The fight between Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano was a memorable one, but it might have been overshadowed by the terrible scoring.
In a fight that was overshadowed by the bad scoring, Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano fought an exciting bout.
3.19 a.m. ET
- Mike Coppinger is a writer and a musician.
- Ben Baby
- ESPN Contributor
- Previously, he worked for The Dallas Morning News as a college football reporter.
- Graduate of the University of North Texas
Jermell Charlo seemed to run out of answers at one point, and his chance at an uncontested title seemed to be slipping away. In another, inside the AT&T Center, Charlo was hitting Brian Castano around the ring, seeking for a unique moment to cement his status as the world’s finest junior middleweight.
On Saturday in San Antonio, Charlo did his hardest to summon the magic he needed, but Castano survived a frenetic finish and the fight was declared a split decision draw. The lone ruse was Nelson Vazquez’s 117-11 scorecard in Charlo’s favor, which was widely mocked for its ridiculousness.
That shouldn’t detract from what Charlo and Castano accomplished over the course of 12 outstanding rounds. The 154-pound division in boxing has been looking for a genuine No. 1 fighter for years. Despite the fact that their battle did not produce an indisputable champion, Charlo and Castano demonstrated why they are the greatest at that weight.
Charlo and Castano injured each other early in front of a boisterous crowd in south Texas, before Castano seemed to establish a comfortable lead over Charlo. Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KOs) injured Castano in the tenth round, bringing the bout to a close (17-0-1, 12 KOs). Charlo needed a comeback at the moment in order to keep his dreams alive of becoming the first undisputed 154-pound champion in the four-belt era. Castano wobbled around the ring but never fell, which was enough to see him through to the 12th inning’s final bell.
Both had the qualities that distinguished champions. Charlo blasted his opponent with a left hook in the second round, injuring Castano. Castano afterwards utilized his usual aggressiveness and energy to put the pressure on Charlo, the larger fighter. Boxing pleasure was created by Charlo and Castano. Each combatant overcame hardship to keep their individual championship aspirations alive in a battle with the rarest honor on the line. Even though neither was declared the indisputable winner at the end of the night, it gave clarity to a category that had been without it for years.
Both Brian Castano and Jermell Charlo proved they belonged at the top of the 154-pound category, and now all that’s left is for them to compete for the title. Getty Images/Edward A. Ornelas
In their separate post-fight interviews with Showtime’s Jim Gray, both boxers indicated interest in a rematch. It makes logical based on their performance.
Castano proved his championship credentials with a dominating victory over Patrick Teixeira in February and the dominance he displayed against Charlo. Charlo demonstrated his abilities and, like a real champion, rallied to escape loss when it counted most.
He did not, however, finish the night with the kind of huge win that would have catapulted him into boxing’s top pound-for-pound fighters.
If PBC president Al Haymon can pull it together, Charlo and Castano may have another chance to establish their dominance in the junior middleweight category.
For the time being, all question has vanished: the world’s top two 154-pounders battled on Saturday night, and now all that remains is for them to fight again to decide who is the greatest. — Baby Ben
After hearing the scorecards for his bout against Jermell Charlo, Brian Castano could only shrug. Getty Images/Edward A. Ornelas
A wonderful night is ruined by poor judgment.
If you’ve heard this before, it’s because a fantastic boxing fight was marred by bad judgment.
So, here we are once again. Brian Castano deserved to depart Texas as the uncontested champion, just the fifth in the four-belt era, despite being almost a 2-1 underdog.
The judges, on the other hand, had other views. Nelson Vazquez is one of the judges. He scored it 117-111 in Charlo’s favor. That’s correct, we’re down to the last three rounds. That was too broad, even Charlo acknowledged. Castano won the bout 117-111, giving Charlo the victory. Rounds 2, 10, and 11, which Castano claimed were the only ones he lost later, were the only ones he lost. The fifth and 12th rounds were both quite tight, and Charlo might have easily won them both.
115-113 for Castano was the closest the bout could have been scored in my opinion from ringside. Unfortunately, Texas is renowned for dubious judgment, and with a popular Texan on the A-side, there was always the possibility that something like this might happen.
And now I’m writing about poor judgment rather than Castano’s outstanding performance. He not only regularly beat Charlo to the punch, which is no easy accomplishment, but he also showed outstanding defense for a pressure fighter.
Castano’s gloves, two fists creating a tight guard around his head that never stopped moving off the center line, were able to pick off Charlo’s counter attacks time and time again. Castano ducked and wove his way closer, skillfully flicking his right hand to the torso to open up the head.
In their fight for all four junior middleweight world championships, Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano fought to a split draw. Showtime/Amanda Westcott
During his swarming assault, Castano didn’t only move his head; he also moved his whole upper body. He should be congratulating himself on not just a historic win, but also a star-making performance.
Many of the spectators who had been supporting Charlo following a barrage of blows in Round 2 were now clapping Castano towards the finish. Who doesn’t like a pressure fighter, particularly one who chose to exchange blows rather than hold when he seemed to be out on his feet?
Despite my belief that Charlo deserved to lose his three titles, he, too, deserves to be honored for his tremendous battling spirit.
Faced with a fighter who refused to be deterred by his massive power punches, Charlo never stopped searching for the fight-ending blow. He flew bombs from right in the pocket, back to the ropes. Castano confessed to being injured three times: in Rounds 2, 10, and 11.
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After receiving the sort of counter left hook that has finished so many Charlo opponents, it’s a surprise Castano was able to remain on his feet in the 10th. Even Jermell was taken aback, stating “I couldn’t seem to get him out of there. He’s an f—-ing tough guy.”
In a rematch, Charlo may figure him out. In 2018, Charlo lost a contentious decision against Tony Harrison (a fight I think Charlo won), only to win the rematch by knockout. However, I’m not certain we’ll get a rematch. I’m hoping I’m mistaken.
More importantly, I believe boxing can solve this obvious issue that refuses to go away. Of course, the sport has a slew of problems: too many champions, the greatest failing to meet the best, and so on. However, poor judgment may be the most serious issue of all.
Any attempt to prevent Vazquez from using an indefensible scorecard to penalize another fighter who earned better is a good start. Castano, on the other hand, is too late. Mike Coppinger is a writer.
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