Castano to Defend WBA Super Welterweight Title Against Lara

Brian Castano to Defend WBA Super Welterweight Title Against Erislandy Lara

WBA super welterweight champion Brian Castano will defend his belt against former champion Erislandy Lara this weekend in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Updated: Feb. 28, 2019 • 10:37 AM ET

Brooklyn, N.Y. will host this weekend's WBA super welterweight title fight.

The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. will host a WBA super welterweight title fight this Saturday, as champion Brian Castano will defend his belt against former champion Erislandy Lara.

In his last fight and first title defense nearly a year ago, the 29-year-old Castano secured a dramatic 12th-round TKO victory over Cedric Vitu. Despite the win, Castano (15-0, 11 KOs) will enter Saturday’s fight as somewhat of an unknown champion to many.

Castano has other notable wins over Michel Soro and Emmanuel de Jesus, both of which were interim title fights. Yet, the Argentinian fighter knows his toughest test awaits on Saturday.

“I’ve been boxing since I was a small child and now this is my opportunity to prove myself on the biggest stage,” Castaño said via itrboxing.com. “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.”

Castano continued, “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. 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.”

Lara is coming off a split-decision loss to Jarrett Hurd in April, where he surrendered the WBA super welterweight title. A 12th-round knockdown by Hurd was the difference in the judges’ eyes, but Lara still thinks he won the fight.

“I must focus on being victorious against Castano,” Lara said via Boxing Scene. “Once I beat him, I’m right back in the mix at 154. I’m just one fight away from getting another world title shot so I’m confident in my ability to become a world champion again. The Hurd fight was a tough situation to deal with because I felt I won the fight. I’ve been robbed before and it’s not a good feeling.”

Lara continued, “Castano is a very good fighter with a lot of talent. He’s definitely no steppingstone. He’s at the elite level for a reason. I’m going to have to be at my best to be victorious. At this level, everyone can fight. To win is a must, and to look impressive doing it is important. My fight with Hurd was voted Fight of the Year, so I want to carry that into this fight.”

The 35-year-old Lara (25-3-2, 14 KOs) will bring a wealth of experience into Saturday’s fight. The Cuban’s three losses have come to Hurd, Canelo Alvarez and Paul Williams, all by decision, which is nothing to scoff at. He has notable victories over Ishe Smith, Vanes Martirosyan, Austin Trout, Yuri Foreman and Terrell Gausha.

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Also on the card

A heavyweight fight between Luis Ortiz and Christian Hammer will also be on the card.

Ortiz (30-1, 26 KOs) is riding two straight victories since losing by TKO to WBC champion Deontay Wilder last March. He defeated Razvan Cojanu by second-round knockout in July and Travis Kauffman by 10th-round knockout in December. The 39-year-old Cuban fighter is also a former interim WBA champion.

Hammer (24-5, 14 KOs) is also riding two straight victories after a unanimous decision loss to Alexander Povetkin in 2017. He last defeated undefeated Michael Wallisch by fifth-round knockout in December, but the 31-year-old Romanian fighter is a heavy underdog against Ortiz. Yet, Hammer has gained valuable experience with fights against Povetkin, David Price, Tyson Fury and Danny Williams.

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