LOS ANGELES – Brian Castano conceded that his 12-round split draw with Jermell Charlo was a very close fight.
The unbeaten WBO junior middleweight champion is certain that he did enough, though, to leave the ring last July 17 at AT&T Center in San Antonio with Charlo’s IBF, WBA and WBC belts. Only one judge, New Jersey’s Steve Weisfeld, scored their thoroughly competitive fight for Castano, 114-113.
Puerto Rico’s Nelson Vazquez somehow scored nine rounds for Charlo, who won 117-111 on his card. Nevada’s Tim Cheatham scored their back-and-forth fight a draw, 114-114.
“We both fought hard,” Castano told BoxingScene.com. “We both put our styles out there for the world to see. But I believe that the right score would have been 115-113. It was a close fight, but I edged him out enough to where I thought I should’ve come out with the win.”
Charlo hurt Castano in the second and 10th rounds. Castano knocked Charlo into the ropes with two left hooks late in the third round, but Charlo came back quickly with hard punches of his own.
CompuBox counted 22 more punches overall for Castano (173-of-586 to 151-of-533). According to CompuBox’s unofficial statistics, Castano connected on more power punches (164-of-400 to 98-of-246) and Charlo landed more jabs (53-of-287 to 9-of-186).
Houston’s Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KOs), who contends that he was the one who deserved the nod nearly 10 months ago, has repeatedly stated during this promotion that he intends to knock out Buenos Aires’ Castano in their immediate rematch Saturday night at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
“Charlo is the one with the pressure to knock me out,” Castano said. “Charlo’s the one that says he’s better, that he’s gonna be the old Charlo and that he quote, unquote won the first fight. That’s what he thinks. So, the pressure is on him. And I know all I have to do is go out there and do my job.
“At the same time, yes, I am the visitor. I’m used to that. I’m used to being in hostile territory and I’m aware of the fact that sometimes I have to do more than my opponent, just because of the fact that I am fighting in somebody else’s territory. But besides that, I’m fully confident in what I have to do inside the ring on May 14th.”
Showtime’s three-bout broadcast is slated to begin at 9 p.m. ET with a 10-round bout in which Mexican 122-pound contender Kevin Gonzalez (24-0-1, 13 KOs) will oppose Puerto Rico’s Emanuel Rivera (19-2, 12 KOs). Philadelphia’s Jaron Ennis (28-0, 26 KOs, 1 NC) will square off with Ottawa’s Custio Clayton (19-0-1, 12 KOs) in Showtime’s co-feature, a 12-round welterweight fight.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.