By Francisco Salazar
Brian Castano kept his undefeated record intact with a twelve round split decision win over Michel Soro to retain the interim-WBA world junior middleweight title at the Casino d'Evian in Evian les Bains, France.
The scores were 115-113, 115-113 for Castano and 116-112 for Soro.
Castano (14-0, with 10 KOs) won the interim WBA title in his last bout on November 26, surviving a second round knockdown to knock out Emmanuel de Jesus in round six. The 27-year-old from Buenos Aires, Argentina, had never fought anyone near the level of opposition Soro had fought, and is now the mandatory challenger for the WBA title.
The action was fierce, but Soro did not succeed in making the inexperienced Castano crumble.
After the contest was over, Soro gave his congrats and believes that he gave away some rounds with a slow start and also felt the activity level of Castano played a big role in the scoring.
"His activity certainly influenced the judges, but he put in a fine fight, it was close and the judges decided. My congratulations to him. I may have started too late in this fight," Soro said.
Indeed, the early rounds Castano had the advantage before Soro was able to make the right adjustments. Castano was able to withstand the punches of Soro and also countered back with some shots of his own. Even when they stood their ground to trade punches, Castano was able to hold how own with few issues.
Soro (now 30-2, with 20 KOs), was ranked number three by the WBA and number six by the IBF.
In his last bout on April 22, Soro stopped former world title contender Javier Maciel in the third round. Originally from the Ivory Coast and now residing in Villeurbanne, France, Soro had been unbeaten since his 12 round decision loss to Zaurbek Baysangurov in May of 2012, building up a string of 13 bouts.
Aside from the Maciel win, and a close draw against Antoine Douglas in July of 2014, Soro has defeated fringe contenders Glen Tapia and Hector Saldivia.
Unbeaten welterweight prospect Mohammed Rabii (3-0, with 2 KOs), who won the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, picked up a stoppage win over Temur Abuladze (7-2, with 5 KOs).
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing