Boxing


Diego Corrales Knocks Out Jose Castillo... At The Scales

04.06.06 - By Wray Edwards: Give me a break!! Ever since the Corrales Castillo Two "fight", the author has sought in vain to find a single person who believes that Jose had the slightest intention of making weight. Though they might not say so for the record, other writers as well as promoters, trainers, conditioners, fans, boxers and fighters have all come to that opinion. IMO and those of many others, Castillo's sole purpose in the second match was to exact macho revenge on Chico for his victory in their first meeting.

Many who considered the fist bout to be the FOTY in '05 pressed the two to go at it again asap with no interim fights and no decent interval considering the price paid by both fighters during their May meeting. Though there was mild controversy regarding the mouthpiece issues, not a single official or boxing cognoscenti tendered the slightest notion that Tony Weeks made other than the correct calls regarding that fight..

Only Castillo huggers held that the mouthpiece incidents were egregious and unfair. Au contraire.the rules of boxing consider such to be tactical unless over-done, in which case points are (and were) deducted. Weeks followed the spirit and letter of the regulations. This issue is identical in tactical importance to defensive holding which Calzaghe, Hatton, Ruiz and others are seen - especially by their fans - as practicing within the appropriate style and spirit of Boxing. Others, including the author, would like to see less grappling and more striking.

Some would have had us believe that Castillo's failure to make weight for the second match was no more important than the mouthpiece issue. Nothing could be further from logic or the truth. Failure to make weight is a breech of strategic proportions in preparation for a Boxing match. It has global implications for the fight in question and world-wide importance for the sport as a whole. Making weight is a seminal issue which affects the health and training momentum of every boxer as they home in on the required division standard.

Conversations with many conditioners have revealed that the effort to make weight is a two-edged sword. Those who are good at it can weigh in right on the mark and then gain as much as fifteen or twenty pounds by fight time. Though this practice is absurd (see the author's article "The Weighting Game") it is currently within the rules of professional prize fighting. There is, of course, a price to pay for these great swings in weight. It is somewhat debilitating.

In their second meeting Corrales paid that price. Castillo did not. Perhaps due to over-confidence, or pressures and enticements, Diego agreed to go ahead with number two and we all saw what happened. We have been in Chico's company many times and have observed him to be a consummate professional. We have seen him change from a bit of a cry-baby at times V Mayweather and Casamayor to a courageous and daring champion.

During the weigh-in today Diego treated his making weight as a victory with cheers, fist pumps and number one signs. And rightly he should. It is no mean task for a man of his height and soma-type to train down to such a precise goal. That's why those who can do this are called PROFESSIONAL. On the other hand Castillo, who sucked in his stomach and reached for the skyhook some boxers seem to believe is there, failed to make weight. He not only failed, he blatantly failed.

When Mike Anchondo failed to make weight by a similar margin to qualify for his championship match with Barrios there was a great hoopla as to what had happened with Buddy McGirt and Mike's conditioner watching his every move. Anchondo, to his credit, took full responsibility for his failure. That still begs the question, "how could his conditioner possibly allow Mike to veer off his weight loss schedule to such disastrous degree?"

Anchondo paid a heavy price in dollars, self-respect and reputation for this strategic infraction. Being young 23-24, and still looking at the possibility of a promising career, we may yet see him recover and prevail. No such option is available to Castillo unless he moves to 140 and clears the division. This latest train-wreck is of such massive proportions that it strikes the sourest of notes upon which to exit a division or career. He will always be remembered for this.

"What was he thinking?"? Could Jose and his handlers have believed that Chico would fall for that trick again? There is absolutely no possibility that Castillo's manager, conditioner, trainer, dogs or pony did not know he was so far off the mark, yet they appeared at the scales as if all was well. What a whopping miss-calculation they made if they actually thought Gary Shaw would allow them to pull another bloated con-job. Nobody who saw Gary's reaction to Jeff Lacy's defeat by the quick hands of Calzaghe, or his concern after fight number two with Jose, could possibly believe that he would allow Castillo to slide on this one.

In a world where the word "promoter" is just about an epithet, men like Gary Shaw must make their way in a dog-eat-dog profession and maintain a sense of proportion. The author has heard many derisive comments about these guys, but Gary Shaw does not fit the negative mould. As far as business and management authority is concerned, he and his equals are in a competition no less adversarial than their charges engage in between the ropes. Few are capable of surviving the dynamics of keeping this sport supplied with capable and ready contenders.

Corrales was completely justified and vindicated by his victory on the scales today. The first round of a boxing match is not in the venue between the ropes at the time and date of the contracted match. It is in the training gym, the jogging trails, the dinner table and the sparring ring that a true professional boxer fights the first round of a match. Considering the character, sacrifice and courage it takes to prepare for such a challenge, the match itself is almost anti-climactic from this perspective.

Logically, one might consider the competition of the training regimens to be more important than the fight itself as it averages eight weeks and is probably where the final outcome is determined in many instances.especially if the fighters have similar potentials. Considering these dynamics, Diego "Chico" Corrales destroyed JL Castillo in the rubber match of the training camp competitions. In fact Corrales won all three; the first in the ring, and the second and third in training camp by making weight and keeping his word. Signing a contract to fight includes a weight agreement which Castillo violated.TWICE!!

What should happen now? Diego should fight Juan Diaz and end Juan's era of protection. After he pays a hefty fine, most of which should go to Chico and Gary, Castillo should be suspended for a year and then be required to fight Cotto, or better yet, Mayweather if he wants to show us his prowess. He does, after all, walk around at 150 or 160. Wonder if anybody would even care by that time. Everybody in Castillo's camp has been tainted by this most unprofessional, egotistical and blatant disrespect for the sport. Methinks he has shown his true colors.

The author railed against the scheduling of the second fight which was a complete fiasco and totally ruined any chance for a classical trilogy. Chico, having been doubly insulted and short-sheeted by Castillo and his camp, should never again even consider a match with Jose Luis "Porky" Castillo. Fool me once.your fault. Fool me twice.my fault. Castillo has forfeited any credibility he might have earned through the courage and abilities of his early career.

Congratulations to Chico Corrales and his whole team for demonstrating the finest practices of the professional sport of Boxing. See you at the fights.

photo by Tom Casino / Showtime

Article posted on 05.06.2006



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