24.06.04 – Photo: Tom Casino/Showtime – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING will turn up the heat in August when it features two of boxing’s finest pound-for-pound champions battling it out for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) 135-pound title. 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 (delayed on West Coast) on SHOWTIME. Banner Promotions will present the event from Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn.
“This is going to be a very difficult, emotional, exciting fight, and I am more than ready. Corrales is an excellent fighter and hard puncher, but I am prepared for anything that he brings and am confident that I will win. His style is good for me. He is a clever boxer and an excellent counter-puncher, but I am even a better counter-puncher and much quicker. If and when I hit him flush, the fight will be over.
“Corrales is taller than me, but that is not a concern because I have defeated tall opponents before. I did not study any tapes of him. I hardly ever watch tapes because fighters change from fight to fight. Corrales fought Joel Casamayor, and Casamayor is a dirty fighter and a southpaw, so it would not do me any good to watch that fight over and over. This is the most important fight of my career. If I win, I can turn my focus to getting a fight with Floyd Mayweather, whom I have been calling out for three years. ‘’
“Freitas is a class act, a gentleman and an awesome, explosive fighter, but we both want the same thing. There is no way this fight can end in anything but a knockout. Look at our records and our knockout percentages. How can it go the distance? I can see us maybe boxing a little at the beginning, but, at some point, it will be an all-out fight. I expect he will bring along his “A” game, and I will bring mine. I really feel it is going to be the fight of the year. I love these kinds of matchups. I love these kinds of fights.
“I know is that I have to pay attention all the time because of Corrales’ punching power. Going up five pounds in weight is not a big deal for me at all. I am 6-feet tall so, if anything, it should make me stronger. Freitas says he has fought a lot of “name” fighters, but has he fought more “name’’ guys than me? I have fought them all, and am willing to fight anybody. It is hard to say exactly what kind of chin Freitas has, but we are going to find out for sure on Aug. 7.’’