By: Hans Themistode
A look of disbelief was immediately plastered on the face of Jermell Charlo. The unified 154-pound titlist could hardly believe that his moment of glory was taken away from.
This past Saturday night at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, Charlo attempted to become the division’s first undisputed world champion since Winky Wright in 2004 when he took on WBO belt holder, Brian Castano. Charlo’s dreams, however, were put on hold as their contest was ruled a split decision draw.
Judge Steve Weisfeld scored it 114-113 in favor or Castano. Tim Cheatham, on the other hand, had it 114-114. Nelson Vazquez, the third and final judge handed in the most controversial scores as he had it 117-111 in favor of Charlo. While the Houston native believes that he did enough to pick up the win, even he was taken aback by the wide score of Vazquez.
“Honestly, I thought that it was a closer fight than it seemed,” said Charlo during the post-fight presser. “Somebody had it 117-111. I do feel like I won a little bit more rounds than he did. 117-111 was kind of a large range.”
Despite having over three decades of experience, Vazquez has been torn to shreds in the public eye. In the mind of most, Castano’s effective pressure won him the fight. According to the numbers, the Argentinian had a slight edge. He threw more punches 586 to Charlo’s 533, while also landing more, 173-151.
Regardless of his opponent’s work rate, Charlo had plenty of strong moments. Early in the second, the Houstonian clearly buzzed his man. Charlo then attempted to close the show but was unsuccessful in doing so. Charlo had similar success in the championship rounds. Nonetheless, he was unable to walk away from their contest with the victory.
As the unified 154-pound titlist looks back at his performance, he admits that Castano was a rugged warrior that wouldn’t stop coming no matter what was thrown in his direction. In the end, however, Charlo still believes that he should have added another world title to his championship mantle.
“Not to take anything away from what Brian Castano did but I feel like I pushed a lot harder than he did.”