LAS VEGAS – Fellow Dominican Starling Castillo ruined Esteuri Suero’s debut in the United States on Saturday.

The southpaw withstood Castillo’s strong start, took control of their bout in the middle rounds and won their competitive 10-round junior welterweight bout by unanimous decision on the Rolando Romero-Ismael Barroso undercard at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Castillo (18-1-1, 13 KOs) won by three points on the scorecards of judges Eric Cheek (95-92) and Max De Luca (95-92) and one point on judge David Sutherland’s card (94-93) because referee Celestino Ruiz deducted three points from Suero for fouls in the last two rounds, including biting Castillo on the shoulder.

Santo Domingo’s Suero lost for the first time as a pro (12-1, 9 KOs).

Ruiz deducted two points from Suero for biting Castillo on his left shoulder in the 10th round. Ruiz called for a break with 1:18 to go in the 10th round, so that a doctor could examine Castillo after Suero bit him.

Ruiz previously took a point from Suero just as the ninth round ended because Suero landed a low blow. Ruiz warned Suero several times for fouls earlier in their fight, including about a minute earlier for hitting Castillo when he called for a break.

A right hand by Castillo snapped Seuro’s head backward with just under a minute to go in the ninth round. Castillo ate a left uppercut, but quickly landed a straight left 30 seconds into the ninth round.

A right hook by Castillo knocked Suero off balance and made him stumble a minute into the eighth round.

Castillo’s left to Suero’s body landed with just under a minute to go in the seventh round. Suero again tried to tie up Castillo several times in the seventh round.

Ruiz admonished Suero for fouling Castillo when he called for a break barely a minute into the sixth round. Seuro tied up Castillo several times in the sixth round to keep him from punching.

Suero and Castillo traded hard punches with about 45 seconds on the clock in the fifth round. Castillo landed a left and got out of Suero’s punching range 45 seconds into the fifth round.

Suero’s straight right snapped back Castillo’s head with just over 10 seconds to go in the fourth round, but Castillo slipped most of Suero’s shots earlier in the fourth round.

After taking several flush punches, Castillo staggered Suero with a left hand that made him back up with just under a minute remaining in the third round. Suero tried to hold Castillo after taking that shot, which led to Castillo flinging him to the canvas.

Suero countered Castillo several times during the second round, but a straight left by Castillo temporarily stopped Suero in his tracks with 30 seconds to go in that round.

A right hand by Suero knocked Castillo backward with about 1:10 to go in the first round. Suero’s left hook to the body, followed by a left hook up top, made Castillo move away from him 40 seconds into the opening round.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.