Diego "Chico"Corrales (August
25, 1977 - May 7, 2007) was an American professional boxer who held
the WBC, WBO and The Ring magazine lightweight titles, as well as
the WBO and IBF super featherweight titles.
In 2005, Corrales
received the prestigious Fight of the Year award by both The Ring
and the Boxing Writers Association of America for his acclaimed first
bout with Jose Luis Castillo.
Corrales was born in
Sacramento, California to a Colombian father, Diego Corrales Sr. and
a Mexican mother. Corrales' early life was filled with violence: he
was raised in the Oak Park section of Sacramento, was involved with
street gangs at age 13, and witnessed his best friend's death via
drive-by shooting. Corrales had a degree in culinary arts. He trained
at "Sac Pal" (Sacramento Police Athletic League) Boxing Gym.
Corrales compiled an amateur boxing record of 105-12. In 1994,
he took second place at the United States Amateur Championships, losing
to Frankie Carmona on points in the featherweight final. He was a
bronze medalist at featherweight in the 1995 Pan American Games. At
lightweight, he lost in the 1995 World Championships in Berlin, Germany
to Marco Rudolph.
On January 20, 2001, Corrales challenged Ring No. 2 ranked
Super Featherweight and #7 Pound-For-Pound Floyd Mayweather Jr. for
the WBC super featherweight title and recorded his first knockdown
and first loss. In the bout, Mayweather knocked down Corrales five
times (three times in the seventh round and twice in the tenth). After
the fifth knockdown, Corrales' corner stopped the fight, despite Corrales'
Shortly after the Mayweather fight, Corrales served
14 months in prison after opting for a plea bargain on charges he
faced for abusing his pregnant wife, Maria.
On August 7, 2004, Corrales fought former two time Super
Featherweight champion and current WBO Lightweight champion, Acelino
Freitas, who came into the bout unbeaten. Corrales won the fight,
via TKO in the tenth round, making Corrales a two weight champion.
Freitas won the early rounds, but by the later rounds he was visibly
tired and began to be caught by Corrales. After rising from his third
knockdown, Freitas walked away from the referee and quit.
vs Castillo I
On May 7, 2005, Corrales defeated WBC and Ring Lightweight
champion Jose Luis Castillo via TKO in the tenth round, giving Corrales
his forth title in 2 weight classes. The fight is almost universally
regarded as the best fight of 2005. Both men stood in front of each
other, battering each other with hard combinations and power punches
throughout the entire fight. Finally, in the tenth round, Castillo
knocked Corrales down. Seconds later, Castillo knocked Corrales down
again. Once on the ground, Corrales managed to beat the count, and,
after a point was taken away for excessive spitting out of the mouthpiece,
Corrales connected with a punch that Castillo later called "a perfect
right hand." Corrales then trapped Castillo against the ropes and
landed numerous punches, causing the referee, Tony Weeks, to stop
Corrales vs Castillo II
A rematch between Corrales
and Castillo occurred on October 8, 2005. On the day before the fight,
Castillo weighed in 3.5 lb over the 135 lb lightweight limit. Since
Castillo did not make the weight, the fight became a non-title bout.
The two fighters continued with the same fighting style that they
had used in the first fight, trading inside punches throughout the
first three rounds.