Diego Corrales: All or Nothing
08.05.07 - By Jeremy “NR” Ebert: With the death of former boxing champion, Diego "Chico" Corrales, we are once again reminded that despite our best efforts, we can't cheat the moment our last breath is released. Inside the ring, Corrales was the ultimate example of an often used boxing cliché—the ‘ring warrior’. It didn't matter who the opponent might be, "Chico" could be counted on to keep the paying customer in the seats riveted upon the edge of them.
Article posted on 09.05.2007
At times, such as in his most memorable battle against Jose Luis Castillo (I), it seemed as if Corrales had no hesitation about toeing the line with danger. "Hooking with a hooker", Corrales traded with Castillo, balls to the wall for ten hellacious rounds—a fight that more than justifiably belongs in any discussion about the greatest bouts in boxing history. He tested himself that night, not blinking at the face of defeat, even after two mind numbing knockdowns at the hands of Castillo. As was the case with his entire life, he faced defeat with bravado and rose back up to clutch victory in his hands. It was just within the fiber of his being, to never back down. Not against Castillo—not against risk.
Whether you believe Corrales' death was stupid or just a tragic waste, his passing nonetheless highlights the fact that as boxing fans, we have the distinct "pleasure" of watching grown men risk their mortality every time they enter the squared circle. For a sport where brains are rattled for rounds on end, actual deaths in the ring are extremely rare. We are grateful for this, because we don't watch the fights to see a life expire; rather, we watch to see men like Corrales blindly face the risk of expiration and charge on through it.
So, when a valiant ring warrior like Diego Corrales passes away in the middle of the night, the victim of a motorcycle accident, we can't help ourselves. We remember that night, almost two years ago, when Corrales made his indelible mark on the history of boxing with Castillo. There's the recollection of the man who made a living tempting fate, and we realize that the very nature of his death only serves as a more vivid reminder that it was of Corrales' being to take a chance. Fighters of his mentality make the sport the dangerously exciting experience that it is to watch.
Diego Corrales' career stands out as a bright spot, a noteworthy example of what championship heart and stone cold mettle can create when the bell is rung and victory is on the line. His death serves as an example that no matter how fearless "Chico" was, there was only one opponent he could not knockout or beat the fight out of. None of us can, but we can live by Corrales' example and at least demand of ourselves the best we can give in any given moment.
"Chico" lived by the creedo... and sadly, he died by it. But in his living it, he made us remember him for what he was—a man, a fighter and a champion.
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