Boxing


Corrales-Casamayor III Oct. 7 On Showtime; Darchinyan-Donaire In Co-Feature

NEW YORK (Sept. 7, 2006) – Two boxers with a genuine disdain for each other will duke it out with bad intentions for a third time when Diego “Chico” Corrales defends his World Boxing Council (WBC) and RING lightweight titles against former world champion and longtime adversary, southpaw Joel “El Cepillo” Casamayor, on Saturday, Oct. 7, during a Free Preview Weekend on SHOWTIME..

In the co-feature bout of a world championship doubleheader that begins at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast), rising superstar Vic “The Raging Bull” Darchinyan (26-0, 21 KOs) will risk his International Boxing Federation/International Boxing Organization (IBF/IBO) flyweight crowns and his undefeated record against world-ranked Glenn “The Filipino Bomber” Donaire (16-2-1, nine KOs.

Saturday’s SHOWTIME BOXING CHAMPIONSHIP telecast is the second night of fight cards airing on the network during the Free Preview Weekend that runs Friday, Oct. 6 through Monday, Oct. 9. On Oct. 6, “ShoBox: The New Generation” will air two semi-final bouts as the super middleweight tournament continues live at 11 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME (delayed on the west coast).

During the Free Preview Weekend, entitled “Destination: SHOWTIME,” the network will be available to viewers in more than 35 million homes across the country. In addition to boxing, viewers will have the opportunity to view some of the hottest original series on premium television: Damon Wayans’ “The Underground,” (Oct. 7 at 11 p.m.), “Dexter” (Oct. 8 at 10 p.m.), and “Weeds” (Oct. 8 at 9 p.m.); and movies including the television premier of “Chappelle’s Block Party” (Oct. 7 at 7 p.m.). SHOWTIME ON DEMAND will be offered free, where available, during the preview weekend providing viewer controlled access to these programs and many more.

The rubber match of a hotly contested series between Corrales and Casamayor will be promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, and take place at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

Corrales (40-3, 33 KOs), of Las Vegas, by way of Sacramento, is 7-1 in world title fights. Casamayor (33-3-1, 21 KOs), of Miramar, Fla., via Guantanamo, Cuba, is 5-3 (2-0 in interim bouts).

“This fight was one I knew we could make,” Shaw said. “Their first two fights were very exciting events, so I new that a rubber match would be equally great. Plus, these guys do not like each other, so it makes for even more intrigue.”

The Corrales-Casamayor debate, which stands at one victory apiece, dates back several years. In their initial clash Oct. 4, 2003, on SHOWTIME, Casamayor won a high-velocity showdown for the vacant International Boxing Association (IBA) 130-pound title with a disputed sixth-round TKO.

In a drama-filled brawl, Corrales went down twice and Casamayor once before the contest was stopped by the ringside physician after the sixth round due to heavy bleeding from cuts to Corrales' mouth and lip. Despite losing a point for a foul, Casamayor was ahead on each of the judges' scorecards at the finish of a slugfest that drew cheers when the boxers went at it and "boos" when it was stopped.

On March 6, 2004, Corrales won the rematch and the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) and IBA belts with a 12-round split decision on SHOWTIME. Always regarded as a feared pure puncher, Corrales fought a tactically brilliant fight. In addition to being the aggressor, he showed that he could box well from the outside, and perform with poise and patience. Casamayor spotted Corrales a big early lead, but rallied to register a knockdown in the 10th. It was too little, too late, however, as Corrales triumphed by 115-112 twice and 113-114.

“I want to punish this dude,” said Corrales shortly after the grudge rubber match was made official. “I want Casamayor to be there for some rounds so I can beat on him. I do not like the guy. I never have. He has a big mouth and he likes to talk a lot. I am going to make him pay a price for talking. I want to make him hurt. I am not here to play. I am here to defend my titles and move on. I am looking to close this chapter. I am going to end his career.

“We have bad blood between us. From the start, we got off on the wrong foot and stayed on that foot. We are like oil and water. We do not mix.”

Said Casamayor, who called out Corrales on television after his last fight: “People already know who the real man is. But, if I have to remind them, I will do it on Oct. 7. I am happy that Corrales finally gave me the rematch. I have been waiting a long time. I am the stronger guy.

“Corrales has been in a lot of ring wars. He is burnt. I just need to touch him on the chin and he will go. He has said a lot of bad things about me; that I am not a good fighter, that I am not this, that I am not that. Yes, it is personal. He has brought the hunger back in my heart.”

Corrales will make his 2006 debut and first start since back-to-back classic scuffles with Jose Luis Castillo in 2005. In his historic first bout against Castillo on SHOWTIME that would become a near-unanimous pick for ‘05 Fight of the Year, Corrales rallied dramatically from the brink of defeat to register a 10th-round TKO on May 7 from Las Vegas and unify the WBC and WBO titles.

Castillo won the brief, but brutal sequel on Oct. 8, 2005, in Las Vegas by scoring a sudden fourth-round knockout. Despite losing the rematch, Corrales came away with his world title belts because Castillo failed to make the 135-pound limit, and one of his camp members was caught trying to tamper with the scale at the weigh-in. Corrales has since relinquished the WBO belt. Twice in 2006, Corrales and Castillo were scheduled to collide, but neither fight transpired.

In a brilliant performance, Corrales captured the WBO belt with a 10th-round TKO over previously unbeaten, defending champion Acelino Freitas (35-0, 31 KOs going in) Aug. 7, 2004, on SHOWTIME. After falling way behind after six rounds, Corrales scored knockdowns in the eighth, ninth and 10th rounds to triumph in an eagerly anticipated match-up of two of boxing’s best and hardest hitters.

