Scorecard Sacrilege: Jermell Charlo vs. Brian Castaño ends in controversial split draw

Brian castaño jermell charlo boxing
Photo: Showtime

Brian Castaño and Jermell Charlo fought like true warriors to become an undisputed champion on Saturday night. We may have witnessed the fight of the year between these two gladiators – at least that’s how you felt about this fight before it went to the judges.

It was a firecracker of a fight, with great ebbs and flows from both fighters. Jermell Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KOs) and Brian Castaño (17-0-2,12 KOs) delivered a great fight which ended in a split draw, but one judge marred it with his card. The scorecards read (114-113, 114-114, and 117-111); the last card was inexplicably bothersome and questionable. A draw was certainly possible, which is how I scored it, but a 117-111 score is just pathetic. Boxing, again, has a black eye with the integrity of a judge called into question.

Jermell Charlo starts out on shaky ground

The early action had the pace moving towards the making of a classic. Early on, Castaño tried to put Charlo on his backfoot with constant pressure. The first round was slow, but an explosion from Charlo in round two set the crowd ablaze as following a counter left hook that stunned Castaño and had him hurt the entire round. Round three was a flurry as Castaño landed a left hook that buckled Charlo as the round ended.

Brian Castaño takes over

The middle action of the fight saw Castaño throw many flurries to what looked to build a lead. Charlo was against the ropes and seemed a little surprised by the pressure that Castaño was bringing to him. Castaño’s nonstop pressure attack didn’t allow Charlo to really let off the offense that he wanted. Every round, they began in the middle and then Charlo would end up against the ropes. Brian Castaño seemed to sweep the middle rounds.

Charlo shows championship mettle

Brian Castaño Jermell Charlo boxing
Brian Castaño and Jermell Charlo were both disappointed with the split draw in the first four-belt undisputed fight. Photo: Showtime

The championship rounds saw Jermell Charlo put forth an onslaught in the 10th round that turned the tide quickly. He had Brian Castaño very wobbly and hurt, but Castaño never went down and responded well in the 11th as they both fought that round close. They both brought in the 12th round and went for it all and had the crowd standing and applauding as the fight ended. Charlo swept the last three rounds on the judges’ scorecards which helped secure the draw. It was a great fight, and it was something that gave fans a great performance from both and brought a fight to remember. 

What’s next for Jermell Charlo and Brian Castaño

I think there’s no question that fans and fighters want a rematch of this one and it is warranted. The only issue that may arise is if the mandatories from the fighters pop up to throw a monkey wrench in the plans. Each fighter said they would like to be undisputed and said they could do it again. Charlo and BrianCastaño acknowledged that both were warriors and felt they won the fight, so I say immediate rematch let’s bring round 13.