New York – Saturday night it was Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano at the AT&T Center In San Antonio, Texas and a quest to become the first ever undisputed 154-pound champion in the four belt era. They gave fans a potential fight of the year candidate.
However, as is often the situation in boxing we have to wait another day after their battle ended in a 12-round split decision draw, and it is more difficult to comprehend a 117-111 scorecard that judge Nelson Vasquez gave to Charlo.
Yes, Castano did not deserve that outcome and neither should Charlo and again the issue is about one of the “Three Blind Mice” at ringside that deliver the final verdict if a fight does not end in a stoppage.
Perhaps if boxing reverted to 15-round championship fights, and that will probably never happen, a judge at ringside would not have the liberty of scoring three of the 12 rounds to Castano but we will leave that issue for another day.
After this outcome the one and only option is do this fight again. Boxing and fans deserve to see a rematch and that depends on getting by the mandatory positions of the alphabet soup known as the WBA, WBC, IBF, and the WBO belt held by Castano.
“I’m used to getting the knockout and not getting the draw,” Charlo said at the post fight press conference. “ I should have won the fight. I don’t believe it was that close. I should be undisputed right now.”
Of course Castano also has a cause to be the rightful winner. Though, my scorecard had it 114-113 for Castano, there is also a legitimate case about scoring this a draw.
“I believe it should be mine,” Castano said. “I did my job. He did his job. He hurt me in the second round. I hurt him in the third round. Judges open for a draw, I don’t agree with it. I demand and would love a rematch.”
The PBC and Showtime Boxing would also vouch to see a return bout, but the sanctioning bodies have to bypass those mandatory challenges and in this case the WBO title is more of the complex issue.
Regardless, I am sure boxing fans would offer no argument about Charlo and Castano meeting again at some point next year. Then again, unifying the titles in boxing is more difficult than your favorite teams getting a championship after a long drought or lawmakers agreeing on the same agenda.
Wait, they say this is boxing politics and that is the situation here. The sanctioning organizations have a say in everything and unifying titles is not in their best interest because alphabet soup would not dominate the sport.
And I don’t see Charlo moving up in weight at 160, or eventually meeting his twin brother Jermall the WBC title holder.
Castano showed he deserved a title shot. Charlo, again showed his skills and had those late rounds that scored with the judges as he obviously appeared to be going down to defeat. Again the outcome calls for a rematch.
I was one of many that gave Castano a chance to unify the titles. He reminds me so much of Segio Martinez, a fellow Argentian who pulled the upset over Kelly Palvic for the WBC and WBO middleweight titles at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City in April of 2010.
Castano has a good following and more jumped on his bandwagon Saturday night. Castano was staggered by a counter left hook in the second. He countered in the third and nailed Charlo with his own left hook toward the end of the round.
Charlo got defensive as we have not seen in his previous fights that propelled him to the titles and trainer Derrick James knew his fighter was trailing on the scorecards. All that remained was an outcome of a stoppage or putting the fight in the hands of those judges at ringside.
“I was hurt in the 10th round and I had to recoup,” said Castano. “Same with the beginning of the 11th round. But I did enough to win this fight. I hope I get a rematch. He is a great fighter. I need the rematch.”
But the next time could be a long time and that is the issue with boxing. In the meantime the sport will move on with championship fights of 12-rounds and there will be more of these controversial scorecards.
There will be more split decisions and those “Three Blind Mice” looking at a fight from a different perspective than you and I. For years we have seen more than one of these outcomes and two fighters ending a rivalry with that trilogy to settle the score.
The late Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward had their trilogy at Boardwalk Hall and they were epic fights. Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin need to settle their rivalry with a trilogy that may never happen and attribute that to boxing politics and the sanctioning organizations.
Said Castano, “I think if Charlo is not afraid of a rematch, I don’t know his plans for at 160. I want those three belts for sure.”
Guarantee Jermell Charlo is not afraid of a rematch. And for sure Castano is aware of what he needs to do next time if the opportunity comes. Charlo is not moving up to 160 as there is more money to be made in unifying the titles.
So the PBC, Showtime Boxing, and the sanctioning organizations need to make this happen. A rematch for Charlo and Castano is rightfully deserved. The rematch is rightfully deserved for the sport and boxing fans.
And next time let’s assure that “Three Blind Mice” at ringside get it right if a knockout is not the final verdict.
Rich Mancuso: Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso
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