Jose Luis Castillo and Diego “Chico” Corrales are ready to do it again on Feb. 4, 2006 and this time the war zone will be El Paso, Texas. The world’s most talented and courageous lightweights will collide in an eagerly awaited rubber match at UTEP's Don Haskins Center to decide once and for all the No. 1 135-pound fighter on the planet. The 12-round bout, co-promoted by Top Rank, Inc., and Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, will televised worldwide and aired in the United States on SHOWTIME.
When it comes to highly anticipated trilogies, who needs “The Godfather,” “Star Wars,” “Back to the Future,” “Indiana Jones” or “Lord of the Rings” when you have “The War to Settle the Score on Feb. 4!” The third fight in the legendary series will co-star Corrales, the exciting, hard-hitting World Boxing Council (WBC) champion, and Castillo, the powerful, explosive, former two-time WBC titleholder.
Corrales (40-3, 33 KOs) won the historic first bout against Castillo – and the 2005 Fight of the Year -- when he dramatically rallied from the brink of near-certain defeat to record a memorable 10th-round TKO to unify the title and capture the WBC lightweight belt on May 7, 2005.
Castillo (53-7, 47 KOs) won the brief, but brutal sequel five months later with an impressive and sudden fourth-round knockout. Despite losing the Oct. 8 rematch, Corrales came away with both his world title belts when Castillo failed to make the 135-pound limit and one of his camp members was caught trying to tamper with the scale at the weigh-in.
“When he didn't make weight (Castillo tipped the scales at 138½ pounds), I had two options,” Corrales said. “The first was to call off the fight entirely. The second was to allow Castillo to weigh in at 147 pounds on the day of the fight and proceed with the match.
“I chose the second option because people deserve to see a fighter do his job. If this fight did not happen, it would have been bad for boxing. I respect the game, and they knew I would not let it be battered or bruised by a big card being canceled. I could have said, ‘I am not going to fight,’ but I had an obligation to the fans.
“But the past is past. I opened up and Castillo caught me with a great shot. I have no excuses. I do not want to take credit away from his win.
“Now, we have each won once. I cannot wait until Feb. 4.’’
Said Castillo: “I said after the last fight that if they wanted to make this like the ‘Rocky’ movie series, I did not care. I will fight Corrales five or six times.
“(After the knockdown) I knew Corrales was not getting up. I told everyone I would knock him out before the seventh round. His style is perfect for me. He likes to fight inside, and that is what I do best.
“I was very happy to win, but also sad because I could not make weight. I let the people down, but I got my vindication by knocking out Corrales.
TICKETS for the event will be priced at $300, $200, $100, $60 and $40, plus service charges. TICKETS GO ON SALE SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10 at the UTEP Ticket Center and all TicketMaster Outlets, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Tickets may also be purchased by calling 915-544-8444 or online at www.ticketmaster.com
According to co-promoter Bob Arum, El Paso was a natural site for The War to Settle the Score. "El Paso is one of the great fight towns in America and has always supported quality boxing events," said Arum, the Boxing Hall of Fame promoter who has promoted a number of bouts in El Paso, including Oscar De La Hoya's epic fight at the Sun Bowl in 1998.
"With both Castillo and Corrales having fought there in El Paso in the past and all the great support El Paso has shown, we felt this was the best place for the fight, continued Arum."
Shaw also pointed to UTEP's Don Haskins Center as a consideration, as well. The Don Haskins may be one of the best boxing facilities in the world to watch a fight," complimented Shaw. "With such a small arena floor and such steep elevated seating, the fans are right on top of the action. And with the fans in El Paso being so loud and enthusiastic, it should be a great scene there at the Haskins Center and a perfect setting for this great rematch."
Corrales, of Sacramento, Calif., captured the WBO 135-pound crown with a 10th-round TKO over defending champion Acelino Freitas Aug. 7, 2004. A two-time world champion at 130 pounds, Corrales won the vacant WBO belt with a 12-round split decision over Joel Casamayor March 6, 2004. Corrales won his first world title with a seventh-round TKO over defending IBF Robert Garcia Oct. 23, 1999.
Castillo, of Sonora, Mexico, won the WBC 135-pound belt the first time with a 12-round majority decision over Steve Johnston on June 17, 2000. Following three successful defenses, he lost the title and a subsequent rematch to unbeaten Floyd Mayweather in April and December of 2002. Castillo regained the WBC belt with a 12-round unanimous decision over Juan Lazcano on June 5, 2004.