Jose Luis Castillo Weight Scandal…WBC Drops The Ball Again

castilloBy Wray Edwards: In an almost unbelievable repeat of poor management and professional standards the WBC has once again completely lost sight of its primary responsibilities. “Fool me once shame on you…fool me twice…shame on me…fool me a third time…I am hopelessly incompetent.” Not content to have screwed up twice in supervising one of its premier boxer’s fight preparation schedules, the WBC has once again demonstrated that it is (IMO) completely incapable of taking a clue and tightening its supervision of a boxer who has served ample notice that he should be subject to strict authority.

This is very bad for Boxing which is fighting for its very survival as a credible sport. It’s all well and good for everybody to party on the “Mayan Riviera”, but to expect the king of weigh-in fiascos and his camp to actually hit the mark without daily supervision is sheer fantasy and they (the WBC) should have known it..

A pretty good case can be made that Castillo's two weigh-in failures at Corrales-Castillo two and three ruined Diego's career. In the first incident Corrales and his camp let the fight to continue even though Chico had paid his metabolic dues while Castillo was allowed to skate. We all watched as Chico was KO’ed in the fourth round. When he got back to his feet he asked “What happened?” What happened was that Diego’s generous nature and optimistic outlook had been taken advantage of by the WBC, the promoters, the media, the fans and the State Commission.

Whipped to a fever pitch of expectation by the exciting and controversial outcome of their first fight, everyone involved couldn’t wait to get the pair back in the ring (in a bigger and more profitable venue I might add). They all went blithely forward with visions of trilogy-plum fairies dancing in their heads. Personally, I believe that JLC had no intention whatsoever to make weight and was simply bent on a campaign of macho revenge.

Once a boxer and his camp have missed the weigh-in mark, even one time (especially in multiple pounds), they should immediately be put on probation and subjected to close observation prior to their next fight. Would there be anything wrong with a sanction requiring one of their representatives to be ever-present in a boxer’s training camp to ensure that he is on a manageable schedule of weight loss which will be successful by weigh-in day? The boxer and promoter would be completely responsible for the per diem expenses of the sanction rep. during the supervision period.

The sanction rep would be given a strict schedule to follow and make sure that the camp fully understood its professional responsibilities from camp day one. Some think that last-minute crash losses of seven to ten pounds are common-place and acceptable in the sport. Hogwash!! Measured increments over time, or just plain staying in shape should be the norm…not last minute treadmill, emetic, enema and diuretic measures which are great health risks and unnecessary.

The camp conditioning coach and the sanction supervisor should work together closely to help the boxer make weight in the healthiest manner possible. Otherwise a boxing camp made op of a hodge-podge of conflicting motives and appetites will surely lose sight of the goal: professional preparation.

The Anchondo-Barrios fight was a perfect example of a boxing camp’s inability to properly supervise its charge. Mike told me that it was his fault because he was not as self-disciplined as he should have been, but that does not relieve his trainer, promoter and conditioner of their absolute responsibility to monitor and control the entire process. Anchondo, whom I believe had great potential, has never recovered from that disaster.

The idiocy of the attempts at a so-called Corrales-Castillo trilogy culminated in Castillo’s second weigh-in failure. IMO the third fight would not have been a true trilogy anyway because the second was declared “non-title” thus invalidating the linear logic of an actual trilogy. For Corrales, who finally saw the light and refused to participate in the third fight, it was a total disaster.

Just imagine being knocked out cold fighting a guy, trying to recover confidence, focus and will to continue in the sport, and then grinding out yet another grueling training camp and successful weight-loss program only to have the rug pulled out from under him at the last minute.

My conversations with Chico prior to the third fight weigh-in indicated that he was making a supreme effort to get back in stride. To have built up so much momentum, desire and sacrifice only to be left at the alter was devastating. In my opinion Diego Chico Corrales (God rest his soul) was thrown to the wolves after his first fight with Jose. So here we are again, a young boxer has trained, worked and endured the pain and isolation of camp only to be insulted by his prospective opponent.

When all is said and done…it is ultimately responsibility of the WBC to do the professional thing with the millions in dues which are paid by the boxers to be recognized by that sanction…especially in cases where certain boxers have proven that they are in need of official scrutiny leading up to a fight.

The state commissions, the two camps and the sanctions all look incompetent as hell when everybody is “dismayed” and “embarrassed” as a boxer fails to make weight. The weigh-in should be a ceremony not a soap opera. Everybody should know ahead of time, and nip these problems in the bud instead of looking like complete fools when the scales go past the mark. In a potentially lethal blood sport which needs to revamp its approach in many aspects, such train-wrecks are quite avoidable, if only someone cared and did the right thing. See you at the fights.

Article posted on 08.03.2008

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