There was no undisputed 154-pound champion crowned in San Antonio, Texas, on Saturday night (July 17, 2021) as Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano went a hard 12 rounds only to see their efforts rewarded with a controversial “Split Draw” decision.
While we had Castano edging the bout, two judges turned in acceptable scorecards. Judge Steven Weisfeld scored the bout 114-113 Castano. Tim Cheatham had it a 114-114 draw. Both those scores were reasonable enough. It was Nelson Vazquez’s ridiculous 117-111 score for Charlo that had many fight fans seeing red.
On the plus side, this means we’re bound to get a rematch, and their fight last night was pretty exciting, definitely worth running back a second time. Both men confirmed themselves as worthy champions and top of the heap in their divisions. Both showed the violence needed to draw casual fans as well as the heart to fight back under adversity that breeds a stalwart fan base. The fight was at turns technical and frenzied, with Castano and Charlo both going for it rather than playing it cautious.
Watch the highlights:
Now, back to that 117-111 score. We won’t make you take our word for it being pretty gross. Just take a look at the reaction on social media:
That was a gift, at best, and a robbery at worst. Brian Castano won that fight. Close, wide, however you had it. Jermell Charlo is a tremendous fighter but this wasn’t his night #CharloCastano— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) July 18, 2021
Great fight. Close fight. I want to see a rematch. I had Castano winning. 117-111 was a terrible score card. Terrible !— Andre S.O.G. Ward (@andreward) July 18, 2021
117 is absolutely horrible. That judge shouldn’t be allowed to work@any more fights.— Ishé Oluwa Kamau Ali Smith (@IsheSugarShay) July 18, 2021
117-111 is criminal and very sad that boxing keeps doing this. Draw is more like it.— Stephen Edwards (@BreadmanBoxing) July 18, 2021
Gotta love a sport where you can watch an amazing event and still leave angry. #CharloCastano— Greg Rosenstein (@grosenstein) July 18, 2021
Both men saw themselves as having won the bout.
“Basically, I won the fight,” Castano said after the decision was announced. “There were some rounds that he hit me, no doubt about it. He hit me hard but I won the fight. In the 10th round I was hurt. I was trying to recoup a little bit in the 11th round, but I won the fight. I did enough to win the fight.”
“The draw wasn’t what I wanted to hear,” Charlo said. “If anything, I won this fight. Brian Castaño is a tough warrior. He is going to give a lot of people problems but like I said, my power is serious in this division. My coach told me I needed a knockout and I just knew he knew that he was talking about. I trust him. This is the first time something like this happened to me.”
As is typical in boxing, a simple no brainer immediate rematch between WBA, WBC and IBF champ Charlo and WBO champ Castano isn’t certain because when you’ve got this many belts, you’ve also got several mandatory challengers waiting in the wings. But, whenever Castano and Charlo fight again, we’ll be there to watch it.
Let’s just hope it’s not in Texas again ...