Did Jermell Charlo Lose to Brian Castano?

Jermell Charlo
SAN ANTONIO, TX - JULY 17: Jermell Charlo (R) and Brian Castano (L) exchange punches during their Super Welterweight fight at AT&T Center on July 17, 2021 in San Antonio, Texas. The Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano fight ended in a split draw. (Photo by Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images)

Undefeated IBF, WBA and WBA super welterweight champion Jermell Charlo has long since claimed to be the best in the division. On Saturday night, he faced off against Brian Castano, the number two ranked fighter in the division, for the chance to unify the belts. The contest was scored as a draw, although many have claimed that Castano did enough to upset the odds and win against the American fighter. 

Looking Back on Jermell Charlo vs Brian Castano

Amongst the controversy was the fact that one judge scored the bout heavily in Charlo’s favour, a decision that has left many experts puzzled. Is this another example of poor judging in boxing, and what can be done to prevent future controversies? These judging issues are affecting how people see boxing, and many people are losing respect for the sport as a result. It’s especially bad for bettors, who, even if they used a bonus code, may have potentially missed out on some winnings as a result. 

The Unification Fight

When Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano drew their super-welterweight battle in San Antonio, Texas, they were both denied a historic unification victory. For the first time in the division’s history, all four belts were on the line, but Charlo retained his WBC, WBA, and IBC crowns, while Castano retained his WBO belt. Throughout the fight, Castano mostly controlled the pace, even if Charlo came close to knocking out his opponent when he had him in trouble in the second and 10th rounds. 

The three judges were split on the decision, with one calling it 117-111 for Charlo, one calling it 114 to each fighter and the other entering a score of 114-113 for Castano. 

Neither fighter agreed with the draw, and both felt they had done enough to win on the scorecards. “A draw isn’t what I wanted to hear,” said Jermell Charlo after the fight. The 31-year-old American had a record of 34 wins with 18 knockouts before this fight, and his power nearly sealed the win on Saturday. 

He went on to add, “I won this fight. I hurt him a lot more. My power is serious. I had him in trouble in the second and 10th rounds. This is my first time experiencing something like this. This comes with boxing – wins, losses and draws.”

Meanwhile, Castano was annoyed by the result, especially as a rematch is unlikely based on both fighters needing to defend their belts against mandatories next. Castano admitted to being hurt at some points by Jermell Charlo but disagreed with the decision of the judges. “I won the fight”. He said to reporters after the bout. “There were some rounds that he did hit me, and he hit me hard. But I won this fight.” 

He later admitted that Charlo hit him with some big shots that hurt him but called for a rematch. “I was hurt in the tenth round, and I had to recoup,” admitted Castano. “Same with the beginning of the eleventh round. But I did enough to win this fight. I hope I get the rematch. He is a great fighter. I need the rematch.”

How to Solve the Judging Problem with Boxing

Judging issues have marred a lot of big fights in recent years, and while they’ve always been a part of the sport, the vast majority of fans and experts can agree that something needs to be done. Fixing the issue isn’t easy, as there are a lot of different factors that affect how judges see and score a fight. 

The main solution that has been proposed is better education and training for judges. In a lot of cases, judges are members of state athletic commissions, and many of them don’t have much experience in boxing. There is also a lack of accountability that means judges with poor results continue to judge important fights. If boxing promoters can work with state athletic commissions to help select better judges and improve their training, the sport could reduce the number of these poor decisions that are impacting the careers of boxers and our enjoyment of the sport. 

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