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May 7, 2005: When Corrales and Castillo Made Boxing History

On May 7, 2005, the boxing world witnessed a bout that would etch itself into the annals of the sport's history. Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo stepped into the ring at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, delivering a contest that would become legendary for its ferocity, drama, and sheer willpower. This lightweight championship clash remains one of the most memorable fights in boxing history.

Corrales and Castillo

The Build-Up

Diego "Chico" Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo were both known for their aggressive fighting styles and powerful punches. Corrales, with a record of 39-2 (32 KOs), was recognized for his resilience and knockout power. Castillo, holding a record of 52-6-1 (46 KOs), was revered for his relentless pressure and stamina. The stage was set for an explosive encounter between two of the division's most formidable warriors.

The Fight Begins

From the opening bell, it was clear that neither fighter intended to waste time feeling out the other. Corrales and Castillo engaged in a brutal exchange of punches, with both men landing significant shots. The early rounds were a testament to their toughness, as they absorbed and retaliated with equal ferocity. The crowd at Mandalay Bay was treated to a display of heart and determination rarely seen in the sport.

Round 10: A Round for the Ages

As the fight entered the tenth round, both fighters had already endured tremendous punishment. However, it was in this round that the bout achieved legendary status. Early in the tenth, Castillo landed a devastating left hook that sent Corrales to the canvas. Corrales, his left eye nearly swollen shut, struggled to his feet but was knocked down again moments later by another vicious blow.

With two knockdowns against him and his mouthpiece ejected to gain precious seconds, Corrales seemed on the brink of defeat. Referee Tony Weeks deducted a point from Corrales for spitting out the mouthpiece, adding to his dire situation. Many in the audience believed the end was near.

The Comeback

What happened next defied the expectations of even the most seasoned boxing aficionados. Corrales, showing incredible heart and determination, regrouped and launched a ferocious assault on Castillo. A right hand from Corrales wobbled Castillo, and sensing his opportunity, Corrales pressed forward with a relentless barrage of punches. Castillo, unable to defend himself, was driven back against the ropes, and Weeks stepped in to halt the fight at 2:06 of the tenth round, declaring Corrales the winner by TKO.

Aftermath and Legacy

Diego Corrales' comeback victory over Jose Luis Castillo is celebrated as one of the greatest in boxing history. The fight received numerous accolades, including the prestigious "Fight of the Year" award from The Ring magazine. The dramatic shifts in momentum, the display of courage by both fighters, and the electrifying finish ensured the bout would be remembered for generations.

Tragically, Corrales passed away in a motorcycle accident two years later, in 2007. However, his legacy lives on through his incredible performances in the ring, particularly his victory over Castillo. This fight remains a benchmark for what it means to display heart, resilience, and the unyielding spirit of a champion.


The bout between Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo on May 7, 2005, transcended the sport of boxing, becoming a symbol of the human spirit's capacity to overcome adversity. It stands as a testament to the bravery and tenacity of both fighters, and it continues to inspire fans and fighters alike. The epic encounter at Mandalay Bay will forever be etched in the history of boxing as a night when two warriors gave everything they had, leaving an indelible mark on the sport.


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