Maybe they ought to throw out the Marquis of Queensberry rules. In the wake, and sadly that’s no play on words, of Leavander Johnson’s fatal accident here, the two participants in one of the most brutal, and exhilarating, fights in history are hoping tomorrow night’s rematch is under the Marquis de Sade rules: There should be no stoppages before the count of ten.
“We are gladiators,” said Diego (Chico) Corrales. “In Roman days, the gladiators didn’t go out on gurneys, they went out on their shields.”
Immediately after Corrales, after being knocked down twice in the tenth round of one of the most action-filled fight in history, incredibly stopped Jose Luis Castillo in that same round May 7, the winner’s trainer, Joe Goossen, said anyone who wanted a rematch must be “sadistic,” thereby underlining the ugly truth that boxing, at its absolute best, is the plaything of ghouls.
Corrales said the promoters – Arum for Castillo, Gary Shaw for himself – were “sadistic” in making the rematch so quickly. “I’m a little sadistic myself,” he said. “The minute they brought it up, I agreed. This is what’s good about boxing.”
Castillo still hasn’t viewed a tape of the May 7 lightweight title unification bout. He said he thought he was “terrible.”
“If I was a fan last time,” said the 31-year-old veteran from Mexicali, “I would not buy a ticket to see Jose Luis Castillo.”
Yeah, he lost just when it appeared he had overcome a slight Corrales edge on the scorecards with the monster tenth round, but he said beyond that, he had been in better fights – which he also lost – two with Javier Jauregui and one with Julio Alvarez, all on cuts, early in his 52-7-1 (48 knockouts) career.
In any case, he said his first meeting with Corrales was a “war” and this time he meant to “finish the war.” Sadist.
There must also be something masochistic when Corrales, only five months and a day after the first meeting, and only 13 days after the death of Leavander Johnson, has reserved a room at Valley Hospital following tomorrow night’s rematch at the Thomas & Mack Center.
“A regular room,” said Corrales, the 6-5 favorite.
“He’s got a cheap promoter,” said Gary Shaw, the cheap promoter.