2005-05-07 Diego Corrales w rsc 10 Jose Luis Castillo, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - WBC/WBO/The Ring
2005-05-07 Diego Corrales w rsc 10 Jose Luis Castillo, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - WBC/WBO/The Ring. Referee: Tony Weeks. In a battle for two titles, Corrales (135) and Castillo (135) put on one of the most exciting fights of the generation as first one man then the other got on top as punches rained in from all angles. Both men were stunned on occasion, but both kept at it. In the fourth Castillo was cut on the left eye, while Corrales’ left eye began to close in the seventh. Still, both carried on as if there was no tomorrow. At the start of the tenth it seemed impossible that Corrales could continue for much longer, and when he was sent crashing by a left hook it looked all but over. Spitting out his gumshield brought Corrales some time, but when he was knocked over by another volley of left hooks immediately after getting up he spat out his mouthpiece again. Even though he was deducted a point, Corrales had just received an invaluable breather. This became clear when he began firing back to such an extent that it was Castillo who gave way. With Corrales now having the bit between the teeth, after firing in punch after punch on a by now defenceless Castillo, who was propped up by the ropes with his hands by his side, the referee called it off at 2.06 of the session.
On 8 October, at the Thomas & Mack Centre, Las Vegas, the rematch between the pair went ahead without the WBC and WBO titles being on the line after Castillo came in above the weight. Although Corrales was knocked out in the fourth round he remained the champion. Corrales eventually forfeited the WBO version in February 2006 when he decided to go for a third fight against Castillo rather than honouring his mandatory requirements, an action that saw Acelino Freitas and Zahir Raheem matched for the vacant title.
Meanwhile, the WBC set up a vacant ‘interim’ title fight between Jose Armando Santa Cruz and Chikashi Inada, which was won by the former on a sixth-round stoppage at the Staples Centre, Los Angeles, California on 20 May 2006. A few months later, Santa Cruz lost his claim to the WBC ‘interim’ title when he was stopped by David Diaz in the tenth round of a defence at the Thomas & Mack Centre on 12 August 2006.
Due to defend the WBC version of the title against Joel Casamayor at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on 7 October 2006, after Corrales failed to make the weight he was stripped of his crown. Despite that the fight went ahead, and on winning via a split decision over 12 rounds the Cuban was confirmed as the new champion. At the same time Casamayor won The Ring Championship Belt.
Diaz, the WBC ‘interim’ champion, was given full title status in February 2007 after Casamayor was stripped following the announcement that he would be meeting the WBO champion, Acelino Freitas, a fight that never happened. Still recognised by The Ring magazine as the top man at the weight, in May Casamayor was announced as being the WBC ‘interim’ champion.