Corrales vs Castillo surpasses all expectations
By Rob Scott (May 8, 2005) 
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No matter what area it may be, we are always looking for something or somebody to overshadow the past and take something to that next level. In boxing though we have found it hard to give credit to the new as the old have a strangle hold on our collective psyche. Whenever credit is given to the new fighters, you will surely hear that ‘he is good, but he is no Robinson, Louis, Ali, etc.’ The same goes for fights; Hagler-Hearns, Barrera-Morales 1, et al are all shootouts that have left an indelible impression on us all, but to be put in that class it has to be special. If someone says that the WBC/WBO lightweight unification war between Diego ‘Chico’ Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo fell short of being great, never ask their opinion again, because they have been strangled by the past so much that they are clinically brain-dead. 

This past Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, both Corrales and Castillo fought their hearts out while simultaneously putting all who viewed on the edge of their seats. From round one on, these two fighters fought at a pace that assured us of one thing – a definite knockout. For it to end by decision would show these two fighters to be super-human. It did end by knockout and if in the end they aren’t considered super-human, you would have to think they are related to such a being.

Going into this fight on one poll I was one of two who were polled to predict a draw. No one ever picks a draw because they really feel it will end that way. That in essence gives you an example of how I felt it could go either way. I couldn’t see any clear advantage one had over the other. Both are strong and resilient. In this fight, guess what? Both were strong and resilient. Both seemed to want it. Guess what? In the end, Corrales wanted it more and wouldn’t be denied.

Corrales, who is the rangier fighter out of the two, was considered more of the boxer, if need be; but from the opening bell both came out and made it a battle of wills. For the most part, both stayed in close and stayed nose-to-nose, delivering and taking everything the other had to offer. After suffering a knockdown from a devastating left hook in the first 25 seconds of round 10, Corrales seemed to be on his way to being an inevitable knockout victim. After taking an 8 count, Corrales rose and was again the victim of a left hook that cause a knockdown which made a Castillo victory even more inevitable and a Corrales victory even more improbable. After taking a 9 count and getting up from the second knockdown, Corrales showed that improbable may have been the look of his chances, but him being denied was impossible. Once to his feet again, Corrales had a point deducted because of him spitting his mouthpiece after each knockdown. It didn’t matter for when the action resumed Corrales eventually connected with his own hook that backed up Castillo to the ropes letting a resurgent Corrales land bombs until referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight.

The victory gained Corrales the WBC/Ring magazine lightweight championships to add to his WBO strap. Most of all it solidified Corrales as the best lightweight in the world.

He said that from now on it was about history; well, he and Castillo gave us one for the ages. They both rose to the challenge and absolutely fought their hearts out. We couldn’t have asked for more.

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