31.05.06 – By Garry Hunter: This Saturday June 3rd the latest episode of Corrales v Castillo mayhem will ensue before a packed Thomas and Mack center. In “The War to Settle the Score,” Diego Corralles will have the opportunity of redemption, but to do this he must ultimately reverse the momentum built up by the marauding Castillo.
Lets not forget that although Corrales emerged victorious from that first astonishing battle, it was Castillo who seemed just to have a slight edge and then had Corrales all but finished in the tenth stanza. Corrales, however, showed awesome recovery powers, albeit aided by purposely losing his mouthpiece, and although Castillo was slowly gaining the upper hand, the Sacramento native fought back furiously and won his fair share of exchanges and rounds. Nonetheless, the fact remains that until the most outrageous turn around in the history of the sweet science, Castillo was taking over. If, for instance, he had simply taken a knee instead of lying on the ropes, allowing a groggy Corrales to tee off, then we probably would have had a completely different outcome.
Then there is the second controversial encounter, where undoubtedly Castillo pulled what is commonly known as a fast one. Later, he would blame a rib injury for his inability to make weight, but when has a fighter ever came in overweight then went for a sauna and came back heavier? Exactly.
Corrales did what everyone, including the Castillo camp expected he would do, sucked it up and accepted the disadvantage. Although not as rip-roaring as the first fight, the same sort of phone booth action was the staple once again, and as before in the first fight, it was Castillo who edged the majority of the action, until the slightly beefed up fighter won via a one punch knock-out in the fourth round.
So, can Corrales find that extra yard? Well, logic dictates that if he goes into the trenches yet again with Castillo, a similar gripping storyline will unfold. Still, though, there’d be twists and turns and no end of drama to keep the fans on the edge of their seat, but ultimately the Castillo strength advantage would surely be telling. The other side of the coin would be for Corrales to take a step out of the phone booth, not quite a jab and move game but enough to allow a little space for his longer limbs to count. This would call for some sharp shooting by Corrales, fast right hands and a little lateral movement might just be the order of the day. This definitely wont be what the neutral fan will be wishing for but might just be Corrales’ best chance of a career defining victory. Essentially, Castillo is a one-dimensional fighter and to stand in front of him, is playing his game. Corrales has other tools to call upon. This, however, doesn’t factor in the warrior nature of both fighters and the ability to resist an all out brawl. Whether or not this temptation is controlled, may be the key to the fight.
Trainer, Joe Goosen, thinks the cancellation of the proposed fight on February 4th was a blessing for Corrales, that the longer rest has bestowed his charge with renewed vigour. There is no doubt, given the brutal nature of the first fight and then the knock-out inflicted upon Corrales in the second encounter, that physical, not to mention mental after effects, would have been more of an issue had the three fights been squeezed into a mere eight months. As it is, vigor is exactly what Corrales will need if he is to attempt to keep Castillo from initiating another wild slug-fest.
For Castillo’s part, it is pretty much business as usual and he will once again be banking on the Corrales’ heart ruling the head. Once war is declared, expect Castillo’s compact hooks to his opponents’ slender mid-section to be utilised initially and then a gradual introduction of jolting right uppercuts and the trademark left hook to Corrales’ whiskers. If the fight takes this course, then although it wont be cut and dried, the favourite has to be the man from Sonora, Mexico.
I don’t think the weight of Castillo will be an issue this time, to come in heavy would be an act of fistic suicide as I’m not sure how Corrales would react after getting starched by a plump Castillo last time out.
Whatever the outcome, this blood and thunder trilogy will surely go down alongside the likes of Bowe v Holyfield, Barrera v Morales and Gatti v Ward as one for the ages and I, like many, cannot wait for Saturday.