Rematch of brutal bout scheduled for Oct. 8
LAS VEGAS -- The last time Diego Corrales entered the ring against Jose Luis Castillo, he left with a swollen face, a bevy of bruises and a battered midsection from the heavy body shots he absorbed in one of the most brutal bouts in memory.
Despite the pummeling, Corrales, with his left eye nearly closed, managed to score a technical knockout against Castillo in the 10th round after hitting the canvas twice earlier in the same round.
Now, Corrales (40-2) intends to risk reliving that punishment when he climbs back into the ring Oct. 8 at the Thomas & Mack Center to face Castillo (52-7-1) and his vicious left hook in what could be an epic rematch.
"I'm here for war," the 135-pound Corrales said at a Wednesday news conference at Caesars Palace, where the lightweight title fight was announced. "It's my division. I will assassinate you all."
Corrales' WBO and WBC belts will be on the line -- one of which he took from Castillo when the two slugged it out May 7.
That epic brawl has been compared to Muhammad Ali's 1975 fight with Joe Frazier, the "Thrilla in Manilla," and "Marvelous" Marvin Hagler's 1985 showdown against Thomas "Hitman" Hearns.
Top Rank and Gary Shaw Productions in association with Caesars Palace and Wynn Resorts are promoting the pay-per-view fight.
Bob Arum of Top Rank said he expects the rematch to draw plenty of viewers given what happened the last time the two slugged it out.
"This is one of those classics," he said. "This is certainly one of the best fights over the last 20 years. These guys never stop throwing punches. It's brutal."
Corrales said fans can look forward to much of the same when the two square off again, except getting knocked off his feet.
"It's going to be physical, but I'm not going to catch the left hook," Corrales said, his smooth face finally rid of the evidence of the beating he took. "I'm going to rectify that mistake."
Castillo, who arrived more than an hour late to the news conference because his plane was delayed, spoke briefly through a translator.
He insisted that referee Tony Weeks gave Corrales too much time to get up after the knockdowns. Corrales also bought precious seconds by spitting out his mouthpiece each time he was floored.
Castillo, who suffered a cut over his left eye and whose face also was red and swollen after the first fight, asserted he was the better fighter of the two and said his knockdowns prove it.
The usually cheerful Corrales turned deadly serious and brushed off the claim, saying it only matters who won.
"I got up," he said. "I always get up."
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press