By: Oliver McManus
What should have been remembered as a fantastically ferocious fight between Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano, has been cruelly overshadowed by an example of incompetent judging.
A fight that was set to return an undisputed champion at 154lbs suddenly turned into a hotbed of disputes: primarily around Nelson Vazquez’ 117-111 card in favour of Charlo.
It’s a scorecard that, ultimately, tarnishes what was a very good fight between two champions and has dragged the contest into the murky underbelly of the sport. There were moments of brightness for both men with Castano’s work rate consistently catching the eye.
The Argentinian, nearly five inches smaller, was able to consistently shimmy his way into the pocket and boxed with real flair. Charlo, though, ensured Castano had to work for the full twelve rounds: stinging his man in the second round and then continuing with some neat work. But, ultimately, not enough to get his nose ahead.
On any given day you’d suggest that the 114-114 card returned by Tim Cheatham would be ‘the anomaly’ scorecard and we’d all walk away a bit irked but with Castano at least crowned champion.
Therein lies the issue with the scorecards. All too often we see a bad card returned and caveat it with the phrase “at least the right man won.” Except, the right man didn’t get their hand raised on Saturday night. Castano was a worthy winner and should be basking in glory as a unified champion.
Instead, he’s the subject of a shocking scorecard and soundbites from Charlo suggesting he might be hesitant towards a rematch.
Poor scoring isn’t unique to the state of Texas: it’s endemic throughout boxing but this needs to run again for the sake of clarity. For the sake of the sanity of all those who stayed up and witnessed Castano take victory only for it to be snatched away.