Where else would a fight fan rather be right now than in Las Vegas for the rematch between Jose Luis Castillo and Diego "Chico" Corrales? I wouldn't trade this for anything in the world. This is boxing's Super Bowl, World Series, or Stanley Cup. We're here for boxing's Super Rematch. At Wednesday's press conference, both fighters promised to deliver another war.
"Last fight there was a lot of controversy. I know I lost the battle, but this is a war and I will win this war," Castillo said.
Corrales knows he's in for another fight of his life and he's ready to put his life on the line for another taste of glory. "I'm here to start a war and finish a war. This is the war of attrition and I will die in the ring before I give up what I took."
There doesn't seem to be any way to save these two warriors from punishing each other again. Corrales knows that his opponent is going to lay it all on the line in the rematch. "With Castillo it's gonna be a hard fight. There's no way around making it a hard fight."
Castillo comes into this rematch with a score to settle. He had seemingly slayed the lion only to see his prey turn around and deliver a desperate, fatal bite. He carries Mexico on his back and the glory of legendary countrymen like Julio Cesar Chavez. A proud and determined champion, Castillo is poised for redemption.
Corrales knows his opponent won't back down. "Our style is made for each other. We're both explosive and aggressive. There's no choice but for this to be a good fight."
Don't be surprised if Corrales abandons his jab once again in favor of battling Castillo on the inside. A toe-to-toe war may be the only way for these two fighters to claim victory. Corrales seems destined on settling this in the middle of the ring. "I see Castillo coming in very strong, he's got a point to prove. But I have a point to prove too."
Gary Shaw, Corrales' promoter, believes that the styles of these two fighters will make for another memorable battle. "Castillo is like a rubber band who keeps snapping back and Corrales is like a hunter hunting his prey in the middle of the ring."
Shaw is hyping this rematch as "Round 11," promising that Corrales will pick up where he left off with that devastating barrage of punches that ended the first fight.
On the eve of his rematch with Castillo, "Chico" Corrales is eager to get the show started. On Wednesday evening, he continued his final preparation for the fight in a secluded gym off the Las Vegas strip. With the heat blasting, quickly turning the gym into a sauna, Corrales strapped on his rubber suit and sweated through round after round with his trainer, Joe Goossen, at his side. Watching him shadowbox in the center of the ring, you could see his mind at work, anticipating, imagining, preparing for the great battle at hand.
The time is near now for this second war to begin. Just like the days before two armies prepare for a major assault on each other, the anticipation grows to almost unbearable proportions. For Corrales, the fight can't come soon enough. "I can't wait to get this started. I'm ready to go to work. It's gonna be a lot of fun."
This fight is a victory for not only boxing fans around the world, but the sport of boxing itself. As Corrales said, "This is bringing back the majesty of what boxing's supposed to be. This fight is great for the sport to breathe life back into boxing."
Your ringside correspondent seconds the motion.