Corrales – Castillo: A Vintage Brew Completely Ruined

16.10.05 – By Wray Edwards: There was a famous TV commercial for the vintners Paul Masson in which Orsen Wells rolls out, in dulcet tones, the statement, “We will sell no wine before its time.” There are few who would disagree with the statement that Corrales-Castillo One, left everyone who witnessed it intoxicated by the exciting and dramatic spectacle of their fight. Here were two seasoned boxers who had toiled in the vineyards of the sport perfecting their heady craft. Both fighters had passed many tests to rightly qualify for the patiently crafted meeting.

“As the god of wine, Vinumus has a dual nature: he represents joy, pleasure, and camaraderie; but also savage, mindless, bloodthirsty violence”* In their first encounter Jose and Chico created for Boxing what would have been one of only a few legendary benchmarks for the sport. The giddy responses of the TV personalities and fans were well-deserved accolades for both fighters and their camps. Within days after the fight everybody began to experience serious withdrawal symptoms as the dizzy pleasures of the event began to fade.

Almost everybody associated with the event had become hopelessly addicted to its emotional transportations and physical beauty. The result was an almost immediate, premature emergence of hoopla for a rematch. Gee, if Gatti and Ward can go at it every six months for three in-a-row, why not Castillo and Corrales? With visions of big bucks (better than sugar-plums) dancing in their heads, everybody began making plans to pour out more flagons of violent vintage for the eager patrons who wander from boxing venue to boxing venue in search of the sport’s best flavors.

Everything is relative, and the success of this match was enhanced, by contrast, to bleak periods of mediocre fare which have been increasing of late. Promoters who hoard titles and belts, in nepotistic fashion, by having their stable-mates contest to questionable conclusions, have sullied the sport. Alphabet divisions have rained confusion and controversy over the landscape of Boxing with ever increasing paper titles. It is no wonder then, that when a powerful event such as Corrales-Castillo One occurs, it gets everybody over-excited and often prompts careless and premature behavior. They sold the wine too soon.

This writer wrote an article shortly after the announcement of the second fight entitled: “Corrales–Castillo 2 Do They Really Have To?” It was an effort to extend a serious note of caution regarding the advisability of a re-match so soon after the first bout which appeared to have had a debilitating effect on Diego for sure, and possibly Jose as well. Besides the note of caution, there was grave concern that such a great fight could be duplicated or surpassed. Debate raged in Boxing circles as to whether the fans or the boxers themselves could successfully undertake another such dramatic effort.

Peak experiences generally produce one of two common effects. Either the participants are realistically satisfied by the great surprise, and lament the unlikelihood of repeating the experience, or they are so caught up in the moment, and its afterglow, that they hastily make plans to construct an equally successful encore. The author was of the former persuasion, being cautious to the point of cynicism about the prospects for Castillo-Corrales Two. Mainly, the simultaneous fistic orgasm we all experienced at the end of the first match, was so atypical in the present, or for that matter, any other boxing era and climate, that to expect duplication seemed greedy, ungrateful and premature.

The fight was a spontaneous work of art. It was a performance art event in which the two fighters squeezed every last ounce of Boxing brew from each other. We all drank deeply from the cask of violence and triumph which was tapped that night. Everyone stumbled from the venue inebriated to the gills. We all swam in an intoxicating sea of enthusiasm as ten rounds of boxing glory were poured out for all.

One time in Las Vegas the writer was winning at the craps table. With each successful toss of the dice, and the money rolled in, a fear began to grow that this “success” would lead to a greedy loss of judgment and one might become addicted as so many have to their ruin. A lady across the table, who appeared to be a regular, spotted the anxiety, and winked encouragement as I stepped away winnings intact. Knowing when to quit or how long to wait before returning to the well is crucial.

The press conference which appeared here recently was, in the author’s opinion, rank evidence of the unrealistic read which everyone is making of the second fight. They are trying to put a good face on a complete fiasco, and seemingly planning to throw good effort after bad once again to try to somehow get back on track for a tainted trilogy or four fight series. Accusations regarding the weight controversy seem well-founded, and the excuses based on “sore ribs” or a “sore back”, to somehow ameliorate the highly unprofessional missing of the mark, are IMO suspicious to say the least.

Any chance for a successful “trilogy” was ruined by the cheater’s toe and the extra pounds. This writer is still amazed that Gary Shaw was horning in between Jim Gray and Diego to lobby for a third match between the two. I thought he was attempting to protect Chico from having to risk himself after such a dangerous and summery outcome. It seemed appropriate to hear the word “revoke” instead of “invoke”. Well that’s what happens when one imputes one’s own values to another.

In retrospect, it now seems that a minor degree of prescience was at work when the announcement of the second bout so soon, brought such feelings of trepidation for the boxers’ safety. The preservation of the icon of the first fight, was a selfish desire to be sure. Fears that a botched sequel would forever taint the relationship were, unfortunately, realized. The Camelot of the Gatti-Ward trilogy ending in friendship is a rare occurrence.

Now that the second fight has been replayed in a non-PPV presentation, those who were lucky enough not to pay have seen their wisdom rewarded. There are other fights these two should make before they even consider a third meeting. The WBC would be ill-advised to force another fight between these two until a decent interval has passed, and the stench of number two (no pun intended) has worn off.

Both fighters are admirable, though Castillo is somewhat suspect as a result of the mess at the scales. One wonders whether he had any intention, at all, of exercising the necessary discipline to make weight. Is it possible that he just wanted to get physical rather than title revenge? Machismo will often sacrifice bling for honor. We may never know unless candid remarks, which may have been overheard, surface someday.

Some have praised the outcome, but this writer finds the weigh-in scandal, and the obvious miss-match which occurred, to have invalidated the proper flow of the contests to determine Castillo’s successor. It seems appropriate, as a result of all of this, that a decent interval punctuated by two or three fights with other opponents might serve to put sufficient distance in place. Maybe, just maybe, after such events, it might be possible to make another fight between the two.

It is not impossible that they might have a successful third, without a mess and another miss-match. We surely have Lacy-Pemberton, Taylor-Hopkins 2 and a few others to tide us over ‘till then. Even Jose and Diego can have very exciting contests with others to smooth things out. Hope springs eternal.

“No thing more excellent nor more valuable than wine was ever granted mankind by God — Plato.”* Too bad he wasn’t here to see Corrales-Castillo One. See you at the fights.


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