In a big disappointment, IBF/WBA/WBC 154-lb champion Jermell Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KOs) and WBO champion Brian Castano (17-0-1, 12 KOs) fought to a 12 round split draw on Saturday night in their fight for the undisputed junior middleweight championship at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Jermell hurt Castano, 31, in the second round, but he failed to finish him. In the third, Catano hurt Charlo even worse with a big shot that had him badly stunned with ropes holding him up.
From the third round on, Castano dominated the action and appeared to sweep every round until the 10th. In round ten, Charlo hurt Castano with a big shot, but again, his low work rate prevented him from finishing the Argentinian.
In the 11th and 12th, Castano regained his form and appeared to do enough to win the rounds.
The scores were 114-113 for Castano, an unbelievable 117-111 for Charlo, and 114-114.
Castano fought well enough to win the fight by 8 rounds to 4 scores in this writer’s eyes.
Live results are below for tonight’s Charlo vs. Castano card:
Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero stops Anthony Yigit
Unbeaten WBA interim lightweight champion Rolando ‘Romero’ Romero (14-0, 12 KOs) used his raw power to batter his replacement opponent Anthony Yigit (24-2-1, 8 KOs) in dropping him three times en route to scoring a seventh round knockout in a scheduled 12 round fight.
Romero hurt Yigit with a punch on the break in the fifth round, which cost him a point. Rolly then took advantage of the situation by knocking Yigit down. In the seventh, Romero knocked Yigit down two more times to get the stoppage. The referee halted the fight at 1:54 of the seventh.
After the fight, Rolly was booed by the crowd, who were perhaps angry at all the fouling that he used.
Amilcar Vidal defeats Immanuwel Aleem
In a back and forth war, undefeated middleweight Amilcar Vidal (13-0, 11 KOs) ground out a 10 round majority decision over Immanuwel Aleem (18-3-2, 11 KOs). The judges scored it: 97-93, 97-93, 95-95.
Vidal landed a lot of body shots early on that tipped the fight in his favor. But in the last five rounds, Vidal faded and Aleem took over with his high work rate.
Aleem was landing nonstop punches in the last four rounds, and he looked like the better fighter of the two.
The judges clearly were more impressed with Vidal’s power because that’s the only explanation I can come up with for why they gave it to him. At worst, the fight could have been a draw.
Bakhram Murtazaliev decisions Khiary Gray
In another impressive performance by super welterweight contender Bakhram Murtazaliev (19-0, 14 KOs), he outworked the capable Khiary Gray (16-6, 12 KOs) in beating him by an eight round unanimous decision. The scores were 79-73, 79-73, 78-74.
The winner of the Charlo-Castano fight will have bragging rights to say they’re the #1 guy at 154. That honor might mean bigger paydays, but maybe not. Terence Crawford unified the 140-lb division and never became a big star.
What’s important is for the winner of tonight’s Charlo vs. Castano fight to continue to face A-level guys and not use the victory as an excuse to go for lower-level opposition.
Is Castano too small to beat Jermell?
Charlo has the power, size, speed, and the home state advantage going for him against the short 5’7 1/2″ Castano. The size difference between the two fighters is pretty dramatic.
It’s unclear why Castano doesn’t fight at 147 because he looks like he would fit in nicely in that weight division, and he wouldn’t need to deal with tall 5’11” fighters like Jermell (34-1, 18 KOs).
With that said, Jermell should arguably be fighting at 160, and his twin brother Jermell should be competing at 168.
Both brothers seem to be looking to fight smaller guys by staying in weight classes where they have the size advantage over their opponents.
Castano’s lack of size didn’t look that pronounced during Friday’s weigh-in, but only because Jermell had dehydrated down to 153 lbs to make weight.
Tonight, Jermell will likely be around 170 lbs and look huge in comparison to the smallish Castano.
Interestingly, Jermell told the media that he walks around at 156 and 157lbs, but that’s hard to believe. As drained as Jermell looked at the weigh-in, there’s no chance that he only lost three pounds to make weight.
It’s going to be a massive upset if Brian Castano wins this fight because most of the boxing world views Jermell as being too big, too strong, and too talented for him.
Charlo isn’t unbeatable because we’ve already seen him lose, and you realize from watching his fights that he’s someone that can crumble if he faces the right guy. We don’t know if Castano has the goods to beat Jermell
There are some fighters at 154 that could probably beat Jermell, but Castano isn’t the one. If someone else like Tim Tszyu, Israil Madrimov, or Erickson Lubin held the WBO title, Jermell might have had second thoughts about taking the fight.
But with Castano, Jermell has the deck stacked in his favor with the speed, power, size, and the home state advantage.
Still, Castano is one of those guys that be a real nightmare if he’s able to establish an inside position against Jermell and force him to brawl in close.
Jermell’s trainer Derrick James sounded naive this week when he said his fighter would do just as well on the inside against Castano as he will on the outside
Hopefully, James knows what he’s talking about because Castano could make Jermell miserable if he’s able to keep the fight on the inside all night.
What time does Charlo vs. Castano start
The Charlo vs. Brian Carlos Castano fight card starts at 10:00 p.m. PT/7:00 p.m. PT. The fight card will be televised on SHOWTIME Boxing.
Earlier on Saturday, Castano (17-0-1, 12 KOs) was considering pulling out of the fight because of an irregularity with Charlo’s right glove. A balloon was inside Charlo’s glove.
That’s what ESPN KNOCKOUT was reporting, and Castano understandably didn’t want to go through with the fight against Jermell with his balloon glove.
The only conclusion you can draw from that is the concern of what happens when the balloon pops.
If there’s not enough padding between Jermell’s fists in the glove, it would be painful for Castano to get hit with those kinds of unpadded punches.
Televised undercard fights for Charlo-Castano:
- Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero vs. Anthony Yigit – 12 rounds
- Amilcar Vidal vs. Immanuwel Aleem -10 rounds
WBO junior middleweight champion Brian Castano and IBF/WBA/WBC champion Jermell Charlo fight tonight, with all 4 belts being fought for on Showtime at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.