Jose Luis Castillo vs. Joel Casamayor is a potential fight of the year candidate. TheSweetScience.com writers make their predictions.

Mexico's Jose Luis Castillo takes on Joel Casamayor in one of the most interesting match-ups of the year, but it's very hard to pick a winner. Casamayor defected to the States in 1996, after a long apprenticeship as a top Cuban amateur, and all his fights could  be catching up to him.

He lost to Diego Corrales last time out, after giving him a frightful beating previously. Casamayor looked comfortable at lightweight when he tamed Nate Campbell, but Castillo gave Floyd Mayweather two hard battles, one of which he might've won. Castillo is two inches taller at 5-8 than Casamayor, and the naturally bigger man, but the transplanted Cuban is a fast southpaw and that works to his advantage. Yet, Casamayor is obviously slowing down. Castillo proved he could fight leftys when he won and drew with Stevie Johnston, for the WBC lightweight title, but that was 4 1/2 years ago. In truth, both Castillo and Casamayor seem over the hill, but if Castillo isn't too weight-drained, he should win. He proved against Mayweather that he keeps fighting, while Casamayor grows very defensive when you hit back. I pick Castillo because of his aggression, but I wouldn't bet the rent money on it.
Jim Brady


The Cuban will be too slick for Castillo. Casamayor W12 Castillo.
Robert Cassidy


Major props to both, for being willing to fight the best. That being said, I think that Joel is biting off a bit more than he can chew in this one. Many believe that he's crafty (dirty?) enough to frustrate JLC and perhaps pull off an upset. I don't believe such to be the case, though. In fact, while I can see this one developing into a foulfest rather quickly, I believe it will come from both sides, as JLC seems able to dish out as well as he can take, legal or otherwise. Once order is restored, I believe that Castillo is too big for Casa, too good of a fighter, and considerably closer to his prime. Castillo by unanimous decision.
Jake Donovan


This looks like a great fight on paper. The difference in size, weight and experience should be the deciding factor. Castillo by a close decision.
Robert Ecksel


Castillo by close decision. Casamayor moving up in weight will have little to do with it. The taller man with the bigger punch wins.
Rick Folstad


Hats off to Joel Casamayor for taking another tough fight—he deserves more credit than he gets for taking on all comers. However, Castillo will prove too strong for him in the end. Shades of the first Casamayor-Corrales bout as Casamayor boxes well early perhaps, but Castillo will wear him down. Castillo by Decision
Chris Gielty


Jose Luis Castillo vs. Joel Casamayor should be an all out war.  I think Casamayor will pull it out down the stretch and take a unanimous decision.
Randy Gordon


Both fighters could hit the canvas in this bout, and while Casamayor is tremendously resilient, Castillo has shown he knows how to finish. Castillo KO-10.
Tim Graham


In the Castillo Casamayor fight I'll go with the odds and take the more experienced Jose Luis Castillo. He fought long and hard to get that title and I don't see him giving it up anytime soon.
Sam Gregory


In a very tough, hard fought battle I see Jose Castillo getting the split decision nod over Casamayor. This should be a war   and the best fight of all the big December bouts!
Mike Indri


Casamayor might chronologically be the older fighter, but he may have more left in the tank than Castillo. Casamayor by decision.
George Kimball


Lot's of credit to Casamayor for taking on yet another tough fight, perhaps too tough. Castillo is the bigger stronger fighter and can crack with both hands. Look for Casamayor to box well early before Castillo's power shots slow him down as the fight wears on. Whether it is a late stoppage or the judges awarding more points for Castillo's “effective aggression” it will be Castillo over the game Casamayor.
Joey Knish


Castillo is a swarmer who usually forces the fight. Casamayor is a somewhat slick boxing southpaw, but lacks the power to deter Castillo. Swarmers are the least bothered by southpaws, especially one that doesn't have a big finishing punch in his arsenal. The fact that Casamayor's punches will be coming at him from a different angle won't bother Castillo. Since Castillo will be pressing the fight to get inside, Casamayor's infighting will be a bigger factor. Mayweather couldn't get rid of Castillo in two fights, so Casamayor can forget about it. Castillo wins by decision.
Frank Lotierzo


The only lightweight in recent years that has been better than Castillo is Mayweather. Barely. Casamayor will see pressure similar to what Corrales put on him late in their fight. The difference is that Castillo's pressure will be more furious, and start earlier. Castillo KO 10.
David Mayo


The name of Jose Luis Castillo does not roll easily from the tongue. He commands the WBC lightweights, others command the attention of the boxing writers. His role is that of a sun outshone by surrounding moons. Some think he may be as good as any in his sport. He will get a chance to capture the attention he thinks he deserves against the always tough Joel Casamayor, the Cuban reincarnation of Fritzie  Zivic. Castillo by decision.
Pat Putnam


Jose Luis Castillo vs. Joel Casamayor: In a bout that features two of the best action fighters in the lighter weight divisions, look for a mild upset as Castillo uses his prodigious output of aggressiveness and will to outlast Casamayor. In what should turn out to be a serious candidate for Fight of the Year honors, I expect Castillo – who has lost only twice in the last six years, and both times to the same man (Mayweather, Jr.) – to solve the southpaw style of Casamayor by left hooking his way to a close twelve round nod.
Scott Yaniga