Showtime Championship Boxing

Castillo vs. Diaz

Lacy vs. Williams

 

 

March 5, 2005

Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino - 10:30PM ET/PT*

Las Vegas, Nevada

 

 

Lightweight Unification Title Bout (12 Rds)

Jose Luis Castillo (51-6-1, 45 KOs) vs. Julio "The Kidd'' Diaz (30-2, 22 KOs)

IBF Super Middleweight Title (12 Rds)

Jeff "Left Hook" Lacy (18-0, 14 KOs) vs. Rubin "Mr. Hollywood'' Williams (26-1, 15 KOs)

 

 

__________________________________________

 

 

Showtime Championship Boxing Presents Castillo-Diaz Unification Lightweight Title Bout,

Lacy-Williams IBF Super Middleweight Title Fight During Showtime's Free Preview Weekend

 

New York  - A pair of potentially explosive match-ups will be shown during SHOWTIME's Free Preview

Weekend when two-time time World Boxing Council (WBC) Champion Jose Luis Castillo takes on his

International Boxing Federation (IBF) counterpart, Julio "The Kidd'' Diaz, in a world unification lightweight

fight and undefeated Jeff Lacy risks his IBF super middleweight crown against once-beaten Rubin "Mr.

Hollywood'' Williams on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Saturday, March 5. The world

championship doubleheader, which will be co-promoted by Top-Rank, Inc., and Gary Shaw Productions,

LLC, will start at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).

 

Immediately preceding the scheduled 12-round world title fights on March 5 will be ONE NIGHT ONE STAR

USHER LIVE. The multi-award-winning recording artist and superstar, Usher will burn up the stage with the

concert event of the year from San Juan's Coliseo de Puerto Rico. From Friday, March 4, through Monday,

March 7, SHOWTIME will offer a free preview weekend for viewers nationwide.

 

Castillo (51-6-1, 45 KOs), of Sonora, Mexico, thought his second defense during his second stint as WBC

lightweight champion would be against Diego "Chico'' Corrales. However, a fight with the World Boxing

Organization (WBO) 135-titleholder could not be finalized, so now he is facing Diaz, who has been calling

him out for years.

 

"Even before I won a world title, fans knew what to expect when I fought and that was 100 percent effort,"

Castillo said. "I came late into the championship so there is no way I can give anything less. I definitely want

to take advantage of my opportunities and put on a good show.

 

"There is no way I will let down against Diaz or underestimate him. I know he is a very good fighter. He has

wanted to fight me since I was champion the first time. I expect him to give 100 percent - just like me. This

is going to be a very good fight.''

 

A protégé of Julio Cesar Chavez, Castillo rallied to retain his belt with a 12-round split decision over former

130-pound world champion Joel Casamayor Dec. 4, 2004, on SHOWTIME from Mandalay Bay. In a classic

puncher versus boxer match-up that had fans on their feet during the final nine minutes, Castillo took the last

three rounds on all three judges' scorecards to triumph 117-111, 116-112 and 113-115. "I knew I had to do it

in the late rounds because I could not figure him out until the seventh," Castillo said. "From the beginning, I

thought the winner was the going to be the one who had the most heart and courage. I proved that at the end

of the fight. It was all about heart.''

 

Castillo, who won the WBC 135-pound belt the first time with a 12-round majority decision over Steve

Johnston on June 17, 2000, regained it with a 12-round nod over Juan Lazcano on June 5, 2004. Following

three successful defenses in his initial tenure as world champion, Castillo lost the title and a subsequent

rematch to unbeaten Floyd Mayweather in April and December 2002. Many felt he got jobbed and that

Mayweather was fortunate to get the nod in their first match. After turning pro at age 16 in May 1990, Castillo

knocked out his initial 14 opponents and won three titles before earning the WBC world crown. The 15-year

veteran won the Mexican state featherweight (Oct. 2, 1992), Pacific 130-pound (Aug. 15, 1996) and Mexican

featherweight (July 4, 1997) championships during the early part of his career.

