Diego Corrales looks forward to another “hellish” fight
Interview by Rob Scott (October 6, 2005) 
Photo © Tom Casino/SHOWTIME
I interviewed Diego ‘Chico’ Corrales before his last fight with Jose Luis Castillo. I knew what he was in for, to a degree, and he did as well. The fans as a whole didn’t know exactly what they would be treated to, but in the end, they were treated to a throwback fight that left the viewers just as drained as the fighters. Like two warriors, Corrales and Castillo literally put their minds and bodies on the line to show who was the very best in the lightweight division. On Saturday October 8th they do it again in a bout simply titled ‘One More Time’ from the Thomas and Mack Theater in Las Vegas, Nevada. It will be shown live on Showtime pay-per-view at 9PM Eastern Time.

No promotion is necessary. There is no need for a war of words to promote this fight. With these two fighters, we know there will indeed be a war waged in the ring. After engaging in a fight that, realistically, some fighters only are able to wage once, Corrales and Castillo puts it all on the line once again. Will it be like the first? Or will it be like many other rematches that failed to live up to the first? Honestly, even if this fight is half the fight of its predecessor, we still will be getting our money’s worth. 

I had the pleasure of speaking with ‘Chico’ once again as I wanted to dig into the mind of this champion as he and Castillo get set to indeed do it ‘One More Time’.

RS: Diego I want to thank you for taking time out to talk to our readers.

No problem.

RS: Many adjectives have been used to describe your first fight with Castillo. ‘Classic’, ‘Incredible’, ‘Throwback’ and ‘Brutal’ are some that definitely come to mind. Give me an adjective from an inside standpoint to describe the night of May 7, 2005.

Hellish. Hellish is the perfect adjective.

RS: It has had to be a five-month high that you have been on. You moved from ‘one of’ to being ‘the’ very best in the lightweight division. You always knew what you were made of. How has it been for you now that everyone now truly knows what you always knew?

I feel good. I mean it’s nice to sit back and finally to be legitimized as one of the toughest guys in the game and a guy who will treat every fan right by fighting the kind of fights that should be fought. I mean it’s taken nine years to get that respect and you know I have never ducked a person. At least I finally got it.

RS: Even though you eventually won the fight, Castillo took some of your best shots. Was it surprising that he was able to stand up for as long as he did?

No, that’s a tough guy. I’ve always known he was a tough man, but he just proved it that night. On May 7th he proved that he was one of the toughest men to step in the ring. Knowing what I know of him now, he proved that.

RS: In our last interview, when asked about the punching power of Acelino Freitas, you said, “The kid can punch”. Give us your take on the power of Jose Luis Castillo.

Castillo is strong.  The dude can really punch. He’s got that bone crushing power, you know? It’s very unique. It’s not that normal, average kind of punching power. It hurts you to the bone. Indeed, he is one of those really good punchers.

RS: Basically, when returning to the drawing board, what revisions have you and Joe Goossen made in training this time around?

We haven’t made any real changes. We just worked harder. We worked a lot harder.

RS: In the rematch with Joel Casamayor you showed that you have the ability to box with the best of them. From the opening bell in your fight with Castillo, it was all war. Which Corrales will show up Saturday?

You got to watch.

RS: One of the reasons that I make reference to warring in this fight is because there is a common consensus amongst journalists and fighters that even after another spectacular victory, the wear-and-tear will make you or Castillo more susceptible in future outings.  That could just well be a thought of someone like an Acelino Freitas, who stepped aside for this fight, and others. Does the wear-and-tear bring any scare to you concerning the future?

DC: No not at all.    

RS: With the untimely death of Leavander Johnson a few weeks ago, does it concern you that the referee and or the powers that be in Las Vegas may be hesitant to allow a war reminiscent of your first fight with Castillo?

(Pause) Not really. I don’t get worried about stuff like that. What ever it is…I mean if it is a war, the fans are going to love it no matter what. They know I come to fight no matter what it is. There is nothing other than that for me. Every time – I come to war. Every time – I bring my best game. I think no matter what happens in my fights, the fans finally know they have a real fighter that, no matter what happens, he’s gonna fight.

RS: In my interview with you before your first fight with Castillo as well as the times that we have spoken on occasions, I’ve always walked away noticing how soft spoken you are. When you get in the ring though, a David Banner/Incredible Hulk type metamorphosis takes place. Where does that come from? 

(Chuckle) You know it’s just the fact that everybody didn’t give me the chance to make it back. So many people said that I wasn’t going to be able to come back and that I wouldn’t be here. You know it’s funny when you’re faced with knowing that the world has basically said there is no way you can come back and there is no way you are going to be here. It’s amazing the kind of fuel it throws on an open blaze. That’s basically it. They said I would never be the fighter I am right now; the fighter I have shown the world that I am right now. Even after the first loss to Floyd Mayweather, you know? But yet and still I persist. I’m here, you know? That’s what really has irked me and pushed me for so long. The reason that people see a self motivated Corrales in camp and a driven beastly person in the ring is because of that.

RS: If any fighter deserves a soft touch opponent in their next fight, it would be you. But even after, you will eventually have to get back on the competitive horse. Has there been any talk from your camp as to who is on the list to face if once again successful with Castillo? Notice I said “your camp” as I’m sure Castillo is your only focus as we speak.

I don’t have any plans on slowing it down. Right now, I’m making my push and I’m at my strongest point now and Jay (James Prince) knows that. He knows right now is where I want to push. I’m at my strongest and at the best age of my life and this is the time to make that strong push forward for the history of (me). The plan to take a soft touch is not one that I see myself doing. I see myself coming forward and coming hard again, where after I win this fight you will see me in the ring with another real name. You will see me taking on another real challenge.

RS: If you should lose, will there be a third fight between you and Castillo?

I think win or lose there will be a third fight with Castillo. Just because of the thrill we’re going to give them again. You know, I think people will want to see it three times regardless. But I don’t count on losing. I don’t think I’m losing at all. I’m going to finish the job I started.

RS: Diego you have the floor. Give us your final thoughts and speak to Castillo himself before you leave.

You know, what I have amassed right now, what I have achieved right now is what going to make me much more of a harder person to beat. I will not let anyone take what I have earned. Everything that is just coming to me now, everything I am just now getting – is not going anywhere.  I will cross the bridges of hell just to keep it. That is what I am willing to do. I am here now and I am going to stay here. He can like it, dislike it, but I’m telling you, I am prepared to go to the ends of time to keep everything I’ve earned. Believe me.

RS: One more thing, maybe you know so I have to ask – What kind of shirt will Joe Goossen be wearing this Saturday?

(Laughing) You can never tell with that one. I can’t even begin to answer. You never, never know what Joe’s gonna wear.         

RS: You said after the fight that it was an honor to be in the ring with Castillo. I have to say it was an honor from a viewer’s standpoint. Diego good luck Saturday and good luck in the future period.

Thanks Bro.

I’d like to thank Ed Jackson for all his help with this interview and to Diego Corrales himself for taking the time out of his schedule to talk just days before his rematch. Be sure to tune in to Showtime pay-per-view this Saturday October 8th as Diego Corrales takes on Jose Luis Castillo ‘One More Time’.
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