"Floyd Mayweather Jr. beat Chico, but he only beat Chico because they threw the towel in. If that fight would have gone another 2 rounds, Chico was going to knock him out
He believed if you knocked me on the canvas, I'm going to get up and knock you out. He never stopped fighting. He fought from the beginning to the end and that was it...When I heard he died, I cried for 6 hours...So many people loved him and he belonged to the entire world. I miss him. There will never be another Diego 'Chico' Corrales," stated Diego Corrales Sr., biological father of Diego "Chico" Corrales, as he reflected on his life and career. Check it out!
PC: Thanks for taking time out to speak to me. I see you guys have a new addition to the family. Congratulations on your newborn son.
DC: Yes we did, thank you.
PC: Do you still follow the sport of boxing closely?
DC: Yeah, I do. I follow it very closely.
PC: What do you think of the state of the game right now?
DC: I think there is a lot of wannabes. There really isn't nobody that's special except for Manny Pacquiao. He's very special and he's like Chico was. When Chico was born, I knew he was a special kid. Manny is the same way. Manny has that same look in his eyes as Chico. He's not coming to ask you to let him win; he's coming to take his win. He outworks everybody and stays with it and that is what Chico did.
PC: The fight that the world wants to see is Pacquiao against Floyd Mayweather Jr. Mayweather gave your son his first loss as a pro. It sounds like you would lean towards Manny in that fight.
DC: I like Manny in any fight that he's in. I know the Mayweather family and they talk a lot and they can't really back it up. Floyd Jr., however, is somewhat of a throwback to Ali. Ali would beat you before you even got in the ring with him. What he did is talked you out of your fight. Even if Ali knew you should beat him, he would talk so much that he would beat you before the hands got wrapped and before the gloves were put on. He just got inside of your head so far. The thing with Manny Pacquiao is that Floyd can't get there. Floyd don't really want to fight him, so he's doing what a Mayweather would do to get out of a fight. He doesn't want to fight him. Floyd Mayweather Jr. beat Chico, but he only beat Chico because they threw the towel in. If that fight would have gone another 2 rounds, Chico was going to knock him out.
PC: Diego never really forgave his corner for that, did he?
DC: No. That was his stepfather. That was the man that raised him and he did a good job as far as raising him. There is a part of me that regrets not being there and then there is a part of me where I'm very grateful that I made the decision that I made as far as Diego, his mother and his brother. I made the right decision. I gave them a chance. He couldn't have become champion with me being there. I loved him enough to let them have a life that I couldn't have given them. I was way too far into crime and getting high and my son deserved a chance and that's what I gave him.
PC: Chico never made it a secret that he was a bad kid and a troublesome kid and he credited boxing for saving his life. Do you give boxing the same credit for saving Chico's life and for him not going down the path you went down?
DC: Yeah, I do. I watched him grow up from afar. I watched him and his brother grow up from afar. I had tapes of every fight that he ever had; from childhood amateur to his very last fight before he died. I knew that he was going to be something great. Even as a child, we would play box and he threw a right hand that hit me so hard that I got off of my knees and looked at him and said, "If you ever hit me that hard again " He wasn't a natural right hander. He was a southpaw. His mother made him a righty, but he was a natural southpaw. So was his mother. People always wondered how he could fight southpaws so well and win and it was because he was a southpaw, so he knew how to beat them.
PC: Chico was one of my all-time favorites because no matter what, he came to fight and put on a show. He had a great fighter's mentality. How do you remember him as a fighter? If someone asked you to describe your son the fighter, how would you describe him?
DC: He never came to ask you to give him the title. He came knowing he was leaving with his title. He believed in himself when nobody else would. He believed he could do what nobody thought he could do. He believed if you knocked me on the canvas, I'm going to get up and knock you out. He never stopped fighting. He fought from the beginning to the end and that was it.
PC: His first fight with Castillo was the best fight that I have ever watched live. I'm only 29 years old, so I have had the pleasure to go back and watch some classics, but live, that was the best hands down. Was it tough to watch your son in grueling fights like that?
