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Castillo Retains Title With Draw

September 16, 2000

DENVER (AP) _ Mexico’s Jose Luis Castillo retained his WBC lightweight title Friday night, fighting to a 12-round draw with hometown favorite Stevie Johnston.

The judges scored it 114-114, 115-114, 114-114.

Castillo (41-4-1) was making his first title defense since taking the championship from Johnson (30-2-1) on June 17 in Bell Gardens, Calif.

``The first time I trained for three weeks and I clearly won,″ Castillo said. ``This time I trained for eight weeks and I was much more confident. I said that I would win in eight rounds by knockout, but Johnston is a great boxer.″

Unlike the first fight, Johnston stayed out of the corners and effectively counterpunched throughout the fight and particularly in the early rounds. Castillo used straight rights in the fourth round to take control and maintained it in the fifth when his used left jabs to swell Johnston’s right.

Johnson hit Castillo with three straight lefts in the final 30 seconds of the eighth round, but Castillo stayed out of trouble with jabs and counterpunching the remainder of the fight.

``It was a tough fight, but I thought I pulled it out,″ Johnston said. ``I thought Castillo won only one round, but the judges didn’t see it that way.″

There was some confusion when the ring announcer had judge Ken Morita giving the fight to Johnston, 115-114. Moments later, Morita’s card was recalculated and announced as 114-114.

``It’s frustrating that it happened like that, but that’s boxing, and stuff happens,″ Johnston said.

On the undercard, super heavyweight Eric ``Butterbean″ Esch of Jaspar, Ala., stopped Marcus Rhode of Detroit Lakes, Minn., at 2:06 of the third round.

Cruiserweight Shane Swartz of Fort Collins, Colo., stopped Martin Lopez of El Paso, Texas, at 1:56 of the second round; lightweight Antonio Ramierez of the Dominican Republic, stopped Terrance Churchwell of Nashville, Tenn., at 2:57 of the third round; lightweight Juan Valenzuela of Mexico outpolinted Adan Casillas of Mexico; and junior middleweight Kelly Pavlik of Youngstown, Ohio, stopped Frank Sanchez of Aurora, Colo., in the first round.

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