Remembering Corrales-Castillo I

Corrales 09.05.07 - By Sean Ocampo: On the second year anniversary of his epic first fight with Jose Luis Castillo, Diego "Chico" Corrales (photo: Tom Casino/Showtime) passed away due to a tragic motorcycle accident. I was saddened with the tragic passing of Chico because he was one of my favorite fighters of all time. My heart goes to his family and friends. Chico gave boxing fans toe-to-toe battles and will forever be remembered those fights. May he rest in peace.

May 7, 2005 was the date many boxing fans will never forget. It was the night when Diego "Chico" Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo battled it out in one of the most unforgettable fights in boxing history. At stake in this fight was Castillo’s WBC title and Corrales’ WBO title.

Only a few fight fans in the Mandalay Bay Events Center witnessed the fight live. Only a few knew the significance of this fight. These few fight fans were treated with history..

Jose Luis Castillo came out first looking really relaxed while walking towards the ring. He came out together with his team and boyhood idol/Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez.

Diego Corrales came out looking really pumped and was shouting "What?" towards to the few ecstatic fans in the arena. Chico came from a really satisfying knockout victory over previously unbeaten Acelino Freitas. He is now looking to unify his newly captured WBO title with Castillo's WBC title.

Right from the opening bell, both fighters engaged themselves into a toe-to-toe battle. With Corrales' height and reach advantage over Castillo, many fans and experts speculated that Diego will just use his reach and jab his way to victory. But it wasn't the case in this fight. Chico said before the fight that he'll engage himself to a toe-to-toe battle. He was definitely true to his word.

From rounds 2-9, Castillo and Corrales were going all out every round and were doing damage on their own. It was a close fight but I personally have Corrales winning the fight by a narrow margin. Both fighters are just looking at a perfect opportunity to land their respective money punches. There were no knockdowns with the frantic pace. However, there were warnings issued by referee Tony Weeks to Castillo for hitting low and Corrales for spitting the mouthpiece.

The drama of the fight unfolded during the 10th round, both fighters were bruised, fatigued and cut. It was a punishing fight for both Castillo and Corrales. Castillo was cut above his left eye. While Corrales' eyes were both shut down due to the punishing blows Castillo dished out.

Castillo dropped Corrales with a smashing left hook to Chico's jaw early in the round. Corrales' mouthpiece also came out with the hook. Tony Weeks warned Corrales for spitting his mouthpiece. Castillo jumped on Corrales after the count with tremendously hard punches to the head and body. Another hook dropped Corrales and again Corrales spits the mouthpiece. Tony Weeks finally deducts a point to Corrales. It was already a 10-6 round for in favor of Castillo.

When the fight looks to be finished, Corrales suddenly rocked with a right hand. The previously battered Corrales pressured Castillo with combinations. A cracking left hook from Corrales pushed Castillo to the ropes and Castillo was once again rocked. Corrales fired away with unrelenting combinations to the head that prompted Tony Weeks to stop the fight.

It was one of the most memorable comeback victories in boxing history. Both Castillo and Corrales became legends after this fight. Nobody questioned their hearts and their abilities. They were two the gutsiest performers this sport has ever seen.

Boxing will miss Diego “Chico” Corrales. Thanks for the exciting fights you gave us fans and for glory you gave boxing. You will be missed. I just hope every fighter will give 100% guts every time they step in the ring like “Chico”.

Article posted on 09.05.2007

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