Diego Corrales – Saved By The Doctor Can Chico Take A Hint?

17.01.06 - Wray Edwards: Some people call it a “Guardian Angel”, others “my little voice” or the “handwriting on the wall”. The protagonist is often depicted with a little man on one shoulder, representing common sense and moral choice; and a devilish looking creature on the other, representing less admirable motivations. The one whispers in the guy’s ear “Now let’s think this through, there’s more at stake here than just money and fame.” Then the imp on the other shoulder cajoles, “Ah come on, let’s go for it. You can do it. You are da man. What could go wrong?” Well, a lot could go wrong…and did.

When Diego Corrales’ camp decided to follow up with Castillo a second time, there were many who adamantly objected to the advisability of a third match. Where were these objections to the second meeting? Public avarice for more of the same convinced Showtime and others that a larger venue and more promotion would convince the Boxing goose to lay bigger and better eggs at the Thomas & Mack.. The result was an abbreviated four frame fiasco which skidded out of control on the heels of a weigh-in scandal. Thankfully, someone has intervened. A third voice, one of caution has spoken up. Thanks Doc.

Though Chico has stated that he is willing to fight Castillo ad infinitum, his enthusiasm rings hollow. No one can doubt Diego’s courage or ability in the ring. We may, however, as avid fans of the sport, assert our opinions as experienced observers of the boxing scene. Who can forget Evander Holyfield as he lost to Byrd, Toney and Donald with increasingly less effective offence and sadly diminished defense? The Donald match, though it went the distance, gave one a great sense of melancholy as the once great champion soldiered on in vain.

Evander’s brave words after the fight fell on the softened hearts and minds which had just witnessed his faltering efforts. Many were concerned for his safety. Corrales, of course, has way more left in his tank and his skills are still world class. Diego’s problems of late have not come so much from career- ending diminishments, but ill-advised scheduling. Boxers go to war and get in the habit of beating their swords on their bucklers to frighten the enemy. This can be dangerous, as some may believe their own hype and lose sight of certain issues.

The issues here are time for recuperation, re-training, and emotional recovery. Though Diego just did manage to outlast Castillo in their first fight, it was obvious that a great price had been paid for the victory. The first factor, time, is essential for healing physically from mechanical injuries. Evaluating how much is needed is fairly straight forward. The bruises heal, the stitches come out, and concussion recedes. Next, athletic necessities must be brought back up to competitive levels as they usually diminish during a rest period. The hand-speed returns and conditioning reaches previous optimums.

Lastly, emotional recovery is a bit of a sticky wicket. The fighter must drop the unexamined attitude of invincibility which the recent victory might have provoked, or get over the post traumatic stress of a devastating loss. This is necessary to aid in effective judgment of when and who to fight again. Not an easy task with fans, promoters, networks and sundry others urging Chico on to greater heights.

Diego’s “enthusiasm” for the second fight rang “hollow” not because he might be incapable of success, but because it seemed born of youthful exuberance and not professional considerations. Additionally, it seemed quite unwise that he announced his intention to proceed as before, toe-to-toe, with an internecine battle plan.

Additionally, when two fighters meet in the ring, with everything on the line, they bring their best game which is then revealed to their opponents. A fight is, potentially, a learning experience. The other guy sees and remembers your approach and can make tactical adjustments to counter them. Often good fighters will suspect that their opponents have “gone to school” on them, and attempt to anticipate what adjustments the other guy might make in order to effectively counter those tactics. McGirt-Whitaker Two is a perfect example of that cycle.

IMO Castillo did just that and timed Chico in the second fight. Still, Diego is telegraphing that he intends to continue as before…close in with the phone booth door tightly closed. Hopefully he is bluffing and intends to try to do things differently next time, should there be a next time. This writer doesn’t care if they ever fight again. Their first fight was quite enough thank you. “ Tempting fate is not so great”... YT.

Since the announcement of Corrales' training injury has apparently prompted Castillo to take an interim fight with Rolando Reyes in El Paso, Texas on February 4th, Chico now has a perfect opportunity to retrench his game and take stock. The Reyes bout will give Castillo a certain edge in preventing rust. The WBC and WBO mandatory schedule might be a problem for Corrales. However it comes down, Chico would be well advised to have one or two tune-ups before getting back in there with the likes of Castillo. But who should he fight? That’s easy.

Corrales owes Joel Casamayor a rubber match. That would be good sportsmanship as well as good training. Joel’s style is perfect for Diego to redevelop his outside tactics against a classical boxer. Freitas would also be good training for Jose and might mollify the WBO. His dance card appears to be open. Both options would be profitable for Chico, as Joel and Acelino would generate respectable interest. Meanwhile, if Castillo wants to really show his stuff, Raheem or Singwangcha would be very interesting. For Castillo Raheem would be excellent prep should Chico opt to work outside if they match for a third time.

Of course, due to the weigh-in problem before Corrales-Castillo II, the third meeting would not and could not be considered a rubber match within sanctioned authority for linear possession of belts and titles between the two. Castillo ruined any possibility for that. On their personal level, which both fighters seem to consider important, any number of fights might occur depending on hype and happenstance.

As no one else seemed to be capable of common sense regarding the scheduling of contests between Diego and Jose, it would appear that the Gods of Boxing have intervened to bring order to the mess. The training “injury” to Diego is a Godsend and may have prevented tragedy. As stated by this writer before, “ Give It A Rest!”

It is interesting how one little ding can shake things up. One recalls how Juan Diaz sustaining a “cut” in training changed things around in the same weight division.

A word to the wise should be sufficient. Hopefully Chico’s camp will get a clue from the doctor who stepped in to follow Abba Eban and George B. Shaw in paraphrase: “Humans only resort to common sense after having exhausted all other alternatives”…seems appropriate. Even Boxing can be a source of wisdom. As in 1996 Lou Duva, Veteran boxing trainer, on the spartan training regimen of heavyweight Andrew Golota: "He's a guy who gets up at six o'clock in the morning regardless of what time it is." See you at the fights.

Article posted on 17.01.2006

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