Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano fought to a draw Saturday, denying either a historic victory that would have crowned one of them the first four belt undisputed champion in boxing’s super welterweight division.

The showdown marked the first time all four 154-pound belts were on the line with Charlo keeping his three [WBC, WBA and IBF] and Castano retaining the WBO strap as a result of the draw.

But the fight proved to be closer than expected with more-aggressive Castano proving he could take Charlo’s best punch and deliver heavy blows of his own, especially in the middle rounds at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Judges delivered a split decision draw with one having it 114-113 for Argentina’s Castano, another 114-114 and the third raised eyebrows by scoring it a one-sided 117-111 in favour of American Charlo.

Both fighters thought they won the bout, Charlo because he almost knocked down his rival in the second round and Castano because he controlled the tempo in the middle rounds.

“A draw isn’t what I wanted to hear,” said Charlo. “I won this fight. I hurt him a lot more. My power is serious. I had him in trouble in the second and 10th rounds.

“This is my first time experiencing something like this. This comes with boxing — wins, losses and draws.”

Charlo was looking for the spectacular knockout, while Castano was the more patient of the two, using a combination of body and head shots to score.

“I won the fight. There were some rounds that he hit me hard, but I won the fight,” Castano said of his simple but effective game plan.

Charlo moved to 34-1 with one drawn and 18 knockouts while Castano is now 17-0 with two drawn and 12 knockouts.

Charlo won his WBC crown over fellow American Tony Harrison in December 2019 — avenging his only career defeat — and took the others last September with an eighth-round knockout of Dominican Jeison Rosario.

Castano defeated Brazil’s Patrick Teixeira by unanimous decision last February to claim the lesser WBO crown.

Charlo’s twin brother Jermall is the unbeaten WBC middleweight champion.

Source: AFP