Castillo - Casamayor: Which Casamayor will Show up?
By Tom Dickey (December 1, 2004) 
Photo © Brendon Pierpaoli
On Saturday night, ex-junior lightweight champion Joel Casamayor moves up to lightweight to face Lightweight champion Jose Luis Castillo. Casamayor is hoping to bounce back into the Boxing spotlight, as he has struggled a bit of late. Joel is coming off a win over Daniel Seda, but has not quite looked the same since losing to Acelino Freitas. Casamayor, since losing to Freitas, has looked ordinary against Nate Campbell, and split two fights with Diego Corrales. Casamayor switched trainers after his win over Corrales, from Joe Goossen to Buddy McGirt in hopes of getting back to utilizing his speed and footwork more as he did during his championship days. But, whatever a person may want to say about Casamayor recently there is one thing that cannot be denied, and that is that he's a tough fighter.

Casamayor has gotten the reputation as somewhat of a dirty fighter, being sometimes overly aggressive and resorting to headbutts, but, he is still a very skilled and tough fighter. He will definitely pose a tough test for Jose Luis Castillo, who seems to be back on a roll, especially after his last victory over Juan Lazcano. Lazcano was being hailed as the next lightweight champion, and Castillo beat him soundly.

Castillo is best remembered for his two fights with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Floyd would probably be the first to say that Jose gave him his toughest test of his career. Castillo lost a close controversial decision in the first fight, and lost a rematch in more convincing fashion. Castillo first broke onto the scene when he defeated Stevie Johnston, after that win he was on a path to Mayweather, who at the time was campaigning at 130 pounds.

Castillo went on to TKO highly regarded Cesar Bazan in an exciting all out war, and would next face Mayweather, who was moving up after beating Diego Corrales. Castillo fought Mayweather tougher than anybody had in Floyd's career. After the second loss to Mayweather, Castillo climbed back up the ladder beating a couple of smaller names, before meeting Juan Lazcano. Lazcano was on a roll having also beaten Stevie Johnston, and many thought Lazcano would roll over Castillo, but it turned out to be the opposite. Now, Castillo awaits Joel Casamayor, who like Castillo in his last fight, is looking to rebound with a big victory.

Castillo is known as a guy who comes right at you, and doesn't take too many breaks from throwing punches. Casamayor is more of a speedy boxer, but recently Joel has showed more of a tendency to mix it up, which might not play to his advantage against Castillo. Castillo has fought probably the fastest and quickest boxer in the game in Floyd Mayweather, and did pretty good against him; so, one might assume that he would not have a problem with Casamayor. It just depends which Casamayor we will see, the one who fought Corrales and Freitas and mixed it up, or the Casamayor we saw earlier in his career who utilized his speed against Edwin Santana and Roberto Garcia. The speedy Casamayor will have the better chance on Saturday, especially since he is moving up in weight. With Buddy McGirt with Joel, you know he will have a good game plan.

As for Castillo, if he comes ready to fight, and smother Castillo with his punches, he should then have a good chance to win. Castillo is hoping to win and set up a battle with Diego Corrales, who many other consider the best 130 pounder in the world. Corrales has said that he wants to move up, and is eyeballing a fight with Castillo. So, Jose has a lot on the line Saturday. It will be your classic boxer versus puncher, unless Casamayor tries to become a puncher. With Castillo's power, stamina, and experience against speedy boxers (Mayweather and Johnston), Castillo should be able to pull out the victory. But, Casamayor is not a fighter who should be underestimated. The fight takes place this Saturday night, and will be televised on Showtime.
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