Third time’s the charm for Castillo-Corrales

BY Rick Folstad ON December 31, 2005
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Three times in nine months.

Seems like a lot of bloodshed over a short period of time, but maybe that’s what everyone is hoping for. A little fistic carnage left in the ring as an unnecessary reminder of what can happen when the planets align in a special way and both guys actually make weight.

Or at least come close to making weight.  Still, three fights in the time it takes for an NBA season seems a little – I don’t know – too soon? Takes a lot of mettle to fight a war. You can recharge, but you can never get back everything you started with. Diego “Chico” Corrales (40-3, 33 KOs) and Jose Luis Castillo (53-7-1, 47 KOs) are supposed to fight their rubber match Feb. 4 in El Paso, Texas (SHOWTIME) for the WBC and WBO lightweight titles. Aside from a training injury, the only thing that could sour this fight is Castillo’s unbridled appetite and no one around to stop him.

Everybody remembers the first Castillo-Corrales fight this past May. It was completely off the fun meter, Diego getting up off the canvas twice in the legendary tenth round before stopping Castillo.

Fight of the year. Everybody is trying to forget their second fight this past October, Castillo deciding to bulk up toward junior-middleweight status and weighing in one bowling ball too heavy to fight at 135 pounds. They still fought, though most of the drama had been drained out of the fight. Surprise. Castillo won that one in four rounds.

Fiasco of the year.

Now they plan to do it again.

“I’m ready,” Corrales said on a recent conference call. “Heck, I have seen him for most of the year already. I might as well face the year out seeing the guy. What the heck. It’s OK with me.”

Still, maybe Corrales’ promoter, Gary Shaw, got it right.

“This is a great trilogy,” Shaw said. “You’ve got Castillo, who I consider the best 147-pound fighter in the world, and you got my fighter, Chico Corrales, the best 135-pounder in the world.”

OK, Gary. What are you trying to say?

Unfortunately, we don’t know what weight Castillo is going to come in for this next fight. I’m guessing he comes in somewhere between a plump junior-welter and a svelte junior-middle. The extra pounds worked for him in the second fight, why change your game plan when it works so well?

Of course, we probably won’t know anything for sure until Castillo stands on the scale in West Texas on the day before the fight.

“As far as I’m concerned, there is no controversy,” Castillo said of the strange malady he has of actually putting on weight while supposedly trying to lose it. “I am going to make weight this time around, and I’m hoping that [Corrales] does the same thing.”

Maybe you weren’t aware of it Jose, but Diego did make weight last time. You didn’t. It’s a beautiful thing, coming in under the limit.

But Corrales knows what side his bread is buttered is on. This 135-pound stuff has gotta go.

“I think this will be my last fight at 135, even if I win the title,” Castillo said. “Then I’ll move up to 140 where there are very attractive fights for me against guys like (Floyd) Mayweather, (Miguel) Cotto and (Ricky) Hatton.”

Sounds like Mayweather has already tipped his hat goodbye to the 140 pound-division and is quickly settling into the welterweight class.  I’m guessing that’s where Castillo is really headed.

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