Live Saturday night from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas (Showtime), Diego “Chico” Corrales will defend his WBC lightweight belt against one-time champion and nemesis Joel Casamayor in the third and final fight of their trilogy. Having split the first two bouts, plus the animus the fighters feel toward one another, insures that, if nothing else, we’re in for a helluva ride. Both fighters are older, but not necessarily wiser, so you had better fasten your safety belts. This is how The Sweet Science writers see Diego Corrales vs. Joel Casamayor III.
So much has happened since the second Corrales-Casamayor fight in 2004, that it's almost a brand new fight. Both are older and slower, and that could make for the best fight yet. Corrales may employ the stick-and-move tactics that won him the second, but that's doubtful. He hates Casamayor. So look for a war. In the end, Corrales is the better fighter. He'll win by unanimous decision. But he'll have to come off the canvas (maybe more than once) to do it.
Last time Diego Corrales showed up for a rubber match, his opponent did not make weight and the WBC lightweight champion was out of a fight. This time Corrales will have to work harder to retain his title. Slick southpaw Joel Casamayor has put Corrales on the canvas three times in their two previous fights, but one of the reasons Corrales is champion is that he is not a guy who stays down. Corrales would do well to rely more on his height and reach, and less on his heart. But even if he chooses to mix it up in spots, he will still come out with the win against a 35-year-old Casamayor who may no longer be at the top of his game. Corrales by decision.
For some reason there's a faction insisting Diego Corrales is burned out. It's more talk, like some voodoo hex. No worries for Corrales coming out of this with plenty to celebrate with a UD and his detractors sitting in silence.
Jesse K. Cox
I think Diego Corrales beats Casamayor via UD with some knockdowns along the way. A tough pick.
Diego Corrales looks to end this trilogy with his nemesis Casamayor with a victory and I see no reason to disagree. Not only is Corrales looking to end this chapter of his career, he seeks to silence Casamayor once and for all.
In only real classy fight of the night, it is me against my biases – I've never picked against Casamayor, and though I believe Chico should prevail – Joel is now 35 – I am going to stick with the great little Cuban boxer to win by decision. Just don't follow me to the window. Casamayor at plus $1.70 may be a better bet than Corrales at minus $2, but if I hadn't thought so much of Joel that I went to Kansas City to see him win his first world pro title, I would not be tempted again.
The culmination of the Corrales-Casamayor trilogy is far more intriguing than Valuev-Barrett. You’d be tempted to label it a puncher-boxer matchup, but Corrales is far more clever a boxer than Casamayor is a banger. All the knockout talk from Casamayor strikes us as a ploy designed to sucker Chico into trying to fight a war that probably would not be in his own best interest. Corrales has vowed that he’ll be smart and box this time. If he does he should make this fight the most decisive of the three.
Casamayor will make weight, and that's the most important prediction here. Corrales struggles mightily to weigh in at 135 even though he campaigned at 130 for a long time. At 5'11″ it is amazing that he can do it but the tax on his body still comes into play on fight night. The Cuban Casamayor has an easier time of it and I think he will have more left in the tank as the fight wears on. Corrales can't help but get himself into brawls even though using his jab and height can make things easier for him. These two have fought twice and split the meetings 1-1. But, the most telling tale may be that Corrales has been down three times against Casamayor and Casamayor has been down just once. Over his career “El Cepillo” Casamayor is 33-3-1, and those three losses were a razor thin decision to Acelino Freitas and split decision losses to both Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo. Look for another strong performance by a strong looking Casamayor as he surprises Corrales with a late surge.
The wear and tear on Corrales' body is immense. Casamayor will be too crafty for Corrales and ultimately pull out a close majority decision.
With all the bad blood between Corrales and Casamayor, it's doubtful there two will dance around flicking jabs for the duration of the fight. Both guys can fight, both can punch a little and it promises to be an exciting fight. I don't know why really but I'm leaning towards Casamayor via a close decision. Who knows, maybe Corrales will knock him out – or vice versa. Now that I think about it, this fight's a pick ‘em and I pick neither of them to win – this fight is a draw!
Corrales-Casamayor III has the makings of a great fight as long as the slick southpaw decides to mix it up in there and not try and dance his way around Corrales. In their last fight, Corrales turned the tide and boxed effectively until getting caught late and holding on for the victory. Corrales is coming off his non-fight with Castillo and before that a KO loss, while Casamayor looked average at best in his last fight. Both fighters have something to prove and the fact that they genuinely don't like each other only intensifies the drama. As long as Corrales dictates the pace, cuts off the ring, and uses his jab effectively, he will have the upper hand. Still, don't let the 2-1 odds deceive you as this could be a very even fight. Corrales says he will leave the lightweight division on top and I believe him. I'm taking Corrales via close decision after an entertaining fight.
Part of me wonders if this would even be a trilogy if Diego Corrales’ mouth had not been severely cut in their first fight. However, Corrales barely beat Joel Casamayor in their rematch and has not fought in a year. A little ring rust in the first few rounds will be all the edge Casamayor needs. Casamayor by split decision.
Corrales – Casamayor is hard to call. When Corrales is on, as he has been lately, he's a strong bet at any odds. But somewhere in hunchville there's a little voice telling me Diego is in for an off night, and if that's the case this Saturday, Casamayor will scramble back to the top of the hill.