Mon, Oct 09, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Corrales loses battle with scales and Casamayor's fists

STARVATION DIET The California boxer didn't cut his weight below the required level despite not eating for four days, which was probably why he fought sluggishly

AP , LAS VEGAS

Diego Corrales couldn't beat Joel Casamayor or the scales.

Casamayor won the WBC lightweight title on Saturday night with a split decision win over Corrales, who was forced to give up the belt a day earlier when he failed to make the 61.2kg weight limit.

In a fight that almost didn't happen because Corrales couldn't make the weight, Casamayor scored with cleaner, more numerous punches to win both the vacated title and the rubber match between the two fighters.

Casamayor won 116-111 on one scorecard and 115-112 on a second. A third judge had Corrales ahead 114-113. The Associated Press had Casamayor winning 116-112.

"I know I won," Casamayor said. "But I was a little concerned when it went to the cards."

Corrales started slow and never seemed to find his range against the former Cuban Olympic champion.

"I thought I boxed really well," Corrales said. "How are you going to win running away?"

Casamayor frustrated Corrales from the opening round on, and even a disputed knockdown in the fifth round couldn't help Corrales overcome the crafty left-hander's style. He won the first three rounds on all three scorecards, a margin Corrales couldn't make up.

Referee Kenny Bayless ruled that Corrales knocked down Casamayor in the fifth round, but replays showed the two men merely got their feet mixed up. Casamayor got up immediately and spread his arms open in disbelief.

"It wasn't a solid knockdown, but it was a knockdown," Corrales said. "The rules say if you put a guy down its a knockdown."

Corrales had to give part of his US$1.2 million payoff to Casamayor so the fight would still go on after he didn't make weight. He was also fined US$240,000 by the Nevada Athletic Commission and lost his WBC lightweight title before even stepping into the ring.

Trainer Joe Goossen said he was concerned about his fighter's health after Corrales had eaten nothing for four days before the weigh-in.

But once the fight went on, Goossen said he thought Corrales did enough to win.

"There is something to be said about not eating for four days," Goossen said. "You wouldn't do that to a terrorist."

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