Super Welterweight history was up for grabs tonight in San Antonio, Texas, as Jermell Charlo (17-0-2, 12 KOs) put his belts on the line against Brian Castaño (34-1-1, 18 KOs) to determine the first-ever undisputed Super Welterweight champion in the modern four-belt era.
Castaño, a native of Argentina, soaked in the ring walk and carried a wide smile as he made those final steps into the ring. Charlo followed up with more serious and intense energy as he made his walk.
The opening round was calculated from both sides. Castaño pressed Charlo but was careful not to fall into any traps set by the Houston fighter. In the second round, Charlo would counter beautifully with a short hook that buzzed the Argentine.
Castaño retreated and kept his composure while remaining cautious for the rest of the round. Castaño returned fire in the third and rocked Charlo just before ending the round with a strong hook of his own.
Castaño’s confidence was evident, and he began to pressure Charlo more and was seemingly not intimidated by Charlo’s power. Charlo would find success behind his jab, but through eight, it was Castaño who was the volume puncher and wouldn’t let off the gas.
In the corner of Charlo, trainer Derrick James asked his fighter to follow up his jab with power punches, but Charlo remained more careful than we’ve come to expect. In the 10th, Charlo would hurt Castaño midway through the round, and Castaño found himself in a world of trouble with Charlo chasing him down looking for a finish.
Castaño would survive the 10th, but was still visibly hurt to start the 11th. Castaño fought back and both men traded leather.
Charlo’s corner pleaded with their fighter to go for the knockout and not leave it in the hands of the judges. The Texas crowd rose to their feet as both fighters traded punches, with neither fighter wanting to give up in the final stretch.
The crowd cheered until the end, having witnessed one hell of a fight and both men raising their arms, having thought they won. The final scorecards read 114-113 for Castaño, 117-111 for Charlo and 114-114, giving us a split decision draw. The decision appeared fair amongst the majority of viewers, but many were left questioning the 117-111 card in favor of Charlo.
“I thought I won the fight,” said Charlo after the bout. ” He’s a tough competitor and he’s a warrior but I felt I showed him my power. We’ll go back to the drawing board and come back”.
Brian Castaño gained new fans after his performance, clearly evident after the fight with the crowd showering the Argenitne with cheers.
“I thought I won for sure,” proclaimed Castaño. “I pressured the fight, and yeah, he landed some good shots, but I felt I won. I’d like an immediate rematch.”
In the end, we didn’t get the undisputed champion we yearned for, but it’s safe to say the fight delivered with high volume action and sets up a nice scene for what we hope is an immediate rematch between the two.