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Interview w/ Joel Casamayor & Diego Corrales


SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING NATIONAL CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT FORMER WBA 130-POUND CHAMPION JOEL CASAMAYOR FORMER IBF 130-POUND CHAMPION
DIEGO CORRALES TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2004

Question: Joel, how is training going with your new trainer and what are your thoughts going into the rematch with Diego Corrales?

Casamayor: Everything has gone great. I feel great with my new trainer and I am training great. I feel real happy about everything and the way that everything is going.

Question: Diego, how is training going and how are you adapting to your new trainer? What are your thoughts going into the rematch with Joel Casamayor?

Corrales: Training has been going great. I am having a great time with my new trainer, Joe Goossen, and I am very pleased with him. He has been awesome. And I want to thank Casamayor and his team for accepting this rematch because I really did not believe this would happen again.

Question: Diego, what is it like taking on a new trainer this so soon?

Corrales: Well, it is interesting. I mean, it is a new change, and it is a good change. We work very well together. Joe and I jam together very, very well.

Question: Joel, how does it feel training with new trainer like Buddy McGirt?

Casamayor: I am having a great time with him. He is a great trainer, but I am a great fighter, too. The change was easy to make because great fighters and great trainers understand each other. One of the things I have enjoyed most about working with Buddy is that he has brought back a lot of the old stuff in me that I had lost – a lot of my boxing that was not the same. There is a great chemistry between both of us. I did not choose him just because he is one of the best trainers in the world. I chose him because there was great chemistry.

Question: Joel, how is it that Acelino Freitas seems to be avoiding you and taking easier fights, and you are going right back in with Corrales, one of the best boxers in the world?

Casamayor: Corrales is a great fighter and great fighters deserve rematches. I came to this country to fight the best guys in the world. I did not come here to dodge anybody. I did not come to run away from anybody. Whoever the best guys out there are, that TV’s buying or whoever is buying, I am going to fight. I am not the type of guy that ever looked at a tape of my opponents. I am a warrior who will give anybody a rematch. I am not worried about Freitas. He is a chicken. Everybody knows that. I took off his mask and he ran away. But I will never to do that. I am going to fight the best guys out there.

Question: Diego, have the lip and the cut totally healed?

Corrales: It was a nice, clean cut, so it was really a lot more freaky looking than it was bad. My lip is back to normal. It is perfectly healed. Perfect.

Question: Luis (DeCubas, Casamayor’s manager), could you explain why you decided to switch trainers?

DeCubas: Basically, Casamayor made up his mind before the first Corrales fight to switch trainers. He wanted to train in northern California, at this beautiful ranch in the mountains. And he wanted to be away from everybody. He felt that, towards the end of his career, the next three or four years, whatever he has left, he wanted to really focus on his boxing ability and his training. And this ranch is away from everybody, and where he wanted to train at for his next fight. Casamayor is the type of guy that when he makes up his mind, he makes up his mind. He has only got one word. So we decided to go to the ranch because that is what he wanted. In early December, late November, we told Joe what we planned to do. But Joe was not able to make it to the ranch. Yet, we had to go forward. We knew we had a hard fight in Corrales and we had to continue to train. We were not going to go down and train at his gym because we had made up our mind to stay at the ranch. We talked about a lot of different possible trainers. But Casamayor had always respected Buddy, and after talking to him, Buddy said he could train at the ranch with us. So everything just came together. That is the reason we went with him. It is not because we did not get along with Joe, who is a great trainer and a great guy. But it was time to go to a different training camp, and Joe just could not make it for whatever reasons. That is the reason we made the change. Buddy has been with us for almost seven weeks and it has worked out great.

Question: When talking to Joe, he indicated that it was a mystery as to why this happened. Joel, was there any communication between you and Joe before the change?

DeCubas: He was called five times on his cellular in early December, to let him know that we were going to train at the ranch. He was called again when we got to the ranch. We decided we were going to meet at the Holiday Inn at Burbank. We stayed four days waiting for him in early December to meet with us. For whatever reason, he never called or showed up. Eventually, we felt we could wait no more, and we had to go forward. But he was very well aware what we were doing.

Question: Diego, do you expect the rematch to pick up where the first fight left off?

Corrales: It will definitely pick up where the first fight left off. It was a great fight at that point. The styles are not going to change that much. Casamayor has the same style – he has been a nice, good, clean boxer his whole career. I have basically been a forward puncher my entire career. Do I expect the fight to result in the same way? No, I do not think. I am just looking forward to picking up where I left off at.

Question: Diego, do you think if the first fight had continued that you would have eventually got him?

Corrales: Absolutely. My strength and my power were showing and that last round before they stopped it, he was hurt very, very bad. But the fight got stopped for a freaky looking cut.

Question: Diego, what went through your mind when you were told there was going to be a rematch?

