Diego “Chico’’ Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo are signed, sealed and ready to deliver once again LIVE on SHOWTIME Saturday, June 3, 2006, (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast). In a terrific match-up of unbeaten flyweights in the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING co-feature, International Boxing Federation (IBF)/International Boxing Organization (IBO) Champion Vic “The Raging Bull’’ Darchinyan will defend his crown against IBF No. 8 contender Luis Maldonado.
The world’s most talented and courageous lightweights, Corrales and Castillo will collide in their eagerly awaited rubber match for Corrales’ World Boxing Council (WBC) title at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 12-round world title bouts will be co-promoted by Top Rank, Inc., and Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, in association with Caesars Palace and Wynn Las Vegas.
Begin Opening Comments.
Corrales: Training camp is going well. I am very excited about the fight. I am feeling great right now. Everything is going the way we expect it to go. Sparring is going well and my ribs are healed perfectly and I am ready.
Darchinyan: I am looking forward to this fight with Luis Maldonado. He is a good, strong fighter. I have been in training for nearly eight weeks and am ready for this. I will show my skills.
Begin Press Questions.
Question: Vic, is it important at this stage of your career to win this fight and defend your title, or are you trying to make a statement and win by knockout?
Darchinyan: It is a very good opportunity for me. I have won a lot of my fights since winning the title by knockout. It is very important for me to win by knockout.
Question: Diego, what was the difference between the first fight and the second with Castillo and what can we expect in the third fight?
Corrales: The difference was Castillo made some very smart moves in the rematch. He jabbed a lot more. He did not engage in constant inside battles, and that made the big difference.
Question: How much do you think the weight issue was a factor?
Corrales: Generally when you are looking at three-and-a-half or four pounds, it is a weight division. So he obviously had a big advantage; otherwise, they would not have weight divisions and guys would just fight at whatever weight they wanted. Nonetheless, I will take nothing from him. He landed great shots.
Question: Castillo says he will be coming in at weight this time and that he would have a huge problem if he does not make weight for this fight.
Corrales: Oh yes, he will have a huge problem if he does not make weight.
Question: How is your weight?
Corrales: As usual, I never have a weight problem.
Question: Where did you do your training this time?
Corrales: In Los Angeles, as always.
Question: Will you go be going for a knockout?
Corrales: I do not care how it ends up. I just care about winning. That is the only thing that really matters to me. If it goes two or 12, it does not matter.
Question: How much are you thinking about Castillo and whether or not he makes the weight? Or are you just concentrating on what you have to do?
Corrales: I am just concentrating on what I have to do. I will let the commission and everybody do what they have to do to make sure he makes the weight.
Question: How much of an advantage do you think he had when he did not make the weight?
Corrales: Of course, it really did hurt. All in all, I think it was a bit of an unfair thing that happened, but it is what it is.
Question: Chico, if he does not make the weight, will you fight or pull out this time?
Corrales: I will cross that bridge when I get to it. To be honest, I hope they give him a little extra time to make the weight, but we will cross that bridge when we get to it.
Question: In the second fight, do you see anything that you did wrong that perhaps could have changed the outcome?
Corrales: Oh yes. I saw a lot of things he did right, and I do know what I did wrong. But I saw a lot of adjustments that he made and things that he did right and he is a very good technician in there. So we have to take what we did wrong and really decide what he did right.
Question: Are you going to stick at lightweight if you win or lose?
Corrales: As of right now, I do not know. I am looking at Castillo. I am not making any decisions on where I go after this. I am not saying that I am going up or that I am staying. I plan to view the landscape before I make any decisions. When my manager brings something good, I will make my decision.
Question: Castillo made some implications that you might have been fighting for extra time with your injury. Is there anything to that?
Corrales: When has anybody ever seen me pull out of a fight? I think my track record speaks for itself. I do not care what people say or think. Anyone who would say something like that is just a jerk.
Question: Does that give you any extra motivation to get him back?
Corrales: None whatsoever. Injuries happen to fighters all the time. It does not give me any extra motivation because I have fought fights with pneumonia, with hurt hands and ankles and everything else.
Question: Vic, what was your reaction when you heard that your originally announced fight with the WBO champion was cancelled?
Darchinyan: I was very unhappy. Maybe he did not want to lose his belt. I am looking forward to fighting all the champions. I am ready for super flyweight, I am ready for bantamweight, and I am ready for super bantamweight. I want to fight. I like to fight champions.
Question: Are you thinking about moving up in weight?
Darchinyan: Of course. No one wants to fight in my weight division and no one wants to unify. I am looking to go up. I want to fight champions.
Question: You are defending against an undefeated fighter who has not fought the kind of top competition you have. What is your take on this upcoming fight?
Darchinyan: I know I will show all my skills and my power. I have wanted to unify my title. I want to become a unification champion. I want to put my name on a robe.
Question: Vic, you are one of the sport’s best punchers yet weigh only 112. What do you attribute it to? Is it God-given or something you have improved and worked on?
Darchinyan: I think by God and by my training. I just love my training. I love to show people my power and I am not very old, but I feel like I am becoming much more powerful and my punch is coming much harder.
Question: Vic, can you tell us what you know about Maldonado? Have you watched tapes of him or seen him fight?
