They didn’t actually slip Diego Corrales a Mickey in his second fight with Jose Luis Castillo, but there was a nasty aftertaste.
And Corrales did struggle to stay on his feet.
When Castillo weighed in at a plump 138½ pounds for what was supposed to be a 135-pound title fight last October, Corrales shook his head, bit his lip and after a little introspection, decided he’d come too far to turn his back and walk away.
Besides, there was a big purse waiting to be pocketed, and a lot of people had paid big money for transportation, tickets and hotel rooms. So he took the fight anyway.
And Castillo stopped him in four rounds.
But that was eight quiet months ago, and if Diego (40-3, 33 KOs) is anything, he’s gracious. At least he came across that way on a recent conference call promoting his rubber match with Castillo (54-7-1, 47 KOs) on June 3 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas (SHOWTIME).
He could have whined and taken some verbal cheap shots at Castillo for ruining his night last October, but Corrales rose above it.
Asked how much of a factor Castillo’s extra weight was in that last fight, Corrales said that four pounds was another weight division, so obviously, it was an advantage for Castillo.
“Nonetheless,’ he said. “I will take nothing from him. He landed great shots.”
That’s easy to do when you’re well fed.
Pushed a little further, Corrales, who will be putting his WBC lightweight title on the line, admitted Castillo’s extra weight hurt him and that it wasn’t really fair. But again, he didn’t make excuses.
“Castillo made some very smart moves in the rematch,” said Corrales, who stopped Castillo in their first fight in May of last year. “He jabbed a lot more and he did not engage in constant inside battles, and that made the big difference.”
That and the extra pounds.
So what if it happens again? What if Castillo comes in again as a junior-welterweight instead of a lightweight? Will Corrales walk away this time?
“I will cross that bridge when I get to it,” he said. “To be honest, I hope they give him a little extra time to make the weight, but we will cross that bridge when we get to it.”
You’ve got to figure Corrales’ camp has already decided what actions it will take if Castillo doesn’t come in at 135. They’ve had several months to think about a plan.
It’s also hard to imagine Castillo not making weight a second time. He has a better reputation than that. He also knows he let some people down. He blames his weight problem on an injury he suffered about 12 days prior to the fight. It made it tough for him to shed those last few crucial pounds, the same ones Corrales had to lose in the final days before the fight.
What we can be pretty sure of is, Castillo will kiss the lightweight division goodbye after this fight. And it will be a cordial departure, one that’s overdue.
If Castillo ever faces Corrales again, they probably will both be fighting as junior-welters.
“I think once I close the [trilogy] out, that every time we see each other, it will be in a cantina or having a cocktail together,” Corrales said. “We’ll be celebrating and talking about what we did to each other.”
Probably over a heaping plate of nachos.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV