Saturday night live from Las Vegas in a fight broadcast on Showtime, Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo meet for the final installment of their legendary lightweight championship trilogy. Corrales won their first battle with an incredible come-from-behind KO, literally and figuratively snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Castillo came in overweight in fight two, a theme still being played out as of this writing, and collapsed Corrales in the fourth round to win the bout but not the crown. And now it’s time for the rubber match, the third and presumably last showdown between these two fantastic warriors. This is how The Sweet Science writers see Corrales-Castillo III.
Predicting the winner of this fight is like predicting the winner of the Gatti-Ward trilogy – how do you differentiate between two fighters who throw caution to the wind and aren't afraid to endure pain, who actually invite pain, to inflict their own? But I'll go with Corrales this time, who I'm guessing is still smarting from the last fight and Castillo's weight problems. Although Castillo should be the fresher fighter, Corrales should be hungrier; after all, he has to prove the last time was a fluke. Corrales by late knockout, maybe the 9th round.
The last time we saw Diego Corrales, he was struggling to make it up from a monstrous left hook from Jose Luis Castillo. However, that was hardly the only time in the pair's Oct. 8 rematch in which Corrales was shaken by the two-time WBC lightweight champ. In fact, he was shaken a lot – much more than he had been five months prior in their original war. And it could be that it had more to do with Corrales' rapid demise than Castillo's three-pound weight advantage. Corrales, thin and angular, isn't physically equipped to absorb the kind of punishment he sustained in the first Castillo fight (not to mention wars with Robert Garcia, Joel Casamayor and Acelino Freitas). Skinny fighters are supposed to box and jab. Corrales has rumbled his whole career, and it showed in the Castillo rematch. Castillo, thicker and wider, is too strong for Corrales in 2006. That's why, after another torrid affair, he'll emerge with a 10th-round TKO victory.
The judges can stay home for this one. Corrales and Castillo have taken turns knocking each other out, and the rubber match promises to end the same way. Corrales would be wise to follow the formula which allowed him to avenge his knockout loss to Joel Casamayor, when he used his height and reach and movement to box his way to victory. But the bet here is that his valor will override his discretion, and that he will, for a third time, go head to head with Castillo. Both men can dish it out, but Castillo’s sturdier chin will spell the difference. Castillo captures the WBC lightweight title by 8th round knockout.
Considering how easily Jose Luis Castillo knocked out Diego Corrales in their second fight, I predict him to do the same next Saturday. I don’t think that the first battle should have been stopped only because Corrales was throwing many unanswered punches to his opponent. After all, Castillo didn’t go down. When Corrales went down twice in the same round, the referee didn’t stop him. In the lighter weight divisions, ten consecutive punches are quite usual. Looking at flyweights or bantamweights, long exchanges are even more common and they don’t go down. I’m sure that Castillo-Corrales 3 will be a great show even if it may be closed by just one uppercut. Castillo by KO 5.
Luca De Franco
I think Jose Luis Castillo is just too rugged and determined and Corrales' chin too available. Castillo by TKO.
This blood and guts, dramatic trilogy will come to and end Saturday and I'm going to go all out for Corrales. The injury delaying him and Castillo meeting up in February will have been to Chico's benefit, resulting in a healthier, stronger and more refreshed fighter. Combine a rested, mentally and physically fit Diego Corrales with the skill, the strength and the toughest make up of nearly any fighter around, and you will see him pound out a victory against Castillo.
Castillo TKO 10. Or maybe Corrales TKO 11, or maybe draw, or maybe I don't know what the hell I'm doing. My only real predictions are (a) Corrales not quite as finished as some think and (b) therefore, this will be another great matchup. If Castillo makes the weight, it will indicate he trained hard and should prevail. Maybe. I like Zale if he and Graziano fight a fourth time.
Castillo has taken the time to get to weight properly this time. He won't fade down the stretch because there will be no late round stretch. Castillo wins by knockout in the middle rounds and it will be a summary judgment against Corrales' dreams of future mega-fights beyond his division.
We'd like Corrales' chances even better if he could somehow restrain himself from engaging in another war. Alas, he probably can't, but if he boxes and they're the same size this time, we still like Corrales. If Castillo doesn't make weight all bets are off.
