Martin “Gallito” Castillo (31-2, 17 KO’s) has no problem visualizing it.
“The world title will be mine once again,” Castillo said. “Being a world champion is an amazing accomplishment. Once you’ve had a taste of it you want it again.”
His journey towards the title continues this Friday on a Telefutura televised card from The Isleta Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico when he faces off against journeyman Oscar Andrade (36-18) in a ten rounder.
“I’ve fought Andrade before. He was a very tough guy back then and he’s been in with a lot of good competition,” Castillo said. “This is the next step to getting my belt back.” His first step was a fifth round knockout over Jorge Romero in Tijuana on May 12th.
Castillo lost his WBA Super Flyweight belt to Nobuo Nashiro via tenth round stoppage due to cuts. Nashiro then lost the title to Venezuelan Alexander Munoz who Castillo previously defended against two times. Are you keeping track?
“Look, although Nashiro beat me fair and square, it has to be explained that I was coming on strong when the stoppage occurred,” Castillo said. “The cuts I received over my brows were very bad and they had to stop the fight. I lost on cuts let’s not forget that.”
Nashiro came in with seven fights and was expected to be an easy defense for Castillo. After all, Castillo was hovering around most knowledgeable boxing fan’s pound for pound list. His fluid boxer-puncher style and excellent foot work was being hyped as the “new” Mexican style: a hybrid boxer-puncher who can move beautifully and deliver wicked shots along with being a typically resilient Mexican fighter.
After several successful defenses of his title with quality wins over Eric Morel, Munoz (twice) and Hideyasu Ishihara, surely Nashiro wasn’t supposed to pose a threat. “I have to admit that I underestimated him. That was a terrible mistake on my part,” Castillo said of Nashiro. “I don’t want to take anything away from him. He’s a lot tougher and a much better fighter than his record suggests but I did come in over confident. That won’t happen again.”
“Unfortunately that was a bad night for us. Nashiro came at his best and we didn’t,” recounts manager Frank Espinoza. “We all learned a huge lesson from the outcome. In my mind I feel like Martin would’ve won if it weren’t for those nasty cuts but the stoppage was correct. We have no problem with the stoppage. All that’s important now is to get Martin his title back against either Alexander Munoz or Christian Mijares.”
Current champions Munoz and Mijares are the two polar opposites when it comes to styles. “Munoz is your typical banger. Good speed. Average footwork. I faced him twice before so he won’t bring any surprises to me. I beat him twice and I’ll probably beat him ten times if I face him,” said Castillo. “Mijares is more of a fighter with my style. He’s a very good boxer puncher. He’s tricky and technically sound. I think a fight between he and I would be a real crowd pleaser.”
After receiving surgery to shave down his brow, Castillo feels that cuts should be a thing of the past. “It’s been a great recovery. I feel like have a new set of brows,” said Castillo. “I don’t think cuts will be an issue anymore.”
For now, Castillo believes the road back to the belt is only a few wins away. “My promoters at Top Rank are doing their job in order to help make me a champion again,” Castillo said. “I have a lot of faith in the way we’re heading down the road towards the title. The belt will be mine again. You can count on it.”
Martin “Gallito” Castillo takes on Oscar Andrade on Telefutura this Friday. The show will be promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank.