Castano (17-0-2, 12 KOs) appeared to mark the upheaval in a formidable action fight on Saturday at the AT&T Center, but only one judge scored it for the Argentine, 114-113. Another judge scored it 114-114, and Nelson Vazquez turned 117-111 in favor of Charlo.
Charlo swept the last three laps on all three scorecards to pull the toss, but even he admitted that the 117-111 tally was “kind of a wide range.” Jim Erickson of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation declined to comment when asked by ESPN what action the commission might take against Vazquez. ESPN scored the fight 117-111 for Castano.
“I believe I won the fight, I don’t think it’s that close,” Charlo, with his twin brother, middleweight champion Jermall, said nearby at the post-press conference. fight. “I should be unchallenged now. “
Charlo added, “I’ll take revenge. I don’t know when, but would love to go back with him. “
If ever a fight called for rematch, this is it, a battle Castano seemed to control in the first nine rounds. The 31-year-old consistently beat Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KOs) on the punch and was able to pin the favorite to the ropes with volleys of punches. His pressure was relentless but educated; he was able to take many of Charlos’ incoming shots with his gloves and his upper body movements.
Charlo, down on the scorecards and on the verge of losing all three of his titles, hooked up on a fight-altering left counter-hook in round 10 – a punch he was looking to set up all the way. night against the hard-charging underdog – which Castano sent staggering on unstable legs. The crowd sensed the knockout was coming; after all, Charlo is one of the most dangerous punchers in the sport.
But the finish never materialized. Rather than clinching, Castano savagely traded with Charlo and ate more powerful punches, a comeback to his victory from behind against Emmanuel de Jesus in Argentina.
In that 2016 fight, Castano was dropped in the sixth round and rallied to score a TKO in the sixth round. Almost five years later and thousands of kilometers away, Castano found himself in great difficulty again. And again, he dug deep and traded punches anyway. He survived the 10.
“He was like a belligerent all over the ring; he could barely stand, ”Charlo said. “I just couldn’t get him out of there. He’s tough as hell. “
Entering the final round, coach Derrick James told Charlo he needed a knockout to win. Castano said he could sense in the final rounds that Charlo was “worried,” adding that he felt Charlo respected his power and spent most of the fight waiting for the counter-cut.
“I feel like they stole from me,” said Castano, wearing a black cowboy hat with his manager, Sebastian Contursi, translating. “I’m not taking anything away from Charlo. He’s a big puncher. He sometimes caught me with good punches, but I survived, and overall I thought I won the fight.
“And needless to say I want the rematch because he still has the three belts I need and I think they should be mine. “
A recall encounter is natural, especially given the thrilling action the fight offered on Showtime, but it’s not a formality. Contursi admitted that “the obstacle could be the agents of the sanctioning body”. There is another potential obstacle: Charlo’s willingness to grant revenge.
Charlo, 31, was pushed to the limit and was fortunate enough to get by with his three belts intact. Castano landed 173 punches, the most ever against Charlo, by CompuBox. He also landed 41% of his powerful punches.
“I think … he’ll try to avoid [the rematch] “Castano said in his locker room after the press conference. “He’ll probably come up with something else. But in reality it is I who will give him the revenge. If he doesn’t want it, OK. We move on to the next fight. “
Castano was content with a draw with former champion Erislandy Lara in one of the best fights of 2019 and a groundbreaking performance for him, but he never received a rematch.
On Saturday night, while Castano didn’t earn the massive salary that would have accompanied a victory – he was looking to become the undisputed first 154-pound champion in the four-belt era – he certainly improved his position in the sport. .
If the rematch with Charlo doesn’t come along, an even bigger opportunity could be seized: a fight with Errol Spence Jr.
Charlo’s training buddy Spence meets legendary Manny Pacquiao on August 21 in a unified welterweight title fight. Spence said he could reach 154 pounds after the fight. And there is history with Castano: Spence lost to him in the amateurs.
For now, Castano is preparing to return to Argentina with his title around his waist and his pride intact. One day soon, he hopes to meet Charlo in the ring again, but even without rematch, Castano won the evening.