Corrales: I was thrilled and extremely happy. I truly did not believe that they would touch this fight again. But I look at this the same way they look at it, and that this is still a business. But you are talking about probably one of the most dangerous punchers in this business. With me, things can change very quickly. Most people would not take a chance like that.

Question: Diego, why did you think a change of trainers was in order at this time?

Corrales: Well, there were a few things that went on with me. There were some changes that needed to be made. I thought it was a great opportunity to be able to go to work with Joe, who is a winner mentally and a winner personally. Also, he knows Joel the best. So why not make that change and take a chance to make a great showing in my fight?

Question: Diego, do you mind fighting tough fights?

Corrales: Not at all. It is OK. It is the business. It is the fight game. There is nothing easy about it. So whether I fight in another tough fight, it is a great showing regardless. But I still cannot look past this fight on March 6.

Question: Joel, the Corrales people made a lot of excuses after the first fight. Is that why you are giving him a rematch?

Casamayor: Let him bring a metal mouthpiece this time to put in his mouth; let him put whatever he wants in his mouth this time. Basically, they can say whatever they say, but he was the one backing up after the fourth round. After this fight, there will not be any more excuses. And that is the reason I want to do this fight one more time because I do not want to leave anybody in doubt out there anymore.

Question: Diego, were you surprised by Casamayor’s power and what do you expect to do differently this time around to avoid getting knocked down?

Corrales: I was shocked because I got dropped, but I jumped right back up. Hurt was what happened with him. And, plus, he had his track shoes on the entire night. I did not move anywhere. All he has is a straight left hand. The game plan put together by my main trainer was to move continually to the left, which obviously was not the right thing. But the game plan was put together and that is the way we worked it out. But take away his left hand and take away his track shoes and … that is all you have to do.

Question: Joel, did you feel disappointed that the fight was stopped, perhaps keeping you from knocking him out and winning more convincingly?

Casamayor: Corrales can be grateful the fight the way ended the way it did because if it would not have been stopped, he would not be in this conversation right now because he would have gotten knocked out flat. I was starting to hurt him with every shot I was hitting him with. Basically, he can thank the doctor for stopping the fight because it was his way of getting another fight out of it. So there is no problem at all. I am going to do a number on him this time.

Question: Diego, are you working on using your physical advantages (height, reach) more in the rematch?

Corrales: Yeah, we are going to use all the physical advantages, but just face the fact, no fighter is going to come forward with me. It will not happen. I am too dangerous for any fighter to come forward. I can use my height and my ability as best I am allowed to in the situation that I have.

Question: Joel, do you plan on fighting differently and, if so, how?

Casamayor: I have a great game plan for this fight. On March 6, I am going to show everybody a brand new Casamayor that nobody has seen in the last six or seven years. I am going to show everybody what back in the day means, what I used to do back in the day.

Question: Diego, what are you going to do this time to avoid getting hit with so many straight left hands?

Corrales: Hands high, head low, and executing a good game plan.

Question: Diego, were you surprised by Casamayor’s power?

Corrales: It never feels good to be hit. It was a surprise that he was able to get there as fast as he did. I will give him that credit because he got there extremely fast. He was on the mark. That was probably the biggest shock of it all.

Question: Joel, were you hurt by the left hook that floored you?

Casamayor: I went to try to finish him off and he caught me coming in completely with that left hook. I walked right into it against his power. When he hit me, right away I went down and then I looked in the corner and I was perfectly fine and I got up. I feel if I could get hit with that shot, and take it, there is not a shot that can turn my lights off because I can see the mistake. I knew exactly what was happening. Nothing happened after that round. I came back and won the next round.

Question: Joel, is Chico the hardest puncher you ever fought?

Casamayor: The hardest guy that ever hit me in my career came back when I won the WBA title, and he hit me with a vicious left hook in the first round and it was a completely different feeling than when I got hit with Corrales. I came into that punch with Corrales and I got dropped because I was off balance when I came in, but I was always conscious.

Question: Diego, you seemed to hurt him a couple times but could not take advantage. What are you going to do differently in this fight?

Corrales: We have worked a little bit on cutting the ring off a little bit more and, again, you have to give Casamayor credit. To be able to move like that, after being hit the way I was hitting is a credit to him. He made some great recoveries; he has some great recovering ability. I do not believe we will have to deal with that this time. But we definitely are going to contain him a lot more.

Question: Diego, having Goossen in your corner, does that give you added confidence since he knows Casamayor so well?

Corrales: No doubt about it, it definitely makes it a lot nicer because he does know Joel very well. But I am very, very confident coming into this fight and know I will win when all is said and done.

Question: Joel, do you have any closing comments and what is your prediction?

Casamayor: Thanks to everybody. Without a doubt, the best two 130-pounders in the world are going to fight March 6 and I am going to come out victorious. It will be a great fight for the fans.

Question: Chico, do you have any closing comments and a prediction?

Corrales: I am definitely ready for March 6 and it is going to be an awesome fight. I agree this will be one of the best fights that are out there, and I am happy to be on it.

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