Diego Corrales: "Casamayor right now is scared"
INTERVIEW By Rob Scott (Sep 28, 2006) Photo © Gary Randall
On October 7th, Showtime Championship Boxing will brings you chapter three in the saga of Diego ‘Chico’ Corrales, 40-3 (33), and Joel ‘El Cepillo’ Casamayor, 33-3-1  (21), when they meet at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada. These two split their first two meetings with Casamayor scoring a 6th round TKO victory when referee Toney Weeks stopped the action upon the ringside physician’s suggestion because of cuts inside Corrales’ mouth. Corrales won the second meeting on a 12 round split decision when he abandoned his usual seek-and-destroy style and seemingly outboxed Casamayor, who was thought of as the superior boxer.

After Corrales’ last outings with Jose Luis Castillo (twice), Acelino Freitas and his two bouts with Casamayor, no one would blame him if he took a light touch opponent. But given his track record, taking a light touch opponent just wouldn’t be Corrales’ style. I spoke with Diego Corrales about what we can expect when these two lock horns. Read what the defending WBC lightweight champion had to say before this their third and deciding fight.  

Rob Scott: Another fight, another interview, and again, another thanks for taking time out of your busy training to talk to our readers.

Diego Corrales:
Definitely not a problem.

RS: When last we spoke, you were days away from your third and deciding bout with Jose Luis Castillo. We all know what happened with Castillo not making weight, thus putting that fight on the shelf. Explain to us your thoughts the very instant that it was said that Castillo wouldn’t/couldn’t make the 135lb weight limit.

I was pissed. I was irate. I mean come on, this right here is ridiculous. I mean, he was supposed to make the weight. I’m a professional; I’ve always made my weight. I believe in trying to make sure everyone is professional in this game, and he wasn’t professional enough to make the weight? I was pissed.

RS: Can you elaborate any on the lawsuit against Castillo, like how it is going and explain your thoughts on why you filed to begin with?

No I can’t talk about the lawsuit as far as how it’s going, but why did I do it? Period – Point blank, I trained to get ready for a fight. I came and looked forward to a fight and I was confident and prepared.  I made my weight and I did my job. Because of so much money when he didn’t make weight from the first time. Pay-per-view sales had fallen out; I mean he killed some of the money we could have made. So I think all that is a huge factor in the matter. That’s why we sued…he cost us a lot of money. We would have overlooked it all had he had made weight the last time we were getting ready to fight, but he didn’t. So bottom line, he caused us to lose too much money, two times in a row.

RS:  Everyone has a right to his or her opinion. Any Diego Corrales fan will look at your first fight with Castillo as the truth. But if you are a Castillo fan, you’ll put the weight issue aside and see the second fight as the truth. How frustrating is it that you weren’t able to set the record straight once and for all?

It is very frustrating. Honestly I believe, and this is what burns even more, I believe he felt (by any means necessary) to get the win. (I won’t make the weight; I made weight one time and he knocked me out, so I’m going to do whatever I can to win.) That’s the mind state I have on it (Castillo).

RS: So you are adamant that he purposely didn’t make weight to have the advantage?

Yeah, that’s definitely the way I feel.

RS: I said earlier that after Castillo didn’t make weight for the third bout, the fight was on the shelf. In your mind, is the fight on the shelf to be picked up later, or is it in the trash never to take place?

It’s in the trash never to take place. He cost me too much. If he cared anything about this trilogy, he would have done his job the same way I did. It ain’t easy for me to make lightweight either. So for him to sit back and do what he did, it just was wrong. He didn’t care about it. He’s happy with the way he cheated and got it, and I’m happy with the way I made weight and put him out. You know, it is what it is.

RS:  Castillo just may be in your past and we all want to know about your future plans, but your overall concentration should be on your present. Your present again puts you in there with an old name… Joel Casamayor… who says he doesn’t like you and he’s going to knock you out.

Well he has October 7th to prove it.

RS: Describing yours and Castillo’s styles as “very come forward” in our last interview, you said basically war was unavoidable. You were intense in your preparation for all of those wars, but we all know that Casamayor isn’t Castillo when it comes to the war department. How has training been with you and Joe Goossen in preparation for the boxer in Casamayor, who can be seen as the anti-Castillo?

He really is too – that’s funny. Uh, it’s just fine. We’ve prepared perfectly. I’m ready for it. He knows I know what I’m doing when dealing with him and how he boxes. We’re not strangers to each other and I’m not worried about it. We’ve got a great camp and we are very, very prepared for him.

RS: It’s no secret that your trainer, Joe Goossen, used to train Casamayor, most notably in your very first fight with Casamayor. It may be looked upon as an advantage for you, but let us in your training camp for a second, and let us know what, if anything, has Joe ever consciously let you know in the way of Casamayor’s shortcomings?  

You know I can’t answer that question.

RS: Hey, I figured I’d ask. I personally just always have been curious about that one.

That’s not the question to answer (chuckling).

RS: In your second fight with Casamayor, you outboxed the perceived boxer out of the two of you. By Casamayor saying he doesn’t like you and he will knock you out to more than one scribe, how much do you think he is serious about that, and how much do you think is a ploy to make you come in with a fighter’s mentality, not a boxer’s one, like in your last meeting?