Darchinyan: He is a very good fighter. I am very ready for him. I spent only three weeks getting ready for my last fight. For this fight, I have been training more than eight weeks now. I am in very good shape. I can show my power.
Question: Do you think the American fans are starting to understand that there are a lot of tremendously exciting fighters at the lighter weights or do you feel that they sometimes do not give you credit because of the weight classification?
Darchinyan: It is mostly different for flyweights, heavyweights and middleweights. (But) If you can show your power, people really love you. That is why I want to show my power.
Question: Do you want to make a prediction for the fight?
Darchinyan: No, (but) I know I will show my strength.
Question: Chico, what is your overall take of the last fight?
Corrales: I think it was a little bit of everything. I think defensive gaffes on my part. And the weight also. He did not have to deplete the same as I did. But I take nothing from the guy. I wish I had him from the start. He landed a great shot.
Question: All things considered with what is at stake here, are you both coming into this fight like you would any other fight or is there more pressure on you to win?
Corrales: I approach it about the same way as I always do. There is no pressure on me. It is just another day at the office. No more pressure on me than any other time to perform.
Question: Have you ever been nervous or felt pressure before a fight?
Corrales: No. For the most part, I am pretty calm about everything. I kind of handle everything with stride and as long as I can laugh about it, I am having a great time. I got to be hit and hit.
Question: If you are Castillo, what do you think your strategy would be fighting you?
Corrales: I do not know. I think he is going to try the same game plan he used last time, and I think he ought to have his mind open in case I alter anything. So I would say go back to the same thing that he did in the victory.
Question: He continues to say that he feels he is a stronger fighter than you. Do you feel that he is stronger than you?
Corrales: I think the first fight I showed I was stronger, the second fight he showed he was stronger. But, you know, he did not make weight. I think I am the strongest lightweight in the world, and I proved that at lightweight. But he proved he is a strong welterweight.
Question: Vic, is Jorge Arce the biggest fight at the moment for you? The one that you really want in America?
Darchinyan: No, I do not think it is the biggest fight, but I want to fight him and show him.
Question: Chico, if you win June 3 will that settle for you in your mind what happened in the second fight?
Corrales: Yes, that closes it on Castillo. I think that once I close the series out that every time we see each other, it will be in a cantina or having a cocktail together and celebrating and talking about what we did with each other.
Question: Chico, a lot of people think because of your reach and height you would probably be able to win pretty easily from working from the outside. Have you considered that or is that just not in you?
Corrales: We have talked about it, but honestly I think we know what I am. I am more comfortable getting to a boxer and I fight. That is what I do. I win battles. I like to break the people down and that is what I did the first time. I still think that was the right way. The only thing that happened in the second fight was that I made a silly mistake and got caught. Great fights without a mistake and I win the fight.
Question: Do you feel now when you get hit that you have any different reactions than you did earlier in your career? A lot of people think you are taking too many punches.
Corrales: That is great. I feel fine. If I felt like I was losing a step or two, I would be gone.
Question: Since your last fight, you have become a father to a young boy. What is parenthood like and how has your life changed outside the ring?
Corrales: I have a small baby and it is very new to me. It has just been a long time to have a young baby. She has grown very, very close. She smiles a lot. She does a lot of stuff. But I cannot wait until she starts crawling around and walking. It has just been a lot of fun. I have enjoyed every minute of it. It has been awesome.
Question: How old is the baby and what is her name?
Corrales: Her name is Daylia and she is two months right now.
Question: How many fight cards live has she gone to so far?
Corrales: She has been to two fights. She loves boxing. She watches fights on TV. That is the one thing that she will sit down and like not budge and watch, which is kind of unique to see. She is still a baby and she will actually watch boxing. She does not whine or cry or whimper. She just watches. I think she is going to be my sports watching buddy.
Question: So, she sounds tough like her mother?
Corrales: Probably so.
Question: Chico, besides winning this fight against Castillo and settling the series, what other career goals do you have? Any particular titles or fights that you want?
Corrales: No, not really. All I am trying to do now is to see where I am remembered in history.
Question: What about another fight with Floyd? Has that ever entered your mind?
Corrales: Oh yes. But my thing is, I do not like to move up and leave divisions empty and open. So I do not want to grab a title here and there and run off. I want to sit back, grab a title, and fight the best fights in that division, and then when it is all done, then I move up. So where I catch up? I do not know.
Question: Vic, how has your sparring been going?
Darchinyan: I have had very good sparring. I feel I am in shape and I feel good. I can feel my power. I am very happy with all my preparation. I am in great shape.
Question: Is that what makes you strong because you are continually sparring different guys?
Darchinyan: I just like sparring. I love sparring with different men. They can feel my power. It is something inside of me.
Question: What does it feel like to be on such a big fight card as Corrales-Castillo 3?
Darchinyan: Oh, I am very ready for it. I am very, very happy for it. It will be a great show.
Begin Closing Comments.
Corrales: I just appreciate everybody and answering questions. Let me make one thing very, very clear. Did Diego try to buy time with a rib injury? No. So anybody thinking that is just wrong. Also, is Diego getting a little old for the game? I do not know. I have taken a lot of punches over the years. I think time tells. Right now, I am still young and I have been out there with the best of them and I have shown that time and time again. On June 3, I will show you one last time. Thank you.
Darchinyan: Thank you very much. I have two more days of sparring and I look forward to being 100 percent ready for the fight.