Joel Casamayor, right, lands a right to Diego Corrales during their WBC lightweight championship fight at Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2006. Casamayor defeated Corrales by split decision.


Where the Warriors justified in firing coach Mark Jackson?

Leading Off: Boxer Diego Corrales remembered on May 7

Published: Tuesday, May. 6, 2014 - 11:03 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, May. 6, 2014 - 11:27 pm

It was unbelievable.

Saturday night, May 7, 2005, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas.

What started as a lightweight fight between Diego “Chico” Corrales of Sacramento and Jose Luis Castillo of Mexico for the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization championship belts turned into a war between two men beating one another more out of survival than for victory.

It was already a “Fight of the Year” candidate after the first nine rounds, but by the end of the 10th it was being discussed as the “Fight of the Century.”

Corrales, his left eye nearly closed and a mouse growing beneath his right eye, was dropped twice by Castillo in the first minute of the 10th round. Both times Corrales hit the canvas, he spit out his mouthpiece – leading referee Tony Weeks to deduct one point.

It was no longer an issue if Castillo would win the close fight that was now in his control, but whether Corrales could survive the final minutes of the round.

Now in a fight for his life as well as the two title belts, Corrales stood toe-to-toe with Castillo – who began to swing wildly as he sought the final knockout. Both men connected punches, but it was Castillo who was hurt by a right hand by Corrales. With the crowd in hysterics, Corrales gained momentum with each punch and began to batter his opponent against the ropes until Weeks jumped in to save Castillo, who was knocked out on his feet.

Corrales paid a heavy price for that night. He was never the same, losing the final three fights in a career (40-5-0) that should be considered for the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Sadly, Corrales was killed in a motorcycle accident at 29. It happened just miles from Mandalay Bay on May 7, 2007 – two years to the day after he had beaten Castillo.

It was unbelievable.

– Victor Contreras

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