Jose Luis Castillo - A Guy Who Won't (Can't) Quit

by James Slater - Despite the fact that he was quite badly punished throughout the ten full rounds of last fight, against Sebastian Andres Lujan, 35-year-old Mexican warrior Jose Luis Castillo is set to fight again on January 17th. Unwilling or unable to give it up and walk into the sunset, the former two-time WBC lightweight champion and the man who is generally considered to have given the great Floyd Mayweather Junior his toughest fight, boxes 30-year-old James Wayka in Baja California, Mexico..

Jose Luis CastilloOnce again fighting at welterweight (Castillo, though not big enough at 147, has no choice, as he simply cannot make even 140 these days) the 66 fight veteran will be pushing his body one more time. Castillo is, or was, as tough as they come, but unless he is in dire need of money (a possibility) he has no reason to be fighting on.

Once a sensational fighter who managed wins over the likes of Stevie Johnston, Joel Casamayor, Julio Diaz and Diego Corrales, the Castillo of today is merely another faded force who is tarnishing his legacy by boxing as a veritable old man. Last July, against Lujan, only the Mexican's sheer stubbornness saw to it that he made it to the final bell.

What can he possibly have left now, and what will the Wayka fight prove? The 30-year-old from Minnesota has a modest 16-7(8) pro record and he has been stopped six times. The Castillo of old, even if he'd been giving natural weight away, would have been too much for this guy. But today Castillo is badly shop-worn and as such anything could happen next Saturday. Wayka won his last fight, a points decision back in October of 2008, but he lost five of his previous seven - being stopped in all five losses.

The Minnesota man has been in with some good fighters - men like Harry Joe Yorgey and the also unbeaten Vladimir Zykov - but he has been beaten by them. There are no obvious wins of note on the 30-year-old's record. Despite this, Wayka is no gimme for Castillo. A naturally much bigger man (Wayka has fought as high as 157 in the past, and winning at the weight), the American, despite his lack of world class, may well rough up and beat the former great.

Castillo can win a decision, but what will it prove if he does? His best days are long behind him, and as long as he continues to fight on it's only a matter of time before "El Terrible" is beaten again.

Article posted on 11.01.2009

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