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Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano Fight To Draw As Road To Undisputed Title Not Done


Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

For years, boxing’s junior middleweight division was on a quest to crown an undisputed champion.

June 17, 2021 was supposed to be the date that champion would be crowned between Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano, but the judges scoring the fight had a difference idea.

After 12 exciting, back-and-forth rounds, Charlo and Castano were not able to produce a definitive winner. The fight ended in a split draw with Charlo winning 117-111 on Nelson Vazquez’s scorecard, Castano winning 114-113 on Steve Weisfeld’s scorecard, and Nelson Vazquez scoring the fight 114-114. As such, Charlo keeps his WBA, WBC, and IBF titles while Castano keeps his WBO title.

From the start of the fight, both men looked for that one big punch to end the bout. Charlo fired off a big flurry of punches that momentarily hurt Castano at the end of round 2. However, Castano responded with a flurry of his own that included a right hand that staggered Charlo for a brief moment up against the ropes.

As the fight progressed, both fighters continued to try and outbox each other with the occasional fiery exchange. Charlo applied pressure with the jab, but Castano applied pressure with his aggression, forcing Charlo to stay on the ropes throughout most of the fight.

Starting the ninth round, Charlo was more aggressive and landed cleaner punches, including a few in the 10th round that hurt Castano. Although Castano survived the round, Charlo continued to outbox and outjab his opponent, opening the way for Charlo to land the better punches and sweep the last three rounds on all three judges’ scorecards.

According to CompuBox, Castano outthrew Charlo 586 to 533 in total punches and outlanded him 173 to 151. Charlo was more effective fighting with the jab and Castano had the better power punch output, outlanding him 164 to 98 in that category.

Despite the way it ended, both fighters believed they each won the fight and would like to have a rematch next.

“He threw a hell of a lot of punches. My skills and my ability and my power – I felt like I won this fight and I deserve to be going home undisputed. I am glad to have fought for undisputed. It’s different. I still hold my titles. I can’t wait to get home to my babies, take a break from boxing and then get back to the drawing board and see what’s next. I want to be undisputed. That’s what I want. That’s my destiny,” said Charlo after the fight.

“I was hurt in the 10th round and I had to recoup. Same with the beginning of the 11th round. But I did enough to win this fight. I hope I get the rematch. He is a great fighter. I need the rematch,” said Castano after the fight.


The journey to crowning an undisputed champion at junior middleweight has been going on for years. Several fighters at one point or another had a shot at fighting their way into this spot, but many faltered in title fights. Tony Harrison, Jeison Rosario, and Patrick Teixeira are all world champions Charlo and Castano beat to get to this point. Other fighters, such as Jarrett Hurd, Julian Williams, and Erislandy Lara, have also suffered losses in big title fights at junior middleweight.

With the draw, that journey continues for an indefinite amount of time. A rematch could fix that problem, but there is no guarantee that a rematch is next. Prior to the fight, the WBO stated that the winner has 180 days to make a mandatory defense, but a mandatory challenger for the belt has yet to be announced. Currently, the No. 1 ranked fighter in the WBO rankings is Tim Tszyu.

The contender whose name is possibly at the top of the list of fighters who would have fought the winner is Erickson Lubin, the mandatory challenger for the WBC title. Lubin challenged for the title in 2017, but got knocked out by Charlo, but has bounced back with six straight wins, including one against Rosario in June.


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