LAS VEGAS (March 6, 2005) – World Boxing Council (WBC) Lightweight Champion Jose Luis Castillo earned the right to face his World Boxing Organization (WBO) counterpart, Diego Corrales, by scoring an impressive 10th-round TKO over former International Boxing Federation (IBF) titleholder Julio “The Kidd’’ Diaz Saturday on SHOWTIME boxing. The eagerly anticipated world title unification bout between Castillo and Corrales, while not signed, is expected to take place May 7 on SHOWTIME.
In the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING co-feature, undefeated Jeff Lacy retained his IBF super middleweight crown with an exciting seventh-round TKO over Rubin “Mr. Hollywood’’ Williams.
Castillo (52-6-1, 46 KOs), of Sonora, Mexico, dominated Diaz and dropped him twice in the 10th round. He floored Diaz with a left hook at about the 1:40 mark, and then again with a left-right combination less than a minute later. Shortly after the last knockdown, the bout was stopped at 2:23. Castillo, who never looked like a loser, was ahead by the scores of 88-83 on the three judges’ scorecards going into the final round. The victory was the sixth in a row for Castillo, who was making the second defense in his second stint as WBC 135-pound champion.
Diaz (30-3, 22 KOs), of Coachella, Calif., had a six-fight winning streak end. He gave his best, but could never get into the rhythm. The switch-hitting Diaz showed plenty of courage: at bout’s conclusion, his eyes were badly swollen, but Castillo was too strong and experienced. Diaz was making his first start since voluntarily relinquishing his IBF belt for the opportunity to face Castillo.
Lacy (19-0, 15 KOs), of Tampa, Fla., was leading a fast-paced, terrific action fight by the scores of 59-54, 59-55 and 58-57 when it was stopped 47 seconds into the seventh round. Lacy, who was appearing on SHOWTIME for the 12th time, was making the second defense of the IBF 168-pound belt he won with an eighth-round TKO over Syd Vanderpool Oct. 2, 2004, on SHOWTIME. The first 2000 Olympian to win a world title, Lacy was busier and stronger than Williams and landed numerous solid shots in a boxing slugfest, but could not register a knockdown.
Williams (26-21, 15 KOs), of Detroit, Mich., has a seven-fight winning streak snapped. A tough kid who had better ability than many expected, Williams had good success with the jab and occasional right hand, but Lacy had too much firepower.
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING’s Steve Albert and Al Bernstein called Saturday’s action from ringside with Jim Gray serving as roving reporter. The executive producer of the SHOWTIME telecast was Jay Larkin, with David Dinkins, Jr. producing and Bob Dunphy directing.
The next SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING fight card is Saturday, April 2. The two boxers widely recognized as the most talented in the exciting cruiserweight division will square off when undefeated World Boxing Council (WBC) champion Wayne “Big Truck” Braithwaite (21-0, 17 KOs) faces World Boxing Association (WBA) titleholder Jean-Marc Mormeck (30-2, 21 KOs) in an eagerly anticipated world title unification bout. The division’s most enthralling match-up in years will be shown on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). Don King Productions will present the event at the DCU Center in Worchester, Mass.
Saturday’s world championship doubleheader, which aired during SHOWTIME’s nationwide Free Weekend Preview, was shown at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on West Coast) from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. It was co-promoted by Top-Rank, Inc., and Gary Shaw Productions, LLC.
For information on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and “ShoBox: The New Generation” telecasts, including complete fighter bios and records, related stories and more, please go the SHOWTIME website at http://www.sho.com/boxing.