In an epic battle between two of boxing’s elite, WBA, WBC and IBF Super Welterweight World Champion Jermell Charlo and WBO counterpart Brian Castano battled to a 12-round split decision draw. The squared off in the main event of action live on SHOWTIME from AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas in a Premier Boxing Champions event on Saturday, July 17.
Both Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KOs) and Castano (17-0-2, 12 KOs) laid it all on the line in their quest to become the first ever undisputed 154-pound champion in the four-belt era.
“Shout out to San Antonio for coming through. The win is what I wanted to hear,” said Charlo. “I won this fight. I hurt him way more than he did to me. Castano is a real warrior. But my power is serious at this weight division.”
“I won the fight,” said Castano. “There were some rounds that he did hit me and he hit me hard. But I won this fight. I want to thank San Antonio. I want to thank SHOWTIME and Al Haymon for this fight. It was a great opportunity.”
Both champions flashed their power early on. Castano was staggered by a counter left hook in the second. He returned the favor in the third, buckling Charlo with his own left hook toward the end of the frame.
Houston’s Charlo found success in the middle rounds by boxing and moving from the outside. Castano was just as effective when he was able to maneuver Charlo toward the ropes and unload rapid-fire combinations. The Argentine kept Charlo on the defensive for much of the ninth, focusing his attack to the body.
Immediately after that round, Charlo trainer Derrick James implored his fighter to pick up the pace. Charlo responded with his best round in the 10th, bouncing off the ropes with a left hook that left Castano on shaky legs for much of the stanza. In the penultimate round, Charlo picked up where he left off, landing more big shots on a tentative Castano.
“My coach told me I needed the knockout in the ninth round and I just knew he knew what he was talking about,” said Charlo. “I trust my coach. This comes with boxing – wins, losses and draws.”
“I was hurt in the 10th round and I had to recoup,” said Castano. “Same with the beginning of the 11th round. But I did enough to win this fight. I hope I get the rematch. He is a great fighter. I need the rematch.”
With the fight hanging in the balance, both fighters let their hands go in the final round. According to CompuBox, Charlo landed 151 of 533 (28.3%) punches in the fight to Castano’s 173 of 586 (29.5%). Castano held a slight advantage in power punches, landing 164 of 400 (41%) to Charlo’s 98 of 246 (39.8%) while Charlo out-jabbed his opponent by a significant margin, landing 53 of 287 (18.5%) to Castano’s nine out of 186 (4.8%).
After 12 rounds the judge’s scores were split, with a score of 117-111 for Charlo, 114-113 for Castano and a 114-114 draw, ending the fight in a split-decision draw.
“He threw a hell of a lot of punches. My skills and my ability and my power – I felt like I won this fight and I deserve to be going home undisputed,” said Charlo. “I am glad to have fought for undisputed. It’s different. I still hold my titles. I can’t wait to get home to my babies, take a break from boxing and then get back to the drawing board and see what’s next. I want to be undisputed. That’s what I want. That’s my destiny.”
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