Corrales vs Casamayor: Act III
By Ian Keogh (Sep 11, 2006) Photo © Teddy Blackburn
Next month WBC and Ring Magazine lightweight champion of the world Diego Corrales defends his lightweight championship against the very dangerous Joel Casamayor in what will be their third bout.

Corrales and Casamayor first met in October of 2003 in what was billed as an IBF super featherweight eliminator. The fight only lasted six rounds but left many questions unanswered. Corrales, dropped in rounds 3 and 4 and cut severely inside his mouth, had managed to comeback and drop Casamayor in the fourth and appeared to some that he was coming on in the fight when the ringside doctor stopped the fight after round six. Corrales was crushed that the fight was stopped as his warrior mentality took over. Swallowing blood isn't good for any fighter and the right call was made that night.

The fight was so entertaining and competitive that a rematch was made five months later for the vacant WBO super featherweight strap. When the fighters entered the ring that night at Foxwoods for the rematch things were just a little
different. Joe Goossen, who trained Casamayor in the first fight, was now in the corner of Diego Corrales; Buddy McGirt would back Casamayor. That wouldn't be the only thing different that night. Corrales had talked before the fight of outboxing Casamayor, though many believed it to be just pre-fight hype and thought Corrales would go to war as usual. Corrales stayed true to his word to some degree and managed to outbox Casamayor and win a close split decision that some thought should have gone to Casamayor. Either way, they're 1-1.

Since that fight a few things have happened. Casamayor would go on to lose a lightweight title shot against Jose Luis Castillo in another close fight before earning a draw with up-and-comer Kid Diamond, causing some people to suggest that the cagey Cuban might be slipping. Casamayor has since rebounded in 2006 with two knockout victories over B-level fighters.

As far as Corrales, well we all know what happened post Casamayor to boxing's true warrior. After the second Casamayor fight a move up to lightweight and a title fight against undefeated Brazilian bomber Acelino Freitas. Trailing on two of the three scorecards, Corrales would drop Freiats in rounds 8, 9 and again in round 10. This knockdown would prompt Freitas to tell the referee he didn't want to continue and Corrales was once again a world champion. What happened next would be historic. Diego Corrales took his WBO lightweight world title into a May 2005 unification fight with WBC champion Jose Luis Castillo. These two warriors gave us one of the best and most memorable fights of all time, easily winning the fight of the year for 2005 by a landslide. Corrales agreed to rematch Castillo later that year and when Castillo came in overweight, Corrales said ‘whatever‘ and went ahead and fought anyway. This decision may have cost Corrales victory. Castillo seemed much stronger in the rematch and quickly knocked out Corrales in 4 rounds. Again these two warriors decided they'd do it again, this time February 2006 was the date. Unfortunately Corrales had to pull out of the fight with a rib injury and the fight would be re-scheduled for June 2006. What happened next would be disastrous. Castillo didn't come close to making 135 and Corrales wisely choose not to fight.

All of this brings us to October 7th. Casamayor asked for a third fight with Corrales after stopping Lamont Pearson on ESPN and Corrales complied. Here we go again. In Corrales last five fights he's faced Casamyor twice, Freitas once and Castillo twice. That's an amazingly tough recent resume and the reason I call him the most fearless man in boxing. Nobody would've said a word if Corrales took an easier fight this Fall after that string of competition because he certainly deserves it. However, that wouldn't be Diego Corrales. It'll be a day short of a year absence from the ring when Corrales steps in to face Casamayor again and it may be a very good thing. Those fights with Castillo were brutal and in my opinion happened to fast back-to-back. So what should we expect next month from these two? Is Casamayor really slipping at age 35 (or even older if rumors are to be believed)? Can he still do the things that brought him to a world title? Is Corrales till the same fighter post-Castillo? Will he be able to outbox Casamayor or will he begin to trade with the Cuban? I expect these two will bring the fight to each other again and give us another great fight, but hey, it’s almost impossible for Chico to be in a bad fight. Casamayor is a crafty boxer-puncher and he'll be in tip-top shape for this battle. So who'll win? You'll have to tune in to see.

Quick hits

- It's nice to see a pay per view actually worth boxing fans money. Barrera-Juarez II should be another entertaining fight and the undercard is awesome. Barrios-Guzman and Vasquez-Gonzalez are icing on the cake. If you can afford to watch it, make sure you do. If you can't afford to watch it, don't pay your visa bill this month and watch it anyway!

- I read recently that Ricky Hatton won't be fighting again this year. What happened to fighting 4 or 5 times a year? At least twice would be nice.

- I was watching Gatti-Rodriquez the other day and commentator Roy Jones Jr. said something to the affect of "now this is a boxing after dark fight". I agree, but now...ugh.

- I'd like to thank Anthony Cocks for giving me the opportunity to write for this great site. I've always wanted to do this and I am very grateful for the chance. I'd also like to thank my parents, brother and sister, friends and my girlfriend Chrystal for listening to me talk boxing 24/7. What else is there to talk about anyway?

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Ian at:
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