Six fighters with a combined 185 professional boxing victories and 148 knockouts will fight for three title belts on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Saturday, Dec. 4, at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on West Coast) from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. In the main event, former World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Featherweight Champion Joel Casamayor (31-2, 19 KOs) will attempt to win his second world title when he steps up in weight to challenge two-time World Boxing Council (WBC) Lightweight Champion Jose Luis Castillo (50-6-1, 45 KO)
In the evening’s second televised bout, International Boxing Federation (IBF) Super Middleweight Champion Jeff Lacy (17-0, 14 KOs) will make his initial title defense against IBF No. 14 contender Omar Sheika (26-6, 17 KOs). Opening the SHOWTIME tripleheader will be undefeated heavyweight contender Samuel Peter (20-0, 17 KOs) taking on heavyweight contender Jeremy Williams (41-4-1, 36 KOs) for the vacant North American Boxing Federation (NABF) heavyweight title. Top Rank, Inc. in association with Gary Shaw Productions, LLC and Cedric Kushner Promotions, LTD with Team Freedom and Duva Boxing will present the event.
Castillo: I trained very hard for this fight, as I always do. It is an important fight and I trained in the mountains of Mexico. I come ready to win and I think it will be a great fight.
Casamayor: I am in tremendous shape and feel real strong at this weight. I have trained very hard for this fight and I will win. I have never been in better shape in any other fight in my career.Question: Jose, what is the key for you in this fight?
Castillo: I think the great thing will be pressure and throwing a lot of punches. I know what I need to do and plan on going in there and getting it done.Question: Joel, what is the key for you in this fight and how do you feel about moving up a notch in weight?
Casamayor: Boxing is about the smartest guy in there, about the guy that thinks and the guy that knows what he has to do. I feel very strong and in terrific shape. I am a counter puncher and I love to see a guy come to me. Question: Jose, how do you think the style of Casamayor is going to hurt you?
Castillo: I have never had problems with left-handers in any of my fights. Joel is a very able fighter that can move around and he might be a problem for a few rounds, but once I get into it, I will be OK. Question: Jose, do tough fights bring out the best of your abilities?
Castillo: Without a doubt, fighters always have to be thinking 100 percent. You know you can take one shot at them, but you might not get the second right away. They keep you on your toes and you have to keep going after them. Question: Joel, is the reason you moved to 135 pounds because you were having a problem making 130?
Casamayor: No, at 130 nobody wanted to fight me. I came to this country to fight the best guys. I am a tough fighter and a warrior. I will not turn down anybody and that is the reason we are here. Question: Joel, do you think that one knockdown in your last fight might have changed the minds of a lot of people about you?
Casamayor: I am a fighter with no excuses, but in the last fight, I had a real short camp and root canal work 10 days before. Even when I got knocked down, I was just not standing right and I got caught off balance. However, from that point on, I won every round. This is a different ball game here. Great fighters rise to great occasions.Question: Jose, would you rather fight Corrales or Casamayor style-wise?
Castillo: I feel that I am going to have to fight both of them anyway. I do not care in what order I fight them. I might as well get them both now and then look forward to the big fight, the one that I really want, which is Kostya Tszyu. I am really looking forward to that fight when it comes and I hope I do get it. Question: Joel, do you feel with your weight increase from 130 to 135 that you will lose any of your speed?
Casamayor: Definitely not. I feel I am stronger and faster now. I will do everything I have to do to win cleanly and decisively. Question: Jose, do you have any predictions for the fight?
Castillo: I do not have any predictions for this fight. If the knockout comes, it will come. If I am able to land some solid shots, I am going to go for it. Question: Jose, Eric Morales is going up to 135 after the fight Saturday. Would you be interested in fighting him?
Castillo: No, I do not think I will ever fight Eric. Most of all, we are friends and we would not want to fight each other. Whenever I can move up to 140, he can fight for my title at 135.Question: Jose, what are your impressions of Joel’s career?
Castillo: I think he is a beautiful boxer and just magnificent. He does a lot of things very intelligently in the ring. We will have to be very careful with him.Question: Jose, have you accomplished everything you want and what are you looking forward to in the future?
Castillo: I came late into the championship. Now that the big fights are here, I definitely want to take advantage of it by going up in weight and looking for big fights such as Tszyu or Corrales. Question: Joel, who would your big dream fight be if you could pick your next opponent?
Casamayor: I do not have any special opponent. I just want to fight the best and I will fight anyone who is thought to be the best no matter who it is. Question: Jose, Acelino Freitas has made allegations that Casamayor is a dirty fighter. Is that just Freitas whining or is there some truth to those comments?
Castillo: From what I have seen, I have not really seen anything of him being a dirty fighter. He had a head butt with Corrales in one fight, but that is normal when you have a left-hander and a right-hander. After the fight, I will answer that question.Question: Joel, do you think that writers and “experts” sometimes make too big of a deal about going up in weight when it is only about five pounds?
Casamayor: I know my body better than anybody and going up only five pounds will not make a difference. Question: Jose, how do you think the weight issue will affect this fight?
Castillo: I do not think it will be a factor. I fought other fights heavier because I was not really training. I was just fighting to do something. This is a good weight for me. Question: Do you have a prediction on how the fight will end up?
Castillo: I know this will be a tough fight. I would not be surprised if it goes 12 rounds. (But) It would not surprise me if I am able to catch him real solid, be able to hurt him and then probably knock him out.
Casamayor: It will end with a Casamayor victory whether I have to go 12 rounds to win or through a knockout punch. Whatever happens, I will be the victor.Question: Can anyone deal with Kostya Tszyu’s punching power and can he be beaten?
Castillo: We will find out. If I ever face him, I know it will be a power fight and will probably not last very long, probably a few rounds. I am looking forward to matching power with power.
Casamayor: He definitely is a very good fighter. To beat a guy like Tszyu, you have to be smart and out-think him. He is not an easy fight for anyone. He is a great fighter.Question: Joel, do you plan on weighing in right at 135?
Casamayor: I will come in right around 135 and I plan to stay at that weight. Question: Joel, have you changed any training at all for the bigger fighters?
Casamayor: I have worked hard for this fight. I am in tremendous shape and you all must remember that speed kills. Question: Joel, did you watch the Cuban Olympic team this summer in Athens and what did you think of their performance?
Casamayor: I did watch the Olympics and there were a lot of great fighters there. Question: Joel, a couple of the Cuban Olympic team members had your same style. Do they teach that style down there?
Casamayor: A couple of those guys trained with the same trainer I had in Guantanamo, so they have the same style as me. Question: Jose, are you worried about this fight or do you feel pretty comfortable?
Castillo: I am not worried about it. I am going to do my best to make it clear who the winner is.
Castillo: I just hope everyone watches and comes to the fight next Saturday. I think you will enjoy it and see a great fight.
Casamayor: I am ready for this fight and God bless everyone.