– A brisk start had Keita Obara pressing and landing evenly to the head and body with his jab and left hook—that is until the momentum changed in the second round, when Walter Castillo’s left hook and right hand combinations rocked Obara backward. Obara punctuated an evenly fought third round with a crisp right uppercut in the final 10 seconds.
– A cut surfaced over the right eye of an undeterred Castillo in the fourth, when Obara often beat his foe to the punch, mixing in-and-out tactics with lateral movement while effectively targeting Castillo’s eye with jabs, hooks and right hands and uppercuts from range. Obara’s counters swiveled Castillo’s head in the fifth, and by the sixth, Castillo was bleeding from the mouth.
– Obara seemed to turn momentum in his direction midway through the bout, then capitalized on it in the seventh and eighth when he rocked Castillo with sweat-spraying rights. Obara endured ninth- and 10th-round rallies during which Castillo pressured and punished the Japanese fighter to the head and body along the ropes. Castillo’s cut grew wider and deeper in the 11th, and he bled from his right ear entering the 12th. Yet after the final bell sounded he’d done enough in the judges’ eyes to earn a majority draw.
It seemed doubtful, given the fighters’ combined concussive power, that Saturday’s 140-pound clash between Walter Castillo and Keita Obara would last the scheduled 12-round distance.
After all, Castillo—a 27-year-old Nicaraguan—had knocked out five of his previous six opponents. Even more impressively, Japan’s Obara had stopped 14 men in 16 professional fights.
As it turned out, neither Obara (15-1-1, 14 KOs) nor Castillo (26-3-1, 19 KOs) was the victor in what turned out to be a quite unlikely result: a majority draw at Miccosukee Resort & Gaming in Miami.
Despite outlanding Castillo in total punches (230-116), power shots (160-125) and jabs (70-41), Obara was denied the win on the scorecards, with one judge having it 115-113 for Obara, while the other two scored it 114-114 twice.
A gloriously chiseled 28-year-old boxer-puncher known for his mighty left hand—notably, the jab—Obara pounded Castillo from range through the middle rounds starting in the third. He also caused a nasty cut over Castillo’s right eye by the fourth; had the Nicaraguan boxer bleeding from his mouth by the sixth; and, by the 12th, bloodied Castillo’s right ear.
An evenly contested bout early on, Obara seized momentum midway through the contest. From the seventh round on, Obara morphed into a power puncher who rocked and wobbled Castillo into the ropes with combinations that caused sweat to spray from his rival’s head.
Castillo valiantly tried to turn the tables in the ninth and 10th, when he brought pressure and delivered punishment to Obara’s head and body along the ropes. Still, his opponent kept coming forward.
Prior to the start of the 11th round, the ringside doctor took a long look at the cavernous gash over Castillo’s eye prior. The fight was allowed to continue, though—a decision that turned out to be very much to Castillo’s benefit.
- Castillo vs Obara