Diego Corrales stops Acelino Freitas in 10
By Danny Serratelli (August 9, 2004) 
Photo © Brendon Pierpaoli, DHB
In a fight that lived up to all expectations, Diego Corrales 39-2, 32 KO’s, stopped Acelino Freitas in round number 10. I had predicted Corrales would win the fight, but the way the fight unfolded was very unexpected. Freitas swept the first four rounds on my card, winning five out of the first six. Early on it appeared that Freitas’ lateral movement and hand speed would be too much for Corrales. To his credit Corrales kept the pressure on. Despite being out worked, he continued to give chase and attempted to cut off the ring.

Freitas came out aggressively and was landing big right hands from the opening bell. He was landing crazy rights from the outside without much difficulty, but Corrales kept coming and never appeared seriously hurt by them. Everyone had questioned Corrales’ chin prior to this fight; he was moving up in weight to take the powerful punching Freitas’ belt. However after a few rounds, his chin was looking very solid.

Midway through the fight, the tide started to turn, slightly, but people were waiting to see when one of Freitas’ consistently landing big right hands would drop Corrales. Soon enough everyone would know…it just wouldn't happen. Corrales dropped Freitas in the 8th, then again in the 9th and 10th. Freitas, who recovers quickly, and has come back to win after tasting the canvas in the past, got up quickly all three times and appeared to be in good shape.

By the time the first knockdown came, Corrales' pressure was starting to pay off. He was ready for this fight and was obviously psyched prior to the opening bell. He would never be deterred regardless of the fact that he appeared to be outclassed for the first half of the fight. His confidence in his pressure and game plan did not waiver.

After the second knockdown in round number nine the referee deducted a point from Freitas for spitting out his mouthpiece. It did not appear to be an appropriate deduction. It was the third time the mouthpiece came out, the second on a knockdown; however the point deducted would have been crucial had the fight lasted the distance. Every occurrence came after Corrales landed devastating shots and two after very legitimate clean knockdowns. However, just like Freitas did not deserve the point deduction, he also did not deserve the extra time to recover. The mouthpiece should be replaced during a lull in the action; a knockdown and eight count should not qualify as a lull in the action. The referee should have let it go and stepped in to replace the mouthpiece when there was a legitimate lull in the action.

It would all be elementary anyway as Corrales took matters into his own hands when he dropped Freitas again in round number 10. The biggest shock of the night came when Freitas easily beat the count, stepped forward indicating he was all right, and then waived the fight off himself with a no mas. It turned out that former common opponent Joel Casamayor was right in his prediction that Corrales would use his smarts in the ring to win the fight, however he was wrong in thinking that Corrales would have to come off the canvas to do it.

The second biggest shock of the night came from Jim Gray, the same Jim Gray who last week chased Mike Tyson back to the dressing room and attempted to provoke him on several occasions, yet last night didn't get any explanation from Freitas. After Freitas inexplicably decided to call it a night and let his 35-0 record drop to 35-1, it appeared that Gray made no attempt to find out why. Freitas has shown his heart on numerous occasions in the past and I was very curious to know the reason why the proud Brazilian warrior ended the fight. After nine rounds he was only trailing on my card 85-83 after nine rounds, and that was after the first two knockdowns and a point deduction.

It was an excellent match that sets the stage for many great fights to come by both fighters. Corrales and Freitas come to fight and always give the fans their money's worth. A rematch would be interesting, but so would be seeing both of them in action with any of the top fighters at 135 or even the talent ridden 140 pound division.
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