Code Red! Code Red!

Saturday is the final clash between Diego “Chico” Corrales (40-3, 33 KOs) and Jose Luis Castillo (54-7-1, 47 KOs) for the lightweight championship of the world. Though 70 pounds south, they’re true heavyweights. Sportsbook odds are Castillo -220, Corrales +180 – based on what?

Tale of the tape: Corrales, 28, is a lightweight freak, 5-11 with a half-inch fist, forearm and thigh advantage over the 5-8, 32-year-old Castillo plus a one inch bigger expanded chest, reach, bicep and calf. Castillo needs a ladder to reach him (on paper).

Corrales has had great success against smaller, aggressive guys. Castillo is strong enough mentally and big enough physically (He demonstrated that last time with Chico) to mete out plenty of pain of his own.

But the physical discrepancies don’t apply here. “Chico” doesn’t fight tall. He likes to walk in and unload hooks and rights bang on the inside, fight short. He likes it physical.

Reviewing their first bout, I was amazed at Corrales’ success when he made space. When he pushed off on Castillo and attacked from the outside, he was effective dropping right hands and short hooks. He used the jab to control the pace – Castillo had no answers.So, why doesn’t he stick with it? He’s like the guy that threw himself on cactus and when asked why said: “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

Think back to Corrales-Casamayor II. Stick and move. Outbox the guy. Corrales’ trainer, Joe Goossen, should put it in letters of fire on a ringside billboard. Also, Castillo is prone to cuts. Spear him with the jab; open the scar tissue. Double-jab right over the top, keep moving. Do that all night, and Corrales gets the W. But, it isn’t a safe bet.

Chin Check: Corrales is no stranger to the canvas.

Floyd Mayweather dropped him five times one night. Castillo and Joel Casamayor scored five knockdowns and one knockout against him. You can develop muscles, strengthen your mind, but you can’t train a chin. Plus, Castillo has found something with that short left hook.

In a recent FHM interview, Corrales analyzed the punch:

“I got a left hook in that second fight and that was purely my mistake. I caught him with my right hand, and he was ready for it. I felt him pulling himself down and really losing some steam. I need to make sure my hand is at home and never cocked.”

You can read the full interview here:

These guys bristle with macho. Expect the first few rounds to be more controlled: Corrales moving and setting the pace. Once Castillo breaks through, it’s “MACHO TIME”. I’ll agree with the sportsbook odds – if Corrales’ chin holds up, he’ll land enough punches to eke out a split decision.

Jhonny Gonzalez-Fernando Montiel: Is it over yet?
Who made this fight? Was this a Barrera concoction? Maybe law school has him out of touch. Being Guatemalan, I can relate to the poor souls who were expecting a slugfest and got a snoozefest.

Look, when you match Mexicans, you don’t expect Leonard vs. Benitez. To Latinos boxing equals fighting.Hit and get hit. We don’t want a ballet. After a 12-hour shift, getting a crap paycheck, my wife yelling at me and my car breaking down … all I want to do Fridays is hang with the boys, suck down some Coronas and watch two guys trying to kill each other cause they’re pissed.

How about an “I’m sorry bout?” Daniel Ponce De Leon was on the same card, and he scored another KO. Doesn’t a guy with a 90 percent KO ratio deserve to be on TV?

Joe Rein describes De Leon’s style: “He’s a clenched fist, sparring – an impatient 5-5 southpaw he brings it! -with little give in his legs over-wide stance – and constant I-want-to-kill-you lead lefts, making his handlers cringe.But he shrinks from no exchange – head down, squared-up, furiously winging to knock down a building. None of it by design, more a random act of violence.

Many of his free swings are blocked or parried, but when his sparmate steps back, thinking he’s out of range, Ponce brings new meaning to “reach out and touch someone” with a wingspan just shy of Marciano’s. The shudder when he lands makes it clear why he’s dangerous.

Read more about De Leon here: . Next time a fight sucks, HBO should sneak in a bonus bout. Who cares which, as long as it’s brutal.

Last Round
Chad Dawson should look awesome against Eric Harding in his first light heavyweight go.Harding’s not lacking confidence:

“I am willing to fight for winner-takes-all,” he said. “Dawson has made a big mistake. This is like a man against a young kid. He better be ready. Every fight is a must-win for me.”

Harding outpointed Antonio Tarver in a WBC eliminator on June 23, 2000. He also fought ex-world champs Montell Griffin and Glen Johnson. Harding, the WBC No. 10/IBF No. 9 contender won USBA and NABF 175-pound crowns in his past two starts, 12-round decisions over David Telesco and Daniel Judah.

Dawson, the WBC No. 7/WBA No. 15 contender, said, “I am looking forward to this. It is a great fight for ‘ShoBox.’ I am a still an improving, young fighter who is stepping up in competition. Harding is a great fighter. He has a good resume, but I definitely think I am the stronger fighter. I am in great shape. The world will know my name when I walk out of the ring with a victory.”

Dawson knows how to deal with awkward fighters. I was at Dawson’s bout against Ian Gardner in New Haven, Conn. with TN promoter Jake Donovan, who commented about the fight:

“The first few rounds were typical of a Gardner fight, even if the southpaw wasn’t in complete control. Dawson carried the action, but Gardner’s awkward style caused him to miss nearly everything. Action was so dismal, that many in press row were more interested in the war of words between the two camps at ringside.By round five, Dawson took over for good. Gardner offered an occasional straight left, but seemed more concerned with a shot that caught him above the bridge of his nose. By round’s end, Gardner was slow to walk back to his corner, grabbing his head, as if something was amiss.”

Chad Dawson was “amiss.” The guy’s the goods.

You can read the full story here:

10 seconds
WBA welterweight champion Ricky Hatton will sit ringside in Las Vegas on Saturday for Castillo-Corrales III, intending to challenge the victor of this epic trilogy, says his dad, manager Ray Hatton.

“He’d like to fight the winner, although we have heard rumors that Castillo will jump right up to welter afterwards and possibly fight Miguel Cotto.”

I’m skeptical of a Cotto-Castillo bout coming off. On June 10, Paul Malignaggi has his own plans.

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