DC: I got put out of one of his fights. I got put out because I wanted to shoot the guy for hitting him. I made a promise to him that I would never go see him fight again, but I would watch him fight on TV and I would always get tapes of his fights. Watching him fight was like watching the greatest ballerina dance Swan Lake. It was like listening to Mozart; a Summer Night. He was a virtuoso and everything he did, he done it so gracefully. I wasn't the best father and I wasn't the best husband to his mother. I was abusive. I know that my son needed a chance.
PC: Do you think a lot of your behavior was due to the fact that you weren't mature enough yet and that you weren't ready for a family?
DC: Yeah! Part of that in fact, a great deal of that was because I wasn't mature. I wanted to run with the gangstas. I didn't want to be stuck at home with a family. I didn't want that responsibility. I would never say I was right in what I did, because I wasn't. I was wrong. And there is nothing that my son got or accomplished that I want. I don't want anything. He did it period. Am I proud of him? Oh yeah I am. I am very proud of him. Will he always be my son? Yeah, he will be; I made him. I watched him grow up part of his life. I watched him grow up his whole life.
PC: We obviously lost him too early. Can you remember what it was like for you when you received the news of his death and what was your relationship like when he died? Had you spoken to him at all?
DC: When I heard he died, I cried for 6 hours. I would send him telegrams to his fights and I would tell him, "Go out and knock this punk out! Go out there and knock this punk out and show the world you are the one and only champion. You own the division." It was hard for me to face his fans in Nebraska. I didn't want to come out. I came out. I would go to a place that I liked that was comfortable for me and I would always have someone come over and ask me was I related to him. So many people loved him and he belonged to the entire world. I miss him. There will never be another Diego "Chico" Corrales!
PC: How did you get the news of his passing?
DC: I got a phone call and they said, "Are you sitting down?" I said, "Yeah!" And they said, "You gotta turn it on ESPN; turn on the news." And I'm like, "Why?" They said, "Chico is dead." I'm like, "What?" They go, "Chico was killed." And I said, "I'm going to cover Las Vegas with blood. Who killed him?" They said, "No, he was in an accident." I put it on ESPN and they said that he had an accident. I tried to find it online and I couldn't. I had to wait for my ex-wife to come home. She came home and she pulled it all up online for me and I cannot believe how mangled the bike was. It was a fight he couldn't come back from. He couldn't win. It still hurts and I cry every year (beginning to cry). And when I think about it too much, I cry. My current wife always asks me, "He was your favorite, wasn't he?" I would always have to answer her, "All of my children are special to me." She said, "But you talk about him more than you do the rest." I said, "No parent should have a favorite, but he was mine." My son, who was just born, has a lot of Chico's characteristics I see in him. It's like I have a second chance.
PC: Chico has all of your characteristics?
DC: Yeah! We do have a lot of the same characteristics. Believe it or not, most of his life, because he was fare and I was dark complexion, no one thought he looked like me. They would say, "He don't look like you; he looks like his mother." And I thought about it; we live in a racist world. That's why they say he looks like his mother because he's fare like her. I have a son now who again is very fare and I have only had one person say that he looks like me. He has his mother's nose, her chin and her ears, but he has my features. Me and Chico have the same temperament. It's exactly the same. I never ask for anyone to give me anything. If I want it, I will go and get it. I will get what's mine and that was something that he believed. He will get what's his.
PC: I want to thank you again for your time. It was a pleasure speaking to you and I truly hope this brought some closure for you and helped you get some things off of your chest. Feel free to call me anytime. Is there anything you want to say to close out this interview?
DC: I made the right decision because I knew that a criminal lifestyle was not going to give him, his brother and his mother a chance at life. I'm very proud of everything he accomplished. Yes, I stole him from her and yes, my granddad made me give them back. And my granddad was the one that said, "You can't have a family with the lifestyle you choosing." I watched them drive away and I cried because I knew he was right. Like I said, I always watched him from afar and I watched how good he was and how good he became. Everything that I had on him got destroyed, but it can't be taken from my heart ever in life. I am finally at peace in my life and finally in a good place in life and I do have a second chance with my newborn son. I want to thank you Percy for helping me to realize that I made the right decision to give my sons a chance at life.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]