Photos by Sumio Yamada
JESUS PABON vs JAVIER CASTRO
Jesus Pabon has become a staple on the Telemundo once-a-month boxing series and tonight he’s back on the Spanish-language network, meeting Javier Castro in a 12-round Latino junior welter title fight. The bout falls into promoter Tuto Zabala Jr.’s pattern of matching boxers from Puerto Rico against Mexican fighters, with Pabon coming from the Isle of Enchantment while Castro fights out of the border city of Juarez.
Pabon, a southpaw, has been involved in some exciting fights because he is a good puncher whose chin is, shall we say, unreliable. Pabon’s only loss was on a second-round stoppage, and even the almost completely “shot” Genaro Trazancos had him on the floor.
Castro, though, has never lived up to early promise — he won 18 of his first 19 bouts. Antonio Diaz was too tough and too seasoned for him when Castro got his big chance on a PPV show in Tijuana a couple of years ago. In his last fight, Castro surprisingly suffered a defeat in a six-rounder against a Colombian boxer with 18 losses on his record.
My first thoughts were that Pabon, the “house” fighter, should be the winner in his fourth consecutive Telemundo main event. Pabon’s chin does concern me, though, and Castro can punch a bit — he rocked Diaz with a right hand in the opening round.
Castro is still a young fighter at 27 (Pabon is 31) and the Mexican fighter is the taller man by a couple of inches. Castro’s last four fights have been outside of Mexico — one in Germany, three in Panama — so I don’t think he should be too bothered by fighting on what is basically Pabon’s home turf in Florida.
Pabon is a good hitter and he is quite dangerous with counter punches, as Americo Santos discovered when he came in winging in his usual reckless style and got drilled in the opening round. Castro seems to have a good chin, though, and the Mexican fighter, while somewhat run of the mill, has shown respectable boxing ability in the bouts of his that I have seen.
The fight’s location favours Pabon, and the Puerto Rican boxer is enjoying a much better run of form than his opponent. His southpaw stance could bother Castro. Yet Pabon’s chin must be a concern. In his only loss, Pabon went out in the second round of a shootout against Luis Hernandez, who, like Castro is a Mexican fighter. Pabon dropped Hernandez in the second round but was dropped twice himself, and he had that worrying “no legs” look when the referee stopped the fight. Tonight’s fight could go either way, but I am swaying towards Castro. I think he can take Pabon’s punches — but I’m not sure Pabon can take Castro’s blows.
Surprisingly, no betting lines were offered anywhere on this interesting fight. In this fight-day preview I’m leaning towards Castro by stoppage in what most would consider a slight upset