Posted by MICHAEL AMAKOR on May 15, 2012


Diego"Chico" Corrales (r)

By MICHAEL AMAKOR | Pictures by Naoki Fakuda

The world of boxing was thrown into mourning following the announcement that the legendary Diego “Chico” Coralles had expired on May 7th 2007 AD in Las Vegas Nevada. Corrales died from the multiple injuries he sustained after the motor cycle he was riding crashed into the rear of a car ahead of him. He was pronounced dead at the scene, never rising up as he would have in the ring from any brutal knockdown.

His professional record remains frozen at 45 fights with 40 wins including stopping 33 of his opponents inside the distance, he lost five fights and his dare devil aggression even in the face of defeat prevented any draws in his career. Mouths still widen in amazement when it was discovered that he was only 29 years old.

One of the toughest fighters to ever lace up a pair of gloves, he first captured the IBA Continental Super Featherweight Title in 1997, he went unbeaten in eleven successive fights afterwards before seizing the highly coveted IBF Super Featherweight Title from Roberto Garcia in 1999. He defended his IBA and IBF successfully against Derrick Gainer and Angel Manfredo along the way before suffering a defeat in the hands of Floyd Mayweather in a battle for complete supremacy in the division. In that fight he had all his cannons loaded and ready to fire but Mayweather beat him to the punch and landed the first strikes that crippled Corrales to the canvas five times, forcing his troops to throw in the towel despite his violent protestations.

Undeterred, he went unbeaten in his next four fights before cuts forced a stoppage in hostilities with Joel Casamayor in the sixth round. He recovered and avenged that loss in a rematch after 12 hard rounds which was doubly rewarding to him as he captured the vacant WBO and IBA Super Featherweight Titles.

In his very next fight he stepped up in weight and brutalized the once invincible Acelino Freitas, forcing the proud reigning champion to quit his throne in the heat of battle,and Corales added the WBO Lightweight crown to his sizeable collection of championship trophies.

In his very next fight he engaged the dangerous WBA King Jose Luis Castillo in another battle for supremacy in the Lightweight Division. The Corralles vs Castillo war of 2003 was a slugfest of monumental proportions and will forever stand in the annals of the sweet science as an epic story of courage and dogged tenacity as Chico virtually snatched victory from the jaws of defeat after multiple flash knockdowns to return fire and savagely stop Castillo against the ropes in the 10th round. Boxing scribes, fans and historians declared that saga, the fight of the year and the round of the year for 2003, and it will certainly rank as one of the top ten fights of the century.

Seemingly drained from these bloody and brutal campaigns he lost his next three fights including the rematch to Castillo to the despair of his teaming mass of fans. He promised to go back to the drawing board for another campaign despite the rumbles for him to hang up his gloves or to take an extended vacation from the squared circle.

His mind full of thoughts of another victorious return to the ring and the sound of his adoring fans clouded his vision for a split second before he collided with the vehicle ahead of him, and now we are mourning our departed warrior king.

No matter what the coroners say Corralles lives on because I just hit the button to review the 10th round yet again.

Punch in Peace Chico


Michael Amakor has written 174 post in this blog.

Michael “Keep Punching” Amakor has been the Chief Scribe of popular boxing website FightKings.Com since 2003. He has written over 100 articles about boxing that have been vicariously read and extensively blogged across the internet and on major boxing websites. He can be seen regularly at the fights giving round by round commentary and he is a regular commentator on the boxing radio and TV circuit.

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