Letdown: Brian Castaño deserves the win, gets draw with Jermell Charlo
SAN DIEGO, Calif., July 17, 2021 – A disappointing draw marred a terrific fight Saturday in San Antonio between Jermell Charlo and Brian Castaño. What else is new? Will Castaño get the rematch he deserves?
For now, both men go home with their championship belts after judges in San Antonio scored the entertaining battle a split draw. Scores were 114-113 for Castaño, 117-112 for Charlo, and 114-114. Charlo saved the bout by winning the last three rounds of the fight on all three cards. But his quest for recognition as one of boxing’s pound for pound best went unfulfilled for now.
Castaño (17-0-2, 12 KOs) made Argentina proud and won over fans in San Antonio and beyond with a brilliant offensive assault against Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KOs). He stalled out the unified champion’s offense with his effective aggression and equally effective defense for the first nine rounds of the fight. While his work rate was lower than his customary pace, Castaño still out landed Charlo 173 of 586 punches thrown (29.5%) to 151 of 533 punches by Charlo (28.3%).
Castaño said before the fight, he would lower his punch output to put more heat on his shots, and this is precisely what he did. It was working. The majority of Castaño’s punches were power shots: 164 power punches landed to just 98 for Charlo.
Castaño’s game plan nearly paid off
Trainer Derrick James told Charlo, “You need a knockout to win this fight,” which saved Charlo from a defeat. Charlo finally took some risks and relied on his power, buzzing Castaño for the first time in the fight in the 10th round. Castaño ended on his feet and managed to regain his footing in the 11th round. It seemed Castaño had won so many early rounds he would still win the fight as long as he stayed on his feet to the bell.
But judge Nelson Vasquez’s wide score meant the fight was out of Castaño’s reach before the round ended. Castaño said after the bout, he was upset with this score.
“The draw wasn’t what I wanted to hear. If anything, I won this fight,” said Charlo. “I wanted it more. Brian Castaño is a real warrior. He’ll give a lot of people problems. But my power is serious at this weight division.”
Charlo said he was aware he was losing the fight and needed to adjust. “My coach told me I needed a knockout out in the ninth round. He knew what he was talking about. I believe in my coach. This is my first time experiencing something like this. This comes with boxing, wins, losses, and draws. His guard was up pretty high. I wasn’t active enough. No excuses. We’ll go back to the drawing board.”
As for Castaño, he knew the truth, and he knew the fans knew it, too. “I won the fight. There were some rounds he did hit me, he hit me hard. But I definitely won the fight.”
Castaño said when Charlo took more risks, he was more successful. “In the 10th round, I was hurt. I had to recoup in the 11th round. But I did enough to win this fight.”
Do the right thing: Rematch in order
Neither fighter goes home happy. “He threw a hell of a lot of punches. My skills and my ability and my power – I felt like I won this fight, and I deserve to be going home undisputed. I am glad to have fought for undisputed. It’s different. I still hold my titles,” said Charlo.
Castaño stated the obvious: a rematch is a must. Speaking in English, he said, “I hope this, a rematch. He’s a good fighter. Me, too. I need the rematch. I was robbed. He still has the three belts I need. I want the rematch.”
Unification of the super welterweight division will now wait – and it might be a very long time.
When Charlo was asked about it, he deferred discussion to his manager, Al Haymon. You can’t blame Charlo for being less than enthusiastic after barely dodging a loss. But he hasn’t got many other options, having faced nearly all the top names in the division.
In the meantime, rising star Tim Tszyu jumped on boxing Twitter to let Castano know he’d be happy to step up as his next opponent. American fans weren’t too enthusiastic.
What perhaps matters more to Charlo is seeing his chance to reach the top pound-for-pound rankings slip through his fingers. Yes, he goes home with his belts, but falling short of the list will gnaw at him. This blow to Charlo and his ambitions is his real loss.
Roughhousing Rolly Romero gets TKO7 win
Unbeaten Interim WBA Lightweight Champion Rolando “Rolly” Romero of Las Vegas (14-0, 12 KOs) took it to late replacement Anthony “Can You Dig It” Yigit of Sweden (24-2, 8 KOs) in the co-main event. Yigit didn’t dig it as Romero came at Yigit with relentless offense. In the fifth round, Romero got deducted a point for his roughhousing but got it back with a short right-hand knockdown at the end of the round. Romero kept the southpaw Yigit off-balance and took him down again in the seventh with a counter right hand, and then sealed the victory brawling and mauling Yigit, dropping him for good as referee Raphael Ramos waved off the bout. Romero landed 42% of his power punches against 27% for the overwhelmed Yigit.
San Antonio fans booed Romero over the rough fight, but he’s comfortable with his role as the heel. “I fought a 140 pounder, and I (effing) stopped him. Simple as that. European fighters are always awkward for everyone. They’ve got a completely different style,” said Romero.
Of the knockdowns, Romero said, “I thought it was over the first time, but I didn’t have enough time to stop him. But I knew it was going to be over soon.” Romero says he’s now ready for Gervonta Davis at super lightweight. “I’m going to stop him. I’ll knock him out. I know what he can do. I know what I can do.”
Vidal wins majority decision but Aleem wins the fans
Middleweight Amilcar Vidal of Uruguay (13-0, 11 KOs) kept his quest alive to become the first male world champion from his country. Veteran Immanuwel Aleem of Virginia (18-3-2, 11 KOs) gave Vidal all he could handle in a rough and tumble fight. It turned out to be a crowd-pleaser until the scores were read, giving Vidal the majority decision by 97 – 93 X 2 and 95-95. Despite being out of the ring for two years, Aleem delivered an outstanding offensive effort. Give credit to Derrick James for the great preparation and game plan. Aleem did more than enough to win, but the closer rounds went to the man on the rise with the clean sheet.
“He’s definitely a hard rival. Hats off to him,” said Vidal. “I was not surprised by his strategy of working inside. We worked on that in camp. I wanted to work him in, and then I would finally show him my power in the end.
“It was a great fight against a really tough opponent, but the fruits of my labor alongside my brother during training camp paid off, and I never lost my cool.”
Vidal said he wouldn’t argue over the score. “I may have lost my way in a couple of rounds, but I regained control of the fight, and I have as much as I took. Uruguay can rest easy knowing Amilcar Vidal is here to stay.”
According to CompuBox, Vidal had a 194 – 157 edge in power punches and landed 73 body shots. They combined to throw 1,218 total punches and land 351 power punches, and both landed over 40% of them.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on social media at@PRProSanDiego.
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