 

Diaz (30-2, 22 KOs), of Coachella, Calif., captured the IBF lightweight title in his last start when he won a

majority 12-round majority decision over defending champion Javier Jauregui on May 13, 2004, in San

Diego. Many thought the decision should have been unanimous.

 

"Nothing has ever come easily for me, but I have learned to roll with the punches," Diaz said. "I was

supposed to fight Castillo once before, but he backed out. I respect him now for acting like a true champion

and taking this fight. These are the kinds of fights the fans deserve to see.

 

"I have always wanted to fight somebody who is really dangerous, where all the odds are against me, and I

then I would beat them in an impressive way. This is my chance. I am really looking forward to March 5 and

fighting Castillo on SHOWTIME."

 

The talented Diaz, 25, who can box or bang, has been highly regarded for the majority of his career. Even

before he won a world title, many observers considered him to be the best in the 135-pound division and one

of the most promising young fighters in any weight class.

 

After going 185-15 in the amateurs, he turned pro in February 1999. He was USA Today's "Prospect of the

Year'' in 2000. The brother of junior welterweight contender Antonio Diaz and retired former contender, Julio,

won his initial 23 fights before losing a disputed 12-round split decision to the more experienced Angel

Manfredy on Nov. 6, 2001.

 

Diaz has won six in a row, including the decision over Jauregui by the scores of 118-110 twice and 114-114.

 

"I thought I won that fight easily," he said. "I was a little shaky when they were reading the official scores,

but quite relieved and thankful to get the victory and my first world belt."

 

Lacy (18-0, 14 KOs), of Tampa, Fla., will make his 12th appearance on SHOWTIME and his second defense

of the IBF 168-pound belt he won with an impressive eighth-round TKO over Syd Vanderpool Oct. 2, 2004,

on SHOWTIME. The first 2000 Olympian to win a world title, Lacy retained his crown the first time with a

hard-fought 12-round unanimous decision over Omar Sheika Dec. 2, 2004, on SHOWTIME from Mandalay

Bay.

 

"I just want to fight often and win," said Lacy, who outpointed Sheika 117-111 and 115-113 twice. "This guy

is coming to take something away from me, and it is my job to keep him from doing it.''

 

Lacy went 209-12 in the amateurs, won numerous competitions and made it to the second round of the 2000

Olympics.

 

Williams (26-1, 15 KOs), of Detroit, Mich., has won seven in a row since suffering the only defeat in his

career. In his last outing, he retained his International Boxing Union Intercontinental 168-pound title with a

10-round decision over Aaron Norwood on Jan. 28, 2005, in Warren, Mich. Williams, who is trained by

Emanuel Steward, won his initial 19 starts after turning pro in August 2001. He captured the IBU

Intercontinental belt with a 10-round decision over Tim Bowe on Oct 8, 2004, in Warren.

 

"It is every boxer's dream to fight for a world title," Williams said. "This is my chance to show the world what

I am all about," Williams said. "I know I am not a household name in boxing, but I will be after I knock out

Lacy.''

 

Tickets for this exciting evening of boxing are priced at $300, $200, $100, and $50 and go on sale

Wednesday, Feb. 2, at noon at the Mandalay Bay Box Office and all TicketMaster outlets. To order tickets

by phone, call (702) 632-7580.

 

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING's Steve Albert and Al Bernstein will call the action from ringside

with Jim Gray serving as roving reporter. The executive producer of the SHOWTIME telecast will be Jay

Larkin, with David Dinkins Jr. producing and Bob Dunphy directing.

 

For information on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and "ShoBox: The New Generation" telecasts,

including complete fighter bios and records, related stories and more, please go the SHOWTIME website at

http://www.sho.com/boxing.

* Taped Delayed on the West Coast

 

- Press Release issued by Showtime with a little editing from us (color, highlights, etc...)

 

 

card subject to change

 

 

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(2/3/05)