Jermell Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KOs) put on one of his worst career performances on Saturday night in fighting to a 12 round split draw against Brian Castano in failed attempt to become the undisputed champion at 154 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.
A blown non-call by the referee Hector Afu cost Castano the victory by failing to give him credit for a knockdown in the third round when he hurt Charlo, causing him to fall into the ropes.
The ropes held the stunned Charlo up, preventing him from falling. Had the referee made the fight call, Castano would have won the decision, even with the bad scores that the three judges turned in.
The judges scored the bout:
- 117-111 Jermell
- 114-113 Castano
It’s fair to say that 117-111 for Brian Castano makes sense. Either 117-111 or 116-112 would be fair scores for the fight tonight. But the 117-111 score for Jermell was disturbing in how crazy it was.
Unless the judge got the fighters mixed up in his head, you can’t justify a Mickey Mouse score like 117-11. It’s troubling something like that because it doesn’t fit with what happened in the ring tonight.
Again, 117-111 for Castano, yeah, that makes sense. But no way on Earth did Charlo deserve a win by that score or any score.
He looked like the loser, and his trainer Derrick James had the look on his face like he knew his fighter didn’t deserve the 12 round split draw that was given to him.
James even told Jermell before the 12th that he needed a knockout to get the win. Why would James say that if he didn’t believe that Jermell was too far behind on the scorecards to win?
At the post-fight press conference, neither Jermell, his trainer Derrick James or brother Jermall Charlo were willing to admit that WBO junior middleweight champion Castano (17-0-2, 12 KOs) was the better man and deserved to have his hand raised.
When asked if Castano was the best fighter Jermell had ever fought, trainer Derrick James jumped in and claimed that Tony Harrison was better than him.
It was hard to take James seriously, as he sounded bitter and was seemingly forgetting that Charlo knocked Harrison out in the 11th round. Tonight, Jermell got worked over by Castano nine of the twelve rounds. Overwhelmingly, the boxing world saw Castano as the winner and Jermell as the loser.
Castano did an excellent job of setting traps, negating the size, and reach advantage of the 5’11” IBF/WBA/WBC 154-lb champion Jermell. Charlo had every advantage in the book going for him. In addition to the size and power, Jermell was fighting at home in Texas, which is where he lives. He’s a Texas.
It was bizarre how Jermell tried to spin it, saying that the Texas judges give the rounds to outside fighters rather than boxers from their home state.
Charlo was just babbling nonsense, turning reality upside down, giving a false narrative about what sometimes happens when visiting fighters visit a state where they’re facing the hometown guy.
“Go back and look at the fighters we fight. We’re not fighting low-caliber fighters,” said Jermall Charlo.
“He wasn’t the best fighter we ever fought. Even Tony Harrison was better than him,” said trainer Derrick James in response to a media member telling Jermell that Brian Castano was the best fighter he’d ever fought.
“Hell, yeah,” said James when asked if Harrison did better than Castano did tonight.
Derrick James says Jermell won the fight
“You can’t get on the ropes,” said James when asked what adjustments Jermell must make for a potential rematch with Castano. “The guy wasn’t doing anything.
“Just not give up any ground. The only punches he threw were when Jermell let him throw punches. Other than that, he was shut down.
“You ever see Jermell fight on the ropes like that? I thought we won the fight. He tried to steal the rounds with little flurries,” said James.
Castano out-landed outboxed Jermell and was the busier guy throughout the contest. Jermell hurt Castano in the second and tenth rounds, but he couldn’t capitalize on the situation.
Castano hurt Jermell in the third round with a big shot that sent him into the ropes, which held him up.
The referee had to have seen that, yet he didn’t score it as a knockdown. Guess what? If the referee had made the right call in that situation, Castano would have won the fight