In a fight meant to crown the first-ever male undisputed 154 lb champion in the four-belt era of professional boxing, we left with a draw, and a lot of criticism of one judge’s score card. In other words, “Boxing!”
Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano fought to a split draw tonight in San Antonio, putting on a terrific battle in their Showtime main event for all four belts. Scores were 114-114, 114-113 Castano, and a hugely ripped 117-11 Charlo card from judge Nelson Vazquez.
Bad Left Hook, for what it’s worth, had the fight 115-113 Castano on two separate unofficial cards.
Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KO) definitely hurt Castano (17-0-2, 12 KO) more than the other way around, but Castano had a lot of rounds where he did more work, landed the cleaner shots, and seemed to control the action.
Going into the 12th and final round, Charlo trainer Derrick James urged his man to get a knockout, believing they needed it to win the fight. They didn’t, but Charlo also didn’t pick up the W.
Controversy and complaints aside, it really was a great fight, testament to what happens when you put two high-level fighters in a ring together. They had styles that meshed well and were also sort of all wrong for the other man, meaning you had a legitimate tension throughout the 12 rounds, as it felt like both were vulnerable even though they were fighting well.
And, of course, both men felt they won the fight.
“He’s a tough warrior, he’s gonna give a lot of people problem for a lot of people. But my power is something serious in this division,” Charlo said. “He throws a hell of a lot of punches, but with my skills and ability and power, I knew I could keep him off of me. I felt like I won this fight. I feel like I should be going home undisputed champion.”
Charlo did not commit to the idea of a rematch, though he didn’t say he didn’t want one, either. Castano explicitly said he wants one.
“I won the fight. He hit me, no doubt about it, he hit me hard. But I definitely won the fight,” Castano said through an interpreter. “I hope there’s a rematch! He’s a great fighter, and I am, too. I need the rematch.”
It has to be said that there’s a legitimate chance mandatory challengers could get in the way of an immediate rematch, but that kind of stuff can be skirted if the power players want something to happen, and obviously PBC are a power player, and have both guys in house.