Judging ‘disgrace’ ruins Tszyu rival blockbuster

The super welterweight world title unification bout between Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano has ended in a split draw, making Tim Tszyu’s hopes of getting a shot at the belts no clearer.

The cards read 114-113 Castano, 117-111 Charlo and 114-114 after 12 rounds in San Antonio, Texas. Boxing writers were stunned by the card in Charlo’s favour, from judge Nelson Vasquez. So too was leading promoter Lou DiBella.

Castano therefore retains his WBO belt, while Charlo remains the WBC, WBA, IBF and Ring Magazine champion. Tszyu called out Castano but may well have to wait for a rematch; and the Aussie star is likely to take another fight beforehand anyway, against British veteran Liam Smith in Australia during September. Tszyu (19-0, 15 KOs) is ranked the WBO’s No.1 contender.

Both men raised their hands after the fight and it turned out that both were right. Each looked bemused as the cards were revealed.

American star Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KOs) tried to claim victory, having fought back well after a stellar start from Castano.

“If anything, I won this fight. I hurt him way more than he hurt me,” Charlo said.

“Brian Castano’s a tough warrior, he’s going to give some people some problems, but my power is something serious at this weight division.

“My coach told me I needed a knockout in the ninth round. This comes with boxing – wins, losses and draws.”

Argentina’s Castano (17-0-2, 12 KOs), via an interpreter, also claimed victory.

“I won the fight. There were some rounds he hit me hard, but I won the fight,” he said.

“I did enough to win the fight.

“I hope there’s a rematch. He’s a great fighter, me too. I need the rematch.”

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