In May, there are quite a few major combat anniversaries out here. But in reality, for others, this month’s greatest, strongest, and most fiercely exciting battle that needs to be enjoyed for everyone is the everyone-out warriors Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo put on 135 pounds.
Now, it was 15 years ago, that “Chico” encountered the rugged, gritty, and smart Mexican at The Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. What preceded was indeed a crazy war, one that ended so incredible that even seasoned observers such as Dan Rafael were left “actually trembling” (Dan’s words).
These two gorgeously trained, brave, and formidable prizefighters have brought us everything from the opening bell that is truly remarkable. Rarely letting go breakneck, let alone trying to initiate a clinch, Coralles and Castillo ripped at each other-for nine incredible rounds. Standing toe-to-toe, struggling to take each other to a hellish location the two seemed to have made a vow of anonymity on their way there, both men gave much too much. Somebody had to offer it.
The trade show, the strong, well-placed punches, was gut-wrenching. The relatively tiny audience was treated to a spectacular. A guerrilla war. Wrestling once in a lifetime!
Then came the amazing tenth round, the final round of the fight which had already bagged the 2005 Battle Of The Year award. What happened in the tenth has turned a huge battle into a battle that will last forever.
Both people became exhausted; both were numbered, and blood was pouring out. Castillo then toughly decked out Corrales. “Chico” purchased precious seconds, as his mouthpiece emerged. Corrales this time purposely spit out the gumshield up but then sent south a second time. He earned more time but a point was deducted. But the least of these are marks. Here it was a fight for life.
And then, there, there, doing something that no weary fighter can do, Corrales, reaching far into his being, instead of rumbling straight at Castillo, punching him and trapping him in the ground, tossing all he had left in his exhausted, deadweight arms then pounding away to force the end. It had been jaw-dropping. It was almost too difficult to comprehend for a veteran fan of the war.
Diego Corrales had arisen from a certain defeat to take out Castillo’s war as no one did.
The Largest Fight ever? Maybe. Many people claim that Corrales KO10 Castillo merits the golden distinction-putting the fight well above the iconic Ali-Frazier, Hagler-Hearns, Barrera-Morales, and Gatti-Ward sizzlers.
In essence, everything is down to the point of view, and nothing else. Yet no fighting enthusiast will ever assemble a trustworthy Top-10 best battles and have no place for the dizzying battle that went down now, 15 years ago.
What a weeping shame “Chico” is no longer with us, his sensational heroics won him in 2005 will no longer bask in the highly deserving glory.