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Friday, February 03, 2006
Photo: TOM CASINO/SHOWTIME
Boxers (left-to-right) Jose Armando Santa Cruz, Jose Luis Castillo, Rolando Reyes and Edner Cherry pose after Thursday's press conference in El Paso, Tex. In the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING doubleheader Saturday on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast). Castillo faces Reyes in a 12-round lightweight belt and Santa Cruz risks his NABF lightweight title against Cherry.
If Saturday night’s fight between Jose Luis Castillo (53-7-1, 47 KOs) and Rolando Reyes (26-3-2, 16 KOs) turns out to be one-sided, you can’t really pin much blame on Showtime, the network which is televising it in the U.S., from the Don Haskins Center on the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) campus. This date was supposed to have featured the rubber match for the world lightweight championship between Castillo and current champ Diego Corrales, whose first battle last May is winning every 2005 Fight of the Year award in sight.
Corrales, as we know, injured his ribs during training for this third fight, and a last-minute replacement had to be found to salvage the card. While it would have been impossible to have found anyone, especially on such short notice, to guarantee a Fight of the Year-caliber match-up, a good job was done in landing Reyes.
Reyes’s most impressive recent fight was his next-to-last, on July 22, 2005, when he won by an eighth-round TKO and battering over recent lightweight contender Courtney Burton. Yet Reyes also has had his shaky moments. In his last fight, on Oct. 8, 2005, in Las Vegas, he only got a split decision win over Ivan Cabrera, who had a record of just 12-5-1 going into that one.
Fighting top-flight opponents like Castillo, however, sometimes brings out the best in fighters whose records, on paper at least, are not the best in the world. Such scenarios also at times lead to slacking and overconfidence by the adjudged superior fighter; just ask now-former undisputed welterweight champion Zab Judah and Carlos Baldomir, who, coincidentally or not, fought on the most recent of the monthly Showtime Championship Boxing cards, in January.
On a media conference call last week, we got a chance to speak about all this with Jose Luis Castillo (through a translator), Rolando Reyes, and the promoter of both Reyes and Corrales, Gary Shaw.
You can listen to that for free. All you need to be able to do is download an MP3 file, so please be patient if it takes a few moments.To hear this discussion, just click here or here or here or here.