I’ve never shaken hands with either Diego Corrales or Acelino Freitas. I’ve never put a bet down on either fighter, watched them workout or asked them a simple question.
I couldn’t tell you what school they went to, what gangs they might have belonged to, what kind of car they drive or how many children they have between them. I’m not even sure I could tell them apart if I didn’t know Corrales was the tall one.
But I can tell you I’m pulling for Freitas tonight (Saturday night). Pulling for him in a big way.
It has nothing to do with geography or race. Nothing to do with styles or history or who is working which corner. It’s strictly a personal thing. I don‘t have time for punks who hit women.
That’s while I’ll never cheer for Corrales. It’s also why I’ll never cheer for Floyd Mayweather Jr., who has his own sick history of domestic violence.
It’s bad enough when any man strikes a woman. When a pro fighter does it, he needs to be stripped of his license to fight and be put away for a long time.
Shortly after he was knocked on his ass several times by Mayweather in January 2001, Corrales spent 14 months in prison for assaulting his pregnant wife. They don’t put you behind bars that long for a gentle shove.
You can say what you want about Corrales, how he’s done his time, paid his debt, made amends. How he grew up in a tough neighborhood in Sacramento and never had a chance. How he’s received counseling, found a new wife and turned over a new leaf. It’s been three years since he assaulted a woman, and I guess that means he’s on the road to some kind of recovery.
Big deal. Some things you can’t take back.
I give Corrales credit for trying to turn things around and I hope it works out for him. But that’s about as far as I can take it. I don’t have time to cheer for him.
And that’s why I’m pulling for Freitas (35-0, 31 KOs), the short guy with the quick feet, the big punch and the undefeated record.
Their fight, set for the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn., (SHOWTIME) is for Freitas’ WBO lightweight championship, though it’s for a lot more than a simple title.
With two of the biggest punchers in the game going at it, they say this fight has the potential for “fight of the year” honors. But you have to wonder if it will last long enough. Both Freitas and Corrales (38-2, 31 KOs) can hit, but they’re also both familiar with getting up off the canvas and brushing themselves off.
Against, Mayweather, Corrales was up and down more times than Wall Street.
A prediction? Well, I picked Tyson and Roy Jones, so who am I to make a pick? But I’ll try this: Freitas by TKO inside six.
Of course, I'm betting with my heart, not my head.