A two-time world champion at 130 pounds, Corrales won his first world title with a seventh-round TKO over defending IBF champion Robert Garcia Oct. 23, 1999, on SHOWTIME.

After taking the IBF belt from Garcia, Corrales lost a battle of unbeatens when WBC titleholder Floyd Mayweather defeated him on Jan. 20, 2001.

Corrales compiled an outstanding 105-12 amateur record while capturing numerous titles, including the 1991 National P.A.L. Championship at 112 pounds and a bronze medal at the 1995 Pan Am Games in Argentina. He turned pro at age 18 on March 19, 1996.

Casamayor is perhaps the most prolific amateur boxer in history (380-30). He won a gold medal as a bantamweight at the 1992 Olympic Games and was a prohibitive favorite to repeat in 1996. Prior to the opening ceremonies, however, he walked away from the Cuban compound in Guadalajara, Mexico, and left a five-year-old daughter, a girlfriend and his parents in Guantanamo.

“I never got to say goodbye,” Casamayor said. “But, I wanted to be free. I have experienced a lot of success in boxing, but the greatest feeling in my life was coming to America.”

The cool and classy boxer-puncher has had few missteps since turning pro on Sept. 20, 1996. His three losses, all on points, came in world title fights. Two of the 12-round decisions were split.

Casamayor earned the interim WBA 130-pound crown with a lopsided decision over Antonio Hernandez on June 19, 1999. In 2000, Casamayor became the first U.S.-based Cuban defector to win a world title when he captured the WBA belt with a fifth-round TKO over Jongkwon Baek. Casamayor made four successful defenses before suffering his first loss on a controversial split decision in a world title unification bout to then-WBO champ Freitas Jan. 12, 2002, on SHOWTIME.

Since the loss to Corrales in the rematch, Casamayor has gone 3-1-1. The defeat came on a 12-round split decision to then-WBC lightweight champion Castillo on Dec. 4, 2004, in Las Vegas, on SHOWTIME. In an uncharacteristic meltdown, Casamayor faltered down the stretch as Castillo swept the last three rounds on all the scorecards to win 117-111, 116-112 and 113-115.

The draw came in a bout many felt Casamayor won against Almazbek Raiymkulov, a.k.a. “Kid Diamond’’ on June 11, 2005, in New York. Casamayor scored a knockdown in the first round of the WBC eliminator. Raiymkulov rallied, however, to stagger Casamayor in the eighth, ninth and again in the closing seconds of the 12th stanzas. At the finish, one judge had it 115-112 for Casamayor, another scored it 116-111 for Kid Diamond, while the third totaled it 114 apiece.

Casamayor has won each of his 2006 efforts inside of the distance, including a ninth-round TKO over Lamont Pearson in his most recent outing July 7 at Phoenix.

In the Oct. 7 co-feature, two aggressive minded bangers will go head to head.

Darchinyan, of Sydney, Australia, by way of Vanadvor, Armenia, has won his last two outings by eighth-round knockout. In his most recent start, the forever-stalking offensive-minded slugger retained his titles by defeating Luis Maldonado June 3, 2006, on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING. In his effort before that, Darchinyan ousted Diosdado Gabi on March 3, 2006, on “ShoBox.”

A pint-sized powerhouse armed with bone-crunching power in either mitt, Darchinyan is one of the hardest pound-for-pound hitters in boxing. The Lord of the Flys has won eight consecutive bouts by knockout. He will be defending his IBF belt for the fifth time and his IBO title for a fourth time.

“My goal is and always has been to unify the belts and to fight the best,” said Darchinyan, who went 152-18 in the amateurs and represented Armenia at the 2000 Olympic Games. He made the team as a flyweight and advanced to the quarterfinals where he dropped a 15-8 decision to Bulat Jumadilov of Kazakhstan.

Donaire, of San Leandro, Calif., by way of General Santos City, Philippines, captured the North American Boxing Association (NABA) and vacant North American Boxing Organization (NABO) 112-pound crowns in his most recent outing with a 12-round unanimous decision over Cesar Lopez on May 5, 2006, on “ShoBox.” In a good scrap, Donaire spotted Lopez an early lead before coming on strongly to triumph 117-110, 116-111 and 115-112.

“I am excited and I cannot wait to become our country's lone world champion,” Donaire said. “I also want to avenge the loss of my good friend (Gabi) to Darchinyan.”
The older brother of top prospect Nonito Donaire, Glenn is an aggressive-minded, two-fisted banger who likes to get in close and throw hard combinations to the head and body.

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING’s Steve Albert and Al Bernstein will call the action from ringside with Jim Gray serving as roving reporter. The executive producer of the SHOWTIME telecast will be David Dinkins Jr. with Bob Dunphy directing.

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING celebrates 20 years of hard-hitting, explosive programming in 2006.  In March 1986, SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING was born when “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler defeated John “The Beast” Mugabi in a spectacular and unforgettable 11th-round knockout in Las Vegas. Since that time, the network has aired some of the most historic and significant events in the sport including both Holyfield-Tyson bouts.

Always at the forefront of boxing, SHOWTIME has set itself apart by telecasting “great fights, no rights” on the first Saturday of every month. SHOWTIME is the first network to regularly deliver live boxing in High Definition.  In addition, SHOWTIME continues to be a pioneer in sports television with a number of interactive features across multiple platforms making SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecasts the most enjoyable, immersive viewing experience for the boxing audience.

For information on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and “ShoBox: The New Generation” telecasts, including complete fighter bios and records, related stories and more, please go the SHOWTIME website at http://www.sho.com/boxing.

Article posted on 08.09.2006



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