity that I’ve dreamed of ever since I was a little kid and I have to be ready to rise to the occasion.”