By Max Schramm: The judges for last Saturday’s controversial 12 round draw between 154-lb champions Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano have been widely criticized by the boxing public as having scored the fight wrong.
WBO junior middleweight champion Castano (17-0-2, 12 KOs) won the fight by a clear 12 round decision in the eyes of the boxing world. Still, one of the judges, Nelson Vazquez, scored it wide for Jermell, giving him the victory by a 117-111 score.
That’s 9 rounds to 3, which is score is baffling to the average fan because Charlo was getting pummeled against the ropes in nine of the rounds.
Hence, some boxing fans believing that judge Nelson Vazquez was confused about the names of the two fighters.
The other two judges scored it 114-114 [Tim Cheatham] and 114-113 [Steve Weisfield] for Charlo. This writer scored the fight 116-112 for Castano.
The referee failed to give Castano credit for a knockdown
Jermell spent too much time on the ropes to win, and he was clearly knocked down in the third round by Castano.
That was a situation where Castano nailed Jermell with a big left hook that visibly stunned him, sending him falling into the ropes from two feet away.
Jermell didn’t back up into the ropes, he FELL, and it was obvious from watching it that the ropes had prevented Jermell from being knocked down.
An alert referee would have seen what had happened and given Castano credit for a knockdown, but the referee working that night, Hector Afu, failed to make the call. By the referee not making the call, Charlo was able to avoid a loss.
Nelson Vazquez explains his 117-111 score
“It was a close fight, but in the sense that there were a lot of close rounds,” Nelson Vazquez said to The Gondol about the Charlo vs. Castano fight. “And that is always a matter of appreciation. A judge can see an assault in one way and another in another,” said Vazquez.
In commenting on the judge Steve Weisfield, who scored round ten in favor of Jermell by a 10-8 score despite Brian never getting knocked down in the round, Vazquez said, “that was his appreciation.”
“I didn’t think I should hit 10-8 because, in the first part of the round, Castaño had landed a lot of punches as well.”
“It’s business as usual, quantity versus power,” Nelson said in reacting to CompuBox’s stats showing that Castano had, in fact, out-landed Jermell by a 173 to 151 margin.
It would make sense what Vazquez says about Jermell’s power being given more weight in scoring the round, but Castano landing a lot more shots, and he appeared to be in control of the fight through the first nine rounds.
The punches that Castano was landing was snapping Jermell’s head back, and they were plenty hard.
They might not have had the same kind of power behind them as Jermell’s, but they landed with enough force to where he appeared to be getting the better of him.
To only give Castano three rounds, that’s what many boxing fans view as disturbing. Sure, Vazquez can try and justify why he came up with his oddball 117-111 score, but the fans and the boxing world don’t agree.
What also looks bad is that the wide score by Vazquez was given the A-side fighter, the home guy Jermell instead of the visitor Castano. It looks bad that the home guy was given such a wide score in a fight that appeared to go the other way.
“Judging a fight is very different from seeing it as a fan. As a fan, one can be chatting with friends, or drinking, while as a judge, one has to be completely focused at all times,” said Vazquez about his views on judging.
Vazquez doesn’t make sense about fans not paying attention to a fight the way judges do. There were obviously enough fans whose eyes were riveted to the action last Saturday during the Charlo vs. Castano fight for them to identify who the better man was.
I mean, all the fans couldn’t have been chatting with friends and drinking during the Jermell-Castano fight to miss what was happening.