"Chico" Corrales Talks About "Popo" Freitas Fight

27.07.04 - In one of the most eagerly anticipated match-ups of 2004, Acelino “Popo” Freitas (35-0, 31 KOs) will put his undefeated record and WBO lightweight crown on the line against WBO Junior Lightweight Champion Diego Corrales (38-2, 31 KOs) Saturday, Aug. 7, 2004, at 9 p.m. ET/PT* on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING. Banner Promotions will present the event from Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn.

DIEGO CORRALES : “I am more ready than I ever have been in my entire life. I have never been in better shape. I have left everything on the table. On fight night, it is show and tell time. If Freitas wants to go glove to glove, he cannot go forever. I am not letting this opportunity pass me by. He is a good guy, but when we hit the scales, it is on. Come hell or high water, I am coming home with the [WBO lightweight] belt. Nothing is going to stop me.”

“Coming from a bad situation, I am glad things have worked out for my wife, Michelle. She carried a lot of the weight. Even though I lost the first Joel Casamayor fight, mentally I felt great. That is a tribute to her strength. In the second Casamayor fight, he was completely baffled when I came out with the jab.”

“To win two world titles in the style Freitas has done it, he has proved that he has great skills. He and I know that both of us can bail ourselves out with one punch. He is physically strong. He will keep me on my toes.”

“I have no fear going into this fight. Freitas can come out like King Kong. I will control everything. We have been working really hard on defense. You will see some new tricks.”

“Joe Goossen has helped me more than I can explain. My wife, kids and I go over to his house every Monday for dinner. I have gotten to know him and his family.”

“I do not have future plans until I get rid of Freitas. All of my attention is on him. I have dedicated all of the two-and-one-half months of camp to defeating him. “

To Casamayor: “You called me a chicken. In two fights, you ran. Watch the second fight and tell me who won. Daniel Seda is a good fighter and took it to another level, but you should not have allowed him to go the distance.”

“I have the confidence back. Things have come full circle. I made a lot of bad decisions. My wife and I are happy with what we have accomplished.”

“No matter what happens on Aug. 7, I have worked to the fullest of my abilities. Mentally, physically and emotionally, I am ready.”

“I feel much stronger at this weight (lightweight). I have put on some size. The fight may turn into a brawl because of my nature. That is okay because I love to fight.”

“I want to make Freitas pay both inside and out. I want to be in his mind and make him think about the next round. I come in thinking that every fight is my toughest.”

“To all the naysayers out there, three years have gone by and nothing has gone wrong. I went through counseling and made a lot of changes in my life.”

“What drives me is resilience. You can go to the top of the mountain to the bottom, then back to the top. I have done that with resilience.”

“I know exactly where I am going to be after this fight. Win or lose, I will go home as a husband and a father.”

“I have always known what my talent is. Boxing has always been second nature to me.”

Regarding his arrest and time in jail:

“I paid my price and took my punishment. I came back a totally different person. When you come to a time and question yourself, you have to make changes. Since coming back, I try to be the best person, the most positive role model, and the best husband and father I can be.”

“I do not think my wife, Michelle, realizes how much strength she has. She was put in a really tough position and she handled it great. When I lost my faith, she did not.”

“When you are in a bad situation, you find out who really is there for you. Fourteen months later, the same people who walked me into jail walked me out. I will always be eternally grateful to my family for that.”

Article posted on 27.07.2004

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