Two boxers with a genuine disdain for each other will duke it out with bad intentions for a third time when Diego “Chico” Corrales defends his World Boxing Council (WBC) and RING lightweight titles against former world champion and longtime adversary, southpaw Joel “El Cepillo” Casamayor, on Saturday, Oct. 7, during a Free Preview Weekend on SHOWTIME.
In the co-feature bout of a world championship doubleheader that begins at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast), rising superstar Vic “The Raging Bull” Darchinyan (26-0, 21 KOs) will risk his International Boxing Federation/International Boxing Organization (IBF/IBO) flyweight crowns and his undefeated record against world-ranked Glenn “The Filipino Bomber” Donaire (16-2-1, nine KOs).
Corrales: We had a great camp. I’m looking forward to going to Las Vegas and going to war. I have had a nice long break. The year off has done my body very well. I have had a rough go at it the last few years, especially with (Jose Luis) Castillo. My body feels great and I am looking forward to closing the book on this chapter with Casamayor.
Casamayor: I feel strong. I am just waiting for the bell to ring Oct. 7. On Oct. 7, we are going to war.
Question: Diego, you are going into this fight with a nice long layoff. How will it help?
Corrales: I have had a few camps in between. But, the layoff has given my body a chance to heal. I feel great.
Question: Casamayor has let his feelings known about you. What do you think?
Corrales: He (Casamayor) doesn’t have to like me. We are going to fight.
Question: You go in to put on a show and sometimes sacrifice some of your natural skills to do so. What is your approach going in to this fight?
Corrales: I am going to do my job and I don’t care how the “W’ comes. I don’t care if it’s in one round, two rounds or 12 rounds.
Question: What lessons did you draw from the two Castillo fights?
Corrales: I learned to sit back, play it smart and take my time. Let mistakes come to me. That is one thing I didn’t do. I expect a different game plan from him, and I will have to adjust as well. He is going to make alterations to his game plan. That will make me do the same to mine.
Casamayor: I learned that this guy (Corrales) comes one direction: forward. He is a one-dimensional fighter. I can beat him any way. I feel like I won both fights. I know him like my own son.
Question: Joel, most of the blemishes on your record seem to be controversial or close decisions. Have you changed anything to avoid that?
Casamayor: I don’t see this fight going the distance. We’re going to war and Corrales won’t see the 12th round. We come to fight. The knockout will come.
Corrales: I predict a great fight.
Question: Diego, what do you think about Casamayor saying your chin is weak?
Corrales: I don’t care. He can say whatever he wants. He is going to be in the ring and get a chance to prove it on Oct. 7.
Question: Joel and Diego, where does the bad blood come from?
Casamayor: Corrales talks a lot of garbage about me. I am going to put the mouthpiece through his mouth again. He loses every time he fights in October and he will again. He talks a lot of trash about my family. If he wants to fight on the street too, we can do that.
Corrales: I never brought anybody’s family into this. You guys can pump this kids head with lies and I will deflate them Oct. 7.
Question: Diego, has the layoff helped you?
Corrales: The layoff has been awesome. It was a needed break. I had camps in between to stay sharp. I am happy, my body feels good. I will continue to put on great shows. Oct. 7 will be the same thing. I have one job Oct. 7, and it’s Joel Casamayor.
Question: Joel, you already fought with Corrales twice. What will you do this time?
Casamayor: I will be more emotional in the ring than I am on the phone. I am not a boxer by phone. I am a boxer in the ring.
Question: Diego, can you talk about how you were focused on Castillo and did not get the fight. Are you still angry? Will you fight him down the road?
Corrales: I have moved forward. It’s done. All in all, it is what it is. I can’t see me fighting him again. He wasted a lot of my time, my work and my efforts. What’s the point of fighting him again?
Question: I saw you on television saying that Casamayor didn’t look good and you probably wouldn’t fight him. What got us to this point?
Corrales: Once the sparks flew on TV, the fight was going to have to happen.
Question: Diego and Joel, both of you have been in tough fights. Is it plausible that those tough fights have taken something out of you?
Corrales: Tough fights take something away from you, but they make you a better fighter. But, I have probably taken a lot more out of them than anything else.
Casamayor: Every fight is a tough fight. From the beginning, all you can do is prepare yourself for anything. Oct. 7, we are going to win clearly. There will be no questions.
Question: Diego, will this be your last fight as a lightweight?
Corrales: Who knows? That decision falls on Gary Shaw. He will point the finger, and I will go and attack. My job is not fun or easy, so that’s that.
Question: Considering the tough fights, hoe does that affect you going into this fight?
Corrales: I have been fighting at a high level. I am comfortable and confident.
Question: The first two fights were at 130 pounds. This is at 135. Will Casamayor be that strong?
Corrales: Time will tell. Depends on how his body works. I cannot answer that question.
Question: Joel, are there any concerns of physical decrease after all of your wars?
Casamayor: I feel strong, better than I have ever felt. I’ll be stronger, faster. I will be a lot stronger at 135 pounds.
Question: If the fight is close, do you think you can win a close decision against Corrales in Las Vegas?
Casamayor: I know I won’t, so I won’t let it go that far. In all my fights, I get robbed. I am fighting against Las Vegas, Corrales, the judges, Joe Cortez.
Question: Diego, will the referee play an important part in this fight?
Corrales: The only part he (the referee) may play is in keeping Casamayor’s head off of my head.
Question: Diego, where does Floyd Mayweather Jr. sit on your radar?
Corrales: That is the one fight I have never gotten back. Time will tell, but I’d love to do it again.
Darchinyan: I am in the U.S.A. already. I am focused on training and its going very well.
Donaire: I am very excited for this opportunity. This time, I can really show myself. I just can’t wait. All my opponents have been moving around lately. I don’t run, I don’t slug. I like to throw. I am really hitting hard right now.
Question: Glenn, considering all of the success of the “ShoBox’ fighters, how much of a confidence booster is that?
Donaire: It’s great. I am more prepared now. Before, I was working too much. I have been training so hard. I am very excited about this.
Question: Vic, considering that all four heavyweight champions are from the Eastern Bloc, what is going on over there?
Darchinyan: It is different training we do over there. It is more running, more hills, more sparring. We spar for 10-15 rounds. It is different.
Question: Vic and Glenn, how is sparing going?
Darchinyan: Sparring is good. I am sparring with guys 25 pounds heavier than me. I am punching well. I feel my power right now. If Donaire trades with me, he will lose.
Donaire: Darchinyan does not have a style. He waits for the lucky punch with his left hand. This Oct. 7, he will see. He can be strong, but I will beat him.
Darchinyan: You are talking about my left. How about I knock you out with my right?
Question: Glenn, is Darchinyan the true champion?
Donaire: Yes, he is. Darchinyan’s past opponents have been intimidated by him. Not me.
Darchinyan: I wanted to fight Donaire because he challenged me. He said he can beat me.
Question: Glenn, how will you prepare to step up and face your toughest opponent?
Donaire: Well, sparing with my brother alone is tough. I am training to a point where I can’t throw any more. Every time I fight, I always fight people that are better. The guys that have faced Darchinyan have been intimated. I knew Diosdado Gabi was going to get knocked out. You could see he was intimated from the start. I won’t be.
Question: Vic, Donaire sounds confident. How will you not overlook him?
Darchinyan: I know he is sparring with his brother. I am coming after him too.