You don’t expect to see a lot of dancing with these two. They’re not into the tango, the hustle or the Texas two-step. They don’t worry about where their feet are or if their toes are pointed right or whether or not they step on someone’s foot.
They seem to respect each other without going too far, and it’s almost as though they’d rather take a punch then take a step back.
That’s why both Jose Luis Castillo (51-6-1, 45 KOs) and Julio Diaz (30-2, 22 KOs) are predicting a short night March 5 when the two fight for Castillo’s WBC lightweight title at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. They’re both accustomed to knocking guys out and they don‘t see it happening any other way.
“I think there is the possibility I could knock him out because we will be more engaged and there will be more punching,” Castillo said through an interpreter on a conference call Wednesday. “I think there is a possibility the fight will end before the 12 rounds.”
“It’s going to be two power-punchers who come to fight and that pretty much what will end up happening,” he said. “I do not see it going 12 rounds because, just like he said, I am a fighter who will make a good fight.”
The good fight (SHOWTIME) won’t be hard to find. You don’t have to be a subscriber to watch it. According to promoter Bob Arum, the fight card (10:30 PM/ET), which includes Jeff Lacy defending his IBF super-middleweight title against Rubin Williams, is being held on one of those SHOWTIME free preview weekends when all you need is a cable box to tune in.
Good timing and cable are beautiful things.
As for Castillo and Diaz, they both know how it feels to be a world champion, and though neither fighter is selling the other short, they both like their chances of taking home the title.
“I give Castillo a lot of respect,” Diaz said. “I can’t walk in there and get in over my head or be cocky or underestimate him. I have built him into this huge monster and I have to walk in there very alert and very cautious and I cannot fall asleep for a second.”
Castillo, who has been training in the mountains outside Mexico City, had his own scouting report.
“(Diaz) is fast and quick,” he said. “So we have to worry about that. He’s going to move more, so I’m working on my speed . . . I know how important this fight is. I know that before I can start thinking about (Diego) Corrales and Kostya Tszyu, I have to beat Diaz, and that is all I‘m thinking about right now.”
Diaz wanted this fight so much he traded in his IBF lightweight title belt so they could put the fight together. He was supposed to defend his title against Leavander Johnson, but when the chance to fight Castillo came up, Diaz took it.
Then, with the IBF threatening to strip him of his title and with Johnson’s promoter threatening to sue, Diaz gave up his belt and walked away.
“It was difficult giving the title up in the beginning,” he said. “But after I analyzed everything, I wanted to go for something bigger and better and it seems like these days, titles do not really do much.“
This title comes only with a win over Castillo, who says their matching styles should make it a great fight.
“That is pretty much what I am looking to do,” Diaz said. “Just give a great fight and win, but in a manner in which people will talk about for years to come.”
That’s a tune we’d all like to dance to.