FREE Exclusive Interview: Diego Corrales

By G. Leon


FREE Exclusive Interview: Diego Corrales

"Everybody knows what I'm made of now!"

GL: Can you describe what fighting in one the greatest fights in the history of boxing was like? "It was awesome. I finally got I wanted. I always said I wanted that big war, that great battle and that's exactly what I got. I went to war with a great champion in Castillo. He fought me tooth and nail every step of the way, and I fought him tooth and nail. It was just an awesome fight."

GL: You obviously came in with the strategy to go to war with Castillo from the opening bell. What did Team Corrales see in Castillo that led you to believe that would be an effective strategy?

Diego Corrales: "We felt we were so much better than he was on the inside. We felt far superior, but he's a lot better an inside fighter than I originally thought. We did our homework and we knew that punching in combination on the inside was going to make a big difference."

GL: Getting into that kind of fight after a nine month lay-off, especially as a puncher, it can become very easily to start doubting yourself after hitting your opponent with a couple of hundred heavy shots to the head without at least dropping them. Were you discouraged at any point in the fight?

DC: "I never got discouraged. I was shocked though. After six rounds I was like how can anybody take this. I know I hit this guy with some tremendous shots. After the fight people were telling me that they were hearing the shots from ringside, but he stood up and took them and it shocked me. I have to give Castillo a tremendous amount respect. I give him all the credit in the world, he's a tough, tough man."

GL: Let's jump to the end of the fight for a second. You get dropped twice in the tenth round and Castillo gets murdered going for the kill. Can you desribe the tenth round for us?

DC: "The first knockdown was very clean shot. He was feinting with the jab and throwing the left hook over the top all night long and I was getting underneath it. But this time he didn't do it so when I rolled to get underneath it, I walked ducked right into a big left hook. Good clean shot that I didn't see. The second knockdown was from an accumulation of punishment, and I was still buzzed from the first knockdown so I just wanted to gather myself.

"Then when he was coming to get me, a great right hand got it all started for me. I knew I had him hurt and I just wanted to keep punching and keep going. And once a couple of big hooks got in and he was out on the ropes the ref couldn't let it go on."

GL: How impaired was your vision when you hit Castillo with the first right hand that got it all started? And were you concerned that they would stop it due to the swelling on your left eye?

DC: "You know what? My vision was a little bit impaired and I couldn't see that well, but my job is to fight not to worry about them stopping the fight. I wasn't thinking about anything but the fight at hand. It was such a hard fight that I really couldn't think about anything else while I was in there."

GL: How precious were the seconds you were awarded after losing your mouthpiece on each of the knockdowns?

DC: "I don't think they changed the ultimate result. The second time it was purely accidental. I pulled out the mouthpiece and I planned on putting it back in my mouth once I got up, but it slipped out of my hand. My gloves were really slippery by that time but it was purely accidental. It's better to get up without the mouthpiece than not beat the count because I can't pick it up. I can't complain about Weeks taking the point. He did his job."

GL: In your opinion, does this instant classic which is clearly the best fight of the 21st century, lead you believe that you've finally become a million dollar fighter?

DC: "I believe this puts me at that level now. Showtime and HBO saw the fight and of course those are the numbers we're going to be looking at now. Everybody knows what I made of now. It's one thing to say what you are, but it's another thing to show what you are. And in my last three fights I've shown what I'm all about."

GL: Do you feel you need to take a few months off following such a brutal fight?

DC: "I'm going to take a little time off to rest my body, but I don't want to take too much time off."

GL: Was this your last fight as a lightweight?

DC: "I don't even know. I have no idea. Right now I'm just enjoying this victory, but I'm sure I'm going to be hearing from my manager James Prince to see what he's got next in store for me."

GL: Which of the following fights interests you the most, a rematch with Castillo, the Gatti-Mayweather winner or the Tszyu-Hatton winner?

DC: "They're all the same to me. Those are two awesome fights and Castillo is an awesome fighter so neither one would make me more happier than the other. They'd all be another fight for me to keep establishing myself and keep chopping at history."

GL: After three consecutive fights with the toughest possible opposition, will you look to take a tune-up type bout?

DC: "I think I'll probably know better once I see how my body heals. I want to see how my body feels once I start shaking loose again."

GL: Could you have made the fight with Castillo easier by boxing from the outside?

DC: "I could have made it easier in the first half, but then it would have been hard to finish him off because he has a tremendous amount of late round energy. We wanted to go right after him from the first round to take some of that out of him. He never starts fast and we wanted him to have to fight early on so he wouldn't have the same energy later on in the fight."

GL: Do you regret not taking this fight with Castillo as early as last December?

DC: "You know what? All I could say is, sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. God works in mysterious ways so who knows what would've happened?"

GL: What are you hoping this fight does for you career?

DC: "I'm hoping this takes me to the elite level where I feel I belong. I think I've earned it."

GL: Floyd Mayweather is the only loss you've yet to avenge. I've already been hearing that the Tszyu-Hatton winner will be your next fight, but based on your history with Floyd, does Mayweather top your hit list?

DC: "I think about getting that fight all the time. You're right, it's the only loss I haven't avenged and it's something I definitely want to do. He's definitely high on my list, but in order to get who you want sometimes you have to eliminate everyone else. And at 140 there's a whole lot of guys to eliminate.But Floyd has a really hard fight coming up with Gatti that he has to think about. I think that could be a dangerous fight for him."

GL: Is there anything you'd like to say in closing?

DC: "I want to thank Boxingtalk for their support and for all the people who doubted that I could beat Castillo...I did it!"


Send questions and comments to: