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Jermell Charlo’s quest for undisputed halted, at least for right now

Jermell Charlo

Saturday night was an action-packed day for the sport of boxing, especially for the Premier Boxing Champions stable. Unified Super Welterweight Champion Jermell “Ironman” Charlo had aspirations of unifying the division versus Brian Castaño. There were also historic implications at stake as well. Both fighters were seeking to become the first-ever undisputed 154-pound champion in the four-belt era.

The result was not the outcome that both fighters had in mind when Hall of Fame announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. stated the fight would be a split decision draw. Judges scored the fight 114-113, 117-111, and 114-114. According to the judges, Castaño was only victorious on one of the scorecards, 114-113. Judge Nelson Vazquez awarded Charlo with a controversial 117-111 decision over Castaño.

“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. Castaño is a real warrior. But my power is serious at this weight division.” The entire fight was filled with drama as Castaño put Charlo and his team on notice throughout the match.

Both champions flashed their power early on. Castaño 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. Castaño was just as effective when he could 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 on the body.

Castaño seemed to withstand every shot that Charlo had in his arsenal. Unlike Charlo’s previous opponent Jeison Rosario, there was not a body shot going to put Castaño to the canvas. The fight was an intense spectacle for all twelve rounds. From the opening press conference and on the fight itself, Castaño was not phased by competing in Charlo’s backyard, which was the state of Texas.

“I won the fight,” said Castaño. “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.”

The only way to settle this situation in the future is to have a rematch between Charlo and Castaño for all of the belts at the 154-pound division. Both fighters are under the same stable, so it should not be an issue in making this bout happen in the foreseeable future. Expect Charlo and Castaño to make significant adjustments during training camp if a rematch between the two is made.

It would be foolish to come into the rematch utilizing the same gameplan without any adjustments from the first fight. With everything that will be at stake, Charlo will be motivated to have a second fight with the resilient fighter out of Argentina. His legacy depends on it.

Photo courtesy of Michael Ham/TGB Promotions.

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