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Charlo vs Castano: Judge Nelson Vazquez defends his 117-111 scorecard

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The long-time official suggests fans weren’t watching Castano-Charlo as closely as he was

Jermell Charlo v Brian Castano Photo by Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images

The boxing official at the heart of the Brian Castano vs Jermell Charlo scoring controversy this past Saturday has spoken up to defend his honor. While he acknowledges the fight was very close, fans might be skeptical of his justification for scoring it in such a lopsided manner.

“It was a close fight, but in the sense that there were a lot of close rounds, and that is always a matter of appreciation. A judge can see an assault in one way, and another in another.”

He went on to claim that if both of the other judges had scored the fight 117-111 for the Argentinian, he would be more concerned about how widely he scored it for Charlo. The suggestion here seems to be that if he had scored every round differently than the other two judges, fans could more credibly accuse him of incompetence or corruption.

To be fair to Vazquez, he has been a high-level judge for over thirty years, and as he points out, has never been involved in the kind of controversy “in which the agencies make other judges watch a fight again when there is a questionable decision.” But, given the lack of transparency and accountability by judges after botched decisions, that isn’t saying much.

This excuse also fails scrutiny when you consider that he was the only judge to score in favor of Efetobor Apochi, 96-93, in his split-decision loss to Brandon Glanton several weeks earlier. Much like his 117-111 score for Charlo, that decision gave every possible benefit of the doubt (and then some) to the promotional favorite.

Vazquez concluded with the age-old argument that fans just don’t watch closely enough.

“Judging a fight is very different from seeing it as a fan. As a fan one can be chatting with friends, or drinking, while as a judge one has to be completely focused at all times.”

To which Andre Ward responded:

“Two questions: Was he completely focused on the fight? If so, what fight was he watching?”