By: Sean Crose
The 34-1 Jermell Charlo faced the 17-0-1 Brian Castano at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas Saturday night. At stake was the undisputed super welterweight championship. The fight was the main attraction of a Showtime card, and was scheduled for 12 rounds.
The first round saw each man feeling his opponent out. Things got exciting in the second. Castano unloaded – then Charlo really unloaded, seemingly hurting his man in the process. Charlo flicked his jab effectively in a slower third round. One got the sense, though, that Charlo was beginning to pick his man apart.
Yet suddenly, as the round was winding down, Castano nailed Charlo – hard – with a terrific left hook. Charlo may have hurt Castano in the second, but it looked as if Castano had returned the favor in the third. In a blink of an eye, the tide had changed. Castano continued to effectively bang away in the fourth.
Charlo punched from range in the fifth, though Castano worked Charlo to the corner at round’s end. The midpoint of the fight saw Castano continue to pressure his man while both fired away. Exciting stuff. The fireworks continued into the seventh. The fight had a clear pattern – Charlo jabbed effectively, then Castano moved in. Charlo looked like he might be hoping for a knockout in the eighth.
The ninth was very close, with Charlo landing well, but Castano having his hard hitting moments. Charlo was being punished in the tenth, but then hurt Castano not once, but twice. Castano was rocked again at round’s end – but was fighting back at the bell. Castano worked his way back into the fight in the eleventh. The end of the round played out like a pitched battle. As for the last round – it went down like an artillery barrage, as much of the fight itself did.
By scores of 114-113, 117-111, 114-114…the fight was ruled a split decision draw.
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