I’m going to tell you the honest truth… Joel right now is scared. He knows he’s in the heat in a fight on this level. And the one thing that fighters do when they haven’t been on this level is they will try and do what ever they can to get a fighter out of they’re game plan, and that’s all what Joel is trying to do. It’s a great ploy, he’s trying to get me out of my game plan, but it’s not going to happen.

RS: Some fighters may face an opponent and suffer some set backs, like maybe a knockdown or getting wobbled, but can still end the fight saying this fighter was no where near their hardest opponent. In your fights with Casamayor, you did suffer some knockdowns and setbacks, but where does he rate in your mind in comparison to certain others that you have faced, like Freitas, Castillo, Mayweather and more?

Well I’ll tell you what, he rates pretty high, but bottom line is, nobody out rates Castillo. There isn’t a fighter on planet earth that I’ve ever fought that’s going to out rate Castillo as far as tough as nails go. So he doesn’t rank like that, but he is definitely a challenge.

RS: I know you love that one on one battle, but in boxing, that tough fight doesn’t always have to test your intestinal fortitude, it could challenge your smartness. A Mayweather or Casamayor will box you quicker than a Castillo who will fight, which is the overall toughest type for you?

One is going to test your will and test how much you want that one on one battle, while a boxer will challenge your mental capacity, so overall, their both equally tough. 

RS: Just where did all the dislike between you and Casamayor come from and just how deep is it?

I bug the heck out of him. I don’t know why, but he’s never been good or nice to me, so I really dislike the guy. He’s very disrespectful and that in itself bothers me.

RS: Styles do indeed make for exciting fights. Yours and Castillo’s almost always will give us that excitement. It’s almost like I’m in matchmaker’s mode though whenever we speak, because I always mention you in a bout with England’s Ricky Hatton, who I feel, matched with you, would give us much of the same excitement as you and Castillo. It’s a can’t miss attraction monetarily and it’s a can’t miss as far as status, because he is still considered the man to beat at junior welterweight when you choose to move up. You have Casamayor, and that should be your focus, but have you, Goossen, Gary Shaw and the rest of Team Corrales given Hatton a thought after Oct. 7th?

There has been talk, but my job is to fight. They have been speaking, but I don’t know how well it’s been going. From what I understand, he (Hatton) wants the fight. And being that he is with Artie Pelullo, I mean you know I did come along and beat up on his very unfortunate Brazilian (Acelino Freitas), I suppose he (Pelullo) would jump at the chance to get revenge on me. I mean you never know, I would think that things are going very well, because as I said, I beat Freitas and promoters tend to want to get payback. That’s one thing that they do do, and it’s well noted. So if he wants payback, the best shot would come from Ricky Hatton, not Freitas.

RS: One of the reasons I harp on your future opponents is because of, yet again, our last interview when you said that you and your wife had been having discussions about when you were leaving the ring. You said you wanted to spend more time with your family, but you loved the ring so much. Have discussions slowed since? Because I know the influence family can have.

We still talk about it; it’s true. You got to understand, this takes away a lot from me. It takes away a lot from my family. My daughter is now crawling and I miss all of that. My daughter sat up for the first time and I’ve not been witness to that. So those firsts, which mean a lot to me, I missed that. In order for me to even get that back…I have to have another baby. I keep missing these things because of the job I have, and it’s like I love my sport, but at some point, love for something can be overshadowed by the love for your family. I miss so much of my kids, you know. They’ve gotten so old, I mean all my kids are so old now, with the exception of Dezzia…. and I’m still missing so much of her. It’s a thought that has crossed my mind and we have talked about.  

RS: If the clock is ticking on your career, your bouts just may have to be chosen methodically. I mention Hatton and Cotto because with HBO backing them, the money would be better and the perceived accomplishment would be great. I say perceived because with the airways saying how good these fighters are, a lot of people will feel the same – you and others may feel different though. With that being said, what would mean more to you, the fighter that will give you more money or one that you may feel is the best, but you may not get the most money? 

I’m never going to sacrifice my common goal; my common goal is to fight the best at any cost. And I won’t sacrifice that, no matter what my desire is. Whether it is to retire or continue.

RS:  Let’s just say hypothetically you had to retire after the Casamayor fight, and while I know you have to have focus on fighting while you’re fighting, but is your love for the game just in the ring? Could you see
yourself managing, training or broadcasting?

Oh yeah.

RS: Which one?

All of the above. I have the brains to do all of those things. Broadcasting, you’ve all saw me on Showtime and ESPN, I know what I’m talking about and I’m very well spoken. Managing, I could do that – very, very simple. There are so many things I can do without being in the ring itself.

RS: Whether Casamayor is trying to get in your head or not, the war of words have been fought and Diego, as always, I want to thank you for taking this time to speak with us, and good luck on the 7th.

For the record, my mind, he can never shake me – not with that. I’m too strong-minded of a person to ever let that bother me – that I guarantee.

RS: Thanks again Diego.

Once again I’d like to thank Ed Jackson for all his help with this interview and to Diego Corrales himself for taking the time out of his training schedule to talk before this important third fight with Joel Casamayor. Be sure to tune into Showtime Championship Boxing on October 7th, as Diego Corrales defends his WBC Lightweight championship against Joel Casamayor, live from the Mandalay Bay and Casino in Las Vegas. These two will meet for the third time; both aim to make this time the charm.

Questions or comments,
Rob at: Robscottxl@msn.com
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