Fans of combat sports are going through a severe withdraw period. With quarantining nowhere near cessation, fight game and junkies can only hope for past fights to alleviate their boredom.
SHOWTIME Sports has come to the rescue and will continue to serve boxing fans during the current hiatus from live sports. Today, they announced regularly scheduled replays of legendary bouts from the network’s deep archive of world championship boxing.
SHOWTIME BOXING CLASSICS will air on three consecutive Friday nights beginning April 10, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME.
The April slate of SHOWTIME BOXING CLASSICS will be highlighted by three Fight of the Year winners. These include some of the most heart-pounding and unforgettable fights in boxing history.
“The greatest fight I’ve ever covered,” said Al Bernstein, the International Boxing Hall of Fame analyst. In a career that spans more than 40 years, including calling Hagler-Hearns, Bowe-Holyfield I and the Vazquez-Marquez trilogy, Bernstein says the first Corrales-Castillo war was the best.
“This was Hagler-Hearns times three because it lasted so much longer. It was fought at a such an extraordinary skill level and to me that is what made it so special.”
The fights scheduled to air in April include:
Corrales-Castillo I (May 7, 2005, Corrales TKO 10) – After nine intense, back-and-forth rounds in a WBC and WBO lightweight unification bout, Corrales accomplishes the unthinkable, miraculously regrouping from two knockdowns in the 10th to stop Castillo and etch his name in boxing lore. After managing to beat the count (and losing a point for spitting the mouthpiece), Corrales got Castillo on the ropes and connected with a huge right hand. Corrales continued to unload on a defenseless Castillo, forcing referee Tony Weeks to halt the blazing action.
Corrales-Castillo II (October 8, 2005, Castillo KO 4) – Castillo, who did not make the 135-pound weight limit, making the contest a non-title bout, avenges an earlier loss to the WBC and WBO Lightweight World Champion Corrales with a one-punch, fourth-round knockout. Castillo consistently outworks Corrales and lands the harder punches in a more one-sided bout than their first affair. Castillo staggers his opponent with a right hand in the third round that sends him stumbling backward across the ring. He then scores a finishing knockdown with a left hook in the fourth that puts Corrales flat on his back.
Ayala-Tapia I (June 26, 1999, Ayala W 12) – In some of the fiercest two-way action in the history of Las Vegas boxing, southpaw Ayala hands Tapia his first professional loss in 49 fights and captures the WBA Bantamweight Title by the scores of 115-114 and 116-113 twice. As the boxers were being announced, Tapia walked across the ring and shoved Ayala, causing a momentary skirmish.
Ayala-Tapia II (October 7, 2000, Ayala W 12) – In a rematch of 1999’s Fight of the Year, the action between the heated rivals does not disappoint. However, the outcome is the same as their first meeting, with Ayala winning via controversial unanimous decision. Mayhem ensues as the decision is announced and an incensed Tapia is ushered from the ring by security.
Matthysse-Molina (April 26, 2014, Matthysse KO 11) – Fighting in the night’s co-main event, Matthysse steals the show with a spectacular 11th-round knockout over Molina in 2014’s Fight of the Year. The Argentine, then ranked No. 1 in the world at 140 pounds, is hurt in the first and dropped in the second and fifth rounds. But Matthysse comes back with knockdowns in the eighth, 10th and 11th rounds to turn back a determined bid by Molina.
Bey-Molina (July 19, 2013, Molina KO 10) – In one of ShoBox: The New Generation’s most unforgettable rounds, Molina comes back from the brink of certain defeat to dramatically knockout then-unbeaten Mickey Bey. Heading into the 10th and final round, Molina was trailing on the three judges’ scorecards by 90-81, 89-82 and 88-83.