Casamayor Wins on the Scales and in the Ring; Darchinyan Handles Donaire in Six
Joel Casamayor closed the book on the three-fight series with Diego Corrales with a hard-fought split decision victory. Photo: Tom Casino/Showtime
LAS VEGAS - The World Boxing Council Lightweight title was only Joel Casamayor’s to win on Saturday night; and win it he did. Casamayor became a world champion for the third time by defeating Diego Corrales in a close and hard-fought split decision scored 116-111, 115-112 and 113-114. In the co-feature, International Boxing Federation (IBF) Flyweight Champion Vic Darchinyan retained his title with an explosive sixth-round technical decision over Glenn Donaire.
The conclusion of the Corrales-Casamayor trilogy lived up to its billing as a dramatic and exciting match. The fight was thought to be in jeopardy when Corrales failed to make the official weight of 135-pounds on Friday. As a result, he lost the WBC belt he took to Las Vegas before the bout even began.
Casamayor agreed to take the fight anyway, knowing the title was his to win. Had Corrales won the bout, the belt would have been vacant and Casamayor would have received an immediate chance to fight interim champ David Diaz for the title.
Despite starting as a strategic and tactical bout, the pace picked up in the fourth round when Casamayor, the Cuban southpaw, began to unleash sequences of punches that caught Corrales solidly in the body and head.
Corrales remained game throughout an action-packed bout. He was able to land his patented left hook and numerous straight rights, but Casamayor shook nearly all of them off and got the better of numerous exchanges.
In the waning seconds of the fifth, Casamayor went down to the canvas as Corrales stepped on his foot and grazed him with a left hook. Referee Kenny Bayless began to count, scoring it a knockdown. But Casamayor sprang to his feet and clearly felt the knockdown was unfounded.
“It was definitely not a knockdown, it was a push so thank God the judges saw it this way,” said Casamayor who improves to 34-3-1 21 KOs. “I was concerned when it went to a decision. The judges didn’t see it my way against Freitas, Castillo and then the last fight with Corrales. I won those, but I won this one clearly.”
The Nevada State Athletic Commission fined Corrales $240,000, $120,000 of which goes to Casamayor. The Corrales and Casamayor camps also agreed on a settlement that included an undisclosed monetary payment from Corrales to Casamayor.
“I thought I won it,” said Corrales in his post fight interview with Jim Gray. “I will go back and watch the tapes. If I lost it, I’ll say I lost it.
“You have seen the end of me at 135. I am going to go home and think about what I am going to do, if you’ve seen the end of me all together.”
When asked if that meant he was going to retire, Corrales responded, “I didn’t say I am going to retire, but I am going home to think about things.
IBF Flyweight Champion Vic Darchinyan retained his title with an explosive sixth-round technical decision over Glenn Donaire. Photo: Tom Casino/Showtime
Darchinyan, aptly nicknamed ‘The Raging Bull,’ handled a game and crafty Donaire with his unique style. Darchinyan seemingly stalked Donaire with his leading right hand and landed punishing overhand lefts with ease.
Donaire went down from an onslaught at the end of the third and was later reduced to fighting on the outside. Darchinyan effectively took away Donaire’s strength of inside fighting.
In the sixth, Donaire turned away from an attacking Darchinyan and complained to referee Tony Weeks of an injury. After an in-round examination by the ringside physician, the fight was stopped at 1:27 of the sixth. Ruled to occur as a clash of heads, the fight went to the scorecards for a technical decision.
“I broke his jaw with a punch, not a head butt,” said Darchinyan who won by scores of 60-53 on all three scorecards. “I felt his legs shake when I hit him. I am disappointed I didn’t knock him out. I wanted a clean knockout. If I knew it was going to be like this, I would have knocked him out earlier.”
Weeks commented after the fight, “It appeared to me that the heads came together. The other fighter turned away and complained that he was in pain. There was a lot of blood in his mouth.”
Fight Results • Flyweight • Lightweight • Diego Corrales • Glenn Donaire • Joel Casamayor • Vic Darchinyan