The best way to look at this fight is to ask one question: Can Diego Corrales box for twelve rounds against Castillo without being drawn into a war? My answer is “no, he can't” and therefore I will go with Jose Luis Castillo by stoppage one more time. Corrales tends to cut more now, in addition to having been dropped about a dozen times in his career including three times against Castillo in their two fights. Corrales could use his jab and one-two his way towards breaking down Castillo late, but he won't and the battles he has been in have taken their toll and are starting to show. Corrales is an entertaining fighter and can't help but brawl with Castillo and therefore tilt the bout in Castillo's favor. I have always loved Corrales for the way he fights and he genuinely comes across as a good kid despite mistakes he has made outside the ring. Both men may go down but Castillo will stay around longer and get the stoppage win as Corrales beaks a cardinal rule in boxing by hooking with a hooker.
They're a lot of variables I, unfortunately, don't have inside information on. How compromised will Castillo's strength be by not just having to make 135, but by doing all of these scheduled weight-ins leading up to the fight? (That's not to say making the lightweight limit is a picnic for Chico, either.) How has Corrales been looking in camp…To what degree has the extra rest revitalized him…What does the battle-tested beanstalk have left at this point in his career? Also, will he consider using his god-given height this time, and work his jab and deadly straight right as he did in his rematch against Casamayor? Without having answers to these questions, I will assume that Chico will brawl on the inside as long as the fight lasts; that Castillo will be drained by making weight, but so will Chico. What is verifiable: While Castillo got stopped in their first match (and let's face it, that was something of a miracle), he doled out much more punishment overall; in the sequel, he dominated every round, and that left hook from hell that took Chico out was the worst single shot Chico's ever taken. So why should anything be that different this time around? It shouldn't. Castillo is stronger, more durable, and the better inside fighter. Castillo by TKO in the 10th.
Castillo's weight may have made a difference in the second go-round, but not enough to sway the outcome. In their first fight, Corrales got lucky. I don't see him finding his four-leaf clover this time. Castillo has his number. He's too strong, too smart and did it too easily in the second fight to overlook his dominance of Chico. This time around, Corrales will hang on a little longer but not much; Castillo in six via TKO.
Castillo nearly beat him the first time and beat him handily the second time. Whether or not he will beat Corrales without the weight advantage is yet to be seen. My guess is he does. Castillo TKO 6.
Castillo early. I believe he has the mental edge following the weight issues the last time they met; in a fight as tightly matched as this I think that will be the crucial difference. As an observation, the decision to allow Corrales to go through with the second fight in light of those weight disadvantages should be recorded as one of the worst pieces of career management I can recall. Hopefully, both men leave with enough fire left to engage in contests with the likes of Hatton, Cotto and Freitas after the fight. Because all are enthralling possibilities. Castillo KO5.
Diego Corrales isn't planning on slugging it out for the third straight time with Jose Luis Castillo. He fought Castillo's fight twice and is too smart to make that same mistake again. Instead, Corrales will try and use his height advantage and superior hand-speed to combat Castillo's attack. Whether or not Corrales can be successful in using his jab and keeping an effective distance is the key to winning this fight. Both fighters want this one badly and will seemingly go to any lengths to end the trilogy on top. Castillo's struggle to make the lightweight limit may make him more vulnerable in this fight and the revenge factor for Corrales has motivated him more than I've ever seen before. If you're betting on this fight, hold your breath and good luck to you. I like Corrales by decision in a more strategic fight that shows glimpses of the action-packed drama that captivated us all thirteen months ago.
Because he cannot adapt or because it is a matter of machismo, Corrales will once again fight Castillo's kind of fight and once again he will get knocked out.
This one's a toss-up, so let me grab a quarter. Assuming both fighters make weight, I see another repeat of their first fight, an all out fistic spectacular which will be fascinating to watch yet terribly hard to score. As a former wrestler and current pugilist my quarter just landed on heads… which means Castillo will probably resort to sucking “water weight” to avoid tipping the scales. It's fast, it's fairly easy, yet in the end – regardless of how much weight you put back on in a couple of hours – it kills your stamina. Considering that, I'll take Corrales by an extremely close decision or a late round TKO.
We all knew the first bout had tremendous potential, but nobody would have predicted the war that transpired. Both fights were thrilling from the opening bell to their abrupt ends and both had a cloud of controversy hanging over them. For their third bout, Castillo will make weight, Corrales’ mouthpiece will stay in, and the two will slug it out in the first major contender for Fight of the Year. Castillo by KO.
Who's got more mileage left in them? I'm leaning towards Castillo. They both have a ferocious hunger to win, but Corrales' chin will betray him midway through this bout, and Castillo will emerge as the Gatti to Corrales' Ward when this third (and final?) installment is finished.
After all is said and done regarding any questions left over from the first two encounters, Castillo and Corrales are basically back to square one in regard to picking a winner. In a match like this, checking out the weigh-in is crucial prediction-wise. That said, my original call was Castillo by TKO, so we'll go back to the future with that.