WBA super welterweight ‘Interim’ champion Brian Castaño is nearing his first U.S. main event and talked about how training camp has gone so far as he prepares to face former world champion Erislandy Lara on Saturday, March 2 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York
Castaño is trained by his former pro boxer father Carlos in the bustling city of Isidro Casanova in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After a long and successful amateur career leading into his pro debut in 2012, Castaño has a chance on March 2 to make a lasting impact with an impressive performance against Lara.
"I’ve been boxing since I was a small child and now this is my opportunity to prove myself on the biggest stage," said Castaño. "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."
In recent years, Argentine fighters such as Marcos Maidana, Jesus Cuellar and Lucas Matthysse have become champions and stars in the U.S. with their relentless styles they bring into the ring fight after fight. Castaño specifically has spoken to another Argentine great in Sergio Martinez for inspiration as he continues his journey.
"I have a great admiration for the Argentine champions that have made statements and become big names in the U.S. in recent years and I know how difficult that is to achieve," said Castaño. "I’ve sat and had great conversations with Sergio Martinez not long ago and I was able to learn a lot from a fighter like that."
The 29-year-old first won an interim title with a knockout of Emmanuel de Jesus in 2016, before winning tough 12-round battles against Michel Soro, and most recently a final round stoppage win over Cedric Vitu to capture the belt he will defend on March 2. These were the first two times Castaño fought into the 12th round as a pro.
"I learn new things each time I fight," added Castaño. "When you are a world champion, there are no easy foes. The opponents come stronger and stronger each time. I’ve learned that I have to double my effort every time I get into the ring."
In Lara, Castaño faces a challenging former amateur world champion who was the longest-reigning titleholder in the 154-pound division before he lost to fellow champion Jarrett Hurd last April.
"On paper we know that Lara is a slick fighter that can be difficult to catch, while I’m more like a demolisher that goes after you all fight," said Castaño. "Lara moves around the ring very wisely and has great timing on the counterpunch. In the ring, you never know how it can play out though. I probably haven’t faced someone like him before, so I have to cut off the ring in an even smarter manner."
On March 2, Castaño will be looking to take his career to the next level with his performance, knowing that chances at the highest level are hard to come by.
"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," said Castaño. "I’m prepared to do just that. 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."