Jermell Charlo and Brian Castaño will have to duel it out again after the two fought out a split decision draw – and now Tim Tszyu has responded.
The judges scored the fight 114-113 Castaño, 117-111 Charlo and 114-114.
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The result leaves Tszyu in limbo as the Aussie was in line to fight the winner for the world title.
Tszyu is ranked inside the top five with the WBC, WBO, IBF and IBO.
The Aussie though clearly had ideas over who he thought won the fight, tweeting:
“Congrats Brian Castaño. I’m ready when you are..”
Charlo delivered a brutal reality check to Tszyu in late May this year, declaring the Aussie was well below his level.
“Tim ‘Kostya’ Tszyu is not on a level to even fight for a world title,” told Ringside with the Lions.
“He ain’t even on the level to fight some of the guys that I’ve knocked the f**k out of and he ain’t even going to get no chance to fight me, probably throughout my career. I’m just being honest with you.
“Ten million sounds great, yes. I would love to take that, but Tim, sorry big homie, you ain’t getting that chance to fight Charlo ’cause Charlo got some other plans. I’m the champ. I’m the unified champ. I’m going to be the undisputed champ. I’m going to bust my ass in training camp to get to what I need to get to, to get all of the belts and then they’re going to say ‘champ you the king’.”
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The result on Sunday though says otherwise given Charlo was expected to win but made uncomfortable by Castaño.
Castaño seemingly had the upperhand for the opening nine rounds before Charlo exploded late.
Despite that, most believed that Castaño’s early onslaught would be enough and he would score a huge upset but it was not to be despite the Argentine suggesting otherwise post-fight.
“I won the fight definitely,” Castaño said through a translator.
“I hope there’s a rematch. He’s a great fighter. I want the rematch.”
“The draw wasn’t what I wanted to hear,” Charlo said.
”I thought I won this fight … Brian Castaño is a tough warrior.”
It means both fighters will keep their respective belts.
Charlo hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles and Castaño keeps the WBO belt.
The 117-111 score in favour of Charlo came under particular scrutiny from the boxing world.
FULL ROUND-BY-ROUND RECAP
Castaño was making moves early as he feinted to jab but would not commit to any of them early. He then went and started driving Charlo towards the corner, remaining patient and eventually let out a flurry. Charlo though was not too threatened by any of it. Castaño was the busier in the opening round while Charlo was trying to find a way into the fight with the jab. Both took the opening round to fee l their way into it. Charlo landed two of 11 jabs while Castaño landed two of 12.
Charlo really erupted with a counter left hook that seemed to have hurt Castaño. He was willing to be patient early but took his chances in the second. The Texas crowd was getting into it and Castaño was not offering anything back, instead retreating. He recovered though to take the counter but the momentum was with Charlo, who looked composed and had Castaño chasing since that left hook which caught his opponent by surprise.
The fight settled a bit but Castaño appeared reluctant to really unleash, not wanting to expose himself too much to Charlo’s counter-attack which caught him off-guard in the second. The threat of Charlo’s power had him worried before Castaño exploded towards the end of the round and shocked Charlo with a number of left hooks. Charlo looked set to take that round but the flurry sent Charlo back to the ropes and gave him the upper-hand.
Castaño has taken confidence from the ending to that third round. He has started to back his aggressive approach once more and hits Charlo with a flurry after he backed up to the ropes. Charlo may be waiting for the opportunity to rock Castaño with something big but needs to get off the ropes and not be too selective. Castaño brought the pressure and it is having an impact.
Charlo needed to throw a bit more, still being outworked by Castaño. He seemed to be waiting to land a counter left hook. Charlo started off early with a few jabs and finished with some late but Castaño rallied near the end to likely take that round. The upset was on the cards with Castaño doing well defensively.
Still Charlo was playing the long game looking to land that decisive blow but it was a risky strategy. Left hooks hit for Castaño and saw Charlo back towards the hopes. He found a way out before landing a solid left hook. Castaño though responded with a lead right hand that hit and then outworked Charlo in the final minute. He had been both busier and more accurate and was in front at this point.
Charlo seriously needed to land something big by this stage. He was working the jab well in the seventh but needed to do it more consistently as opposed to backing towards the ropes. Potentially Charlo just was not expecting this from Castaño, who continued to force Charlo into retreat. He needed to find a finisher with the two trading punches in the final seconds.
Castaño continued to pursue Charlo and close the difference while Charlo instead was waiting for that big opportunity to strike. Castaño opened with a short left hook before another forced Charlo back. Charlo then hit back with some body shots but Castaño was maintaining his aggression and landing heavy shots when needed while remaining defensively responsible. Charlo needed a knockout to try and stop Castaño’s pressure.
Charlo continued to back up into the ropes and this one was slipping away from him unless he landed something soon. Whether he had a back-up plan to counter Castaño’s pressure remained to be seen. It was calculated aggression from the Argentine and he continued to close these rounds strongly with his lead right hand proving his best weapon at this point. Not all of it was landing but his activity was superior to that of Charlo who was not dealing with the pressure well.
Castaño was winning this fight on the cards so the pressure was on Charlo to land something decisive. He started well and exploded. Charlo seemed to sense that the Argentine was vulnerable. He stunned Castaño with a flurry and then appeared to have hurt him with a right hand. A left hook then caught Castaño and Charlo was really taking full advantage of this surge. The power shots everyone was waiting for had come. Castaño though made it out of the round without hitting the deck but looked to be in serious trouble and Charlo had to try finish it off in the next round.
It was on Charlo to keep this up. He exploded with powerful shots in the 10th and had Castaño fighting on his back foot but Charlo may have missed the opportunity, having been pushed back to the ropes again. He missed four wide looping punches but landed some strong jab late. He needed the knockout with Castaño outlasting it and staying on his feet.
Charlo’s corner told him he needs a knockout in Round 12 and he was active early with the jabs while Castaño simply looked to hang on after his strong start. Once again Charlo was winning this round with some clean shots against the tiring Castaño but it still was looking like it would not be enough, with the Argentine eating a two-punch combination near the end. The two brawled and traded blows until the final bell.
In the first fight of the main card Alicar Vidal defeated Immanuwel Aleem in an incredibly tense and close contest.
Vidal emerged victorious 97-93, 97-93, 95-95 by majority decision to improve to 13-0.
He landed 205 of 571 punches (35 per cent) compared to Aleem’s 183 of 647 (28 per cent).
In the final fight before the main event Rolando Romero made a statement with a seventh-round TKO win over Anthony Yigit.
The fight was supposed to be at 135 pounds but Yigit missed weight by 5.2 pounds.
Romero was deducted a point for use of the elbow in the fifth round and it only fired him up as he responded with a big right hand which sent Yigit crashing to the floor.
“No, I was winning the fight,” he said when asked if he was concerned after losing the point.
He continued to hunt for the knockout blow and found it in the seventh with a left hook.
Romero was heavily booed by the crowd who had grown tired of his antics but it did not bother him.
In fact, it only seemed to give him even more confidence as he called out Gervonta Davis after the fight.
“I’m going to stop him and knock him out. I’m stronger than him,” he said.
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