Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York – Brian Castano retained his WBA “regular” 154-pound title Saturday night when he and former champion Erislandy Lara fought to a split draw. (photos by Stephanie Trapp, Tom Casino).
Judge Kevin Morgan had it 115-113 for Castano and John McKaie had it 115-113 for Lara. Julie Lederman scored it 114-114 for the split draw, which drew plenty of boos from the crowd of 7,329 at Barclays Center.
Lara (25-3-3) was trying to regain a title after the long-time champion had lost his belt by split decision to Jarrett Hurd last April in Las Vegas. Like that one, and many of his other fights, this one was too close to call in almost every round, with Castano (15-0-1) pressuring Lara around the ring and throwing more punches, but Lara coming back with precise left hands.
Castano kept his hands held high and was able to block many of Lara’s left hands early in the fight, but the veteran began getting them through the guard more often as the fight went on.
Lara’s loss to Hurd was a thriller – awarded fight of the year for 2018 – but he looked old at the end of it, getting knocked down in the final round to ultimately cost him the fight.
But he held on until the end in this one, though Castano won the final three rounds on all three scorecards.
The champion was frustrated afterward, believing his aggressiveness should have won him the fight. He outlanded Lara and was credited with throwing 668 power punches to Lara’s 301, but only landed 78 more of them against Lara’s crafty defense.