Boxing

Castillo - Corrales III: For more than just a Belt

02.06.06 - By Ryan "The Asian Sensation" Songalia - Team Pinoy - On June 3, 2006, we will be treated to the final chapter of one of the legendary trilogies of all time. Jose Luis Castillo, 54-7-1 (47 KO), and Diego "Chico" Corrales, 40-3 (33 KO), square off on Showtime, they will be fighting for the right to say they truly were the better fighter. Not to mention the WBC and Ring Magazine Lightweight Championship..

Last May, Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo met in a fight that was anticipated to be fight of the year. Little did anyone know it would become fight of the decade. After back and forth action that had both men shaking off shots that would drop welterweights, Castillo knocked down Corrales twice in the tenth round and appeared to be on his way to the win of a lifetime. After the second knockdown, Corrales spit out his mouthpiece and was deducted a point that would become inconsequential. Corrales, rejuvenated from the reprieve, battled back manfully and stopped Corrales on the ropes in later in the tenth round.

The media adulation that ensued made the rematch one of the most highly anticipated fights in years. However, when both fighters weighed in, Castillo failed to make the 135 pound limit. After a second weigh in, and a corner man being ejected and suspended for trying to rig the scales, they agreed to fight at a catch weight of 147 the next day. From the opening bell, Castillo controlled the action and his strength advantage seemed to be insurmountable. After winning the first three rounds big, Castillo blasted Corrales out in the fourth with a picture perfect left hook.

After the rematch, boxing fans were left with a sour taste in their mouth. After being treated to one of the greatest fights in boxing history, the rematch was cut short by the unfair advantage that Castillo brought into the ring. So after a postponement due to a Corrales rib injury, they will meet again to complete the trilogy.

We all know that they are big guys who are having problems making 135, but atleast we know Corrales can make it. Castillo hasn't made the weight limit since the first fight with Coralles, and I have my doubts that he can make the weight. If the fight does occur, which Corrales says it won't if Castillo doesn't make weight, Corrales will have a strength advantage.

Castillo really is not a Lightweight. Castillo is a Junior Welterweight, maybe even a welterweight. To call him a lightweight is almost an outright lie. He is a very strong man at 135, he is a force. But he struggles mightily to make weight, and in his last 2 fights with Corrales and Reyes, he weighed in at 138. He will be severely weakened and drained for the fight, and it will impact his performance.

The action will be back and forth, much like it was last year in their first encouter. Castillo will dominate on the inside, capitalizing on Corrales' defensive deficiencies. Corrales, as he has foolishly done in the first two fights with "El Temible", will elect to trade on the inside, instead of fighting from a distance as he did with Joel Casamayor in their second fight. Castillo will get the better of the exchanges early, even though he is known to be a slow starter.

Towards the mid and late rounds, Castillo will begin to weaken and the exchanges will more frequently favor Corrales. In the 11th round, Castillo will be badly fatigued and may even go down in this round. The fight will be stopped again and Corrales will solidify his status as the lightweight champion.

Whatever the outcome of the fight, surely it will be worth the price of admission. The Corrales-Castillo trilogy will go down as one of the greatest trilogies of all time, alongside Barrera-Morales and Gatti-Ward. Its fights like these that the sport needs to regain its marketability. No matter what occurs, it will be fun watching it happen.

Ryan Songalia is a weekly syndicated columnist. If you wish to contact him, you can reach him at mc_rson@yahoo.com

Article posted on 02.06.2006



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