Boxing


Jose Luis Castillo Attempts To Pick Up The Pieces Of A Broken Career

27.10.07 - By Matthew Hurley: In a weekend that will see former heavyweight belt holder Chris Byrd step into the ring against Olympic gold medallist Alexander Povetkin, another fighter will once again try to resurrect his career with nearly everything going against him. When Jose Luis Castillo, 55-8-1 with 47 KOs was last seen in the ring he was following Ricky Hatton around on sluggish legs, desperately trying to get his offense going. Just when it looked like he might be gaining some ground in the fourth round Hatton connected with a wicked left hook body shot and BOOM, the fight was over. And so too did it seem Castilloís career as a preeminent fighter.

Unfortunately for ďEl TemibleĒ money woes, which began when he failed to make weight for the rubbermatch with Diego Corrales, have necessitated a return to the ring. Castillo was fined, suspended and then his purse for the Hatton fight was drained because of a lawsuit filed against him. Basically from 2006 until the moment he steps into the ring tonight Castillo hasnít had two nickels to rub together. Itís a sad story in which many people, the fighter included, can be held accountable. Itís also an old story, probably the oldest in boxing Ė the broke and broken down aging fighter returning to the ring because he doesnít know how to do anything else and he has no where else to go.

Castillo will face off against Adan Casillas, 20-6-6 with 15 KOs in Baja, California in a ten round junior welterweight bout. On paper it would seem the old veteran, despite his declining boxing skills, would have too much for his opponent. But Castillo hasnít looked good since he knocked out Corrales in their 2005 rematch. Castillo didnít make weight for the bout while Corrales starved himself to make the lightweight limit. It was over in the fourth round and what followed was a fighter coming apart physically. He failed to make weight for the third match and then looked ordinary winning a decision over Rolando Reyes. After that he was lucky to get the decision over Herman Ngoudjo and then came the Hatton blowout.

Despite the level of the competition the fight with Casillas has boiled down to one of the most important of Castilloís long and distinguished career. Should he look bad in a win it will be hard for him to ever get his foot back in the door of the junior welterweight division. He also lost favor with Bob Arum his longtime promoter when he failed to make weight for the Corrales rubbermatch. Arumís tone when he speaks of Castillo is one of more than slight irritation. If he wins the bout impressively because of his name he may be able to set himself up for one final run at a title shot. Should he lose his career is all but over.

Memories of his famous first bout with the late Diego Corrales will always accompany Castillo but it pays him no dividends now. He must win tonight and win impressively or his story will end as so many other elite fightersí have Ė a fighter trapped emotionally by his past achievements and forced to fight on despite diminishing returns to pay the bills.

Article posted on 27.10.2007



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