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Castillo Fined 250K, Suspended For The Rest of 2006

The Nevada Athletic Commission on Thursday suspended former two-time lightweight champion Jose Luis Castillo for the remainder of 2006 and fined him the maximum $250,000 for his failure to make weight before for a June 3 fight with lightweight champion Diego “Chico” Corrales.

The Nevada Athletic Commission on Thursday suspended former two-time lightweight champion Jose Luis Castillo for the remainder of 2006 and fined him the maximum $250,000 for his failure to make weight before for a June 3 fight with lightweight champion Diego “Chico” Corrales.

Also, Castillo is not allowed to sign for any fight below 140 pounds.

Castillo and Las Vegas attorney Bill Coulthard attended the commission meeting in Reno and made a presentation, but after more than 90 minutes of discussion and questions, the panel voted 4-0 on the punishment.

“You could have never made 135 pounds and you disappointed the boxing public as well as this commission,” commission chairman Skip Avansino told Castillo during his closing remarks.

After the hearing, Coulthard said Castillo is relieved to have it behind him.

“He is pleased with their decision on the license issue and a little disappointed with the monetary fine, but he certainly understands the decision,” Coulthard told ESPN.com. “We accept the decision. We`re pleased with the suspension through the rest of the year and we look forward putting this behind us and to seeing him get back in the ring.”

At the weigh-in before the June 3 bout, Castillo weighed 139½ pounds, 4½ pounds more than the division limit. It was the second consecutive time he had missed weight for a fight with Corrales in Las Vegas.

Before their second bout in October 2005, Castillo was also overweight, but Corrales elected to go through with what became a non-title bout and was knocked out in the fourth round.

Corrales said the reason he went through with that bout — even though he was at a weight disadvantage — was because he didn`t want to let down boxing fans.

Corrales was reluctant to give Castillo a weight advantage for a second time, and the bout scheduled for June 3 was canceled.

“We know the problems this caused for everyone and we expressed our heartfelt apology to everyone involved, especially the commission and to boxing fans around the world,” Coulthard said. “But what we wanted the commission to know was that while we accept responsibility for what happened, it was an unintentional and inadvertent mistake, him not making weight. He made the effort, and he just couldn`t make the weight. We regret it, we acknowledge it, but he really did try.”

Besides neither fighter collecting a seven-figure purse, the cancellation hurt many involved with the bout. Showtime, which had spent months marketing the fight, lost one of the marquee bouts of the year, as did casino sponsors Caesars Palace and the Wynn Las Vegas; and Castillo promoter Top Rank and Corrales promoter Gary Shaw suffered deep embarrassment and financial losses.

Then there were the thousands of fans who flocked to Las Vegas for the fight. They spent money on tickets, airfare and accommodations, and had nothing to show for it.

The commission could have revoked Castillo`s license but went with the lighter suspension because of Castillo`s appearance and humility during the proceedings. The commission also applauded Castillo for showing good judgment in rejecting the gruesome suggestion of a doctor in his camp to draw some of his blood in order to help him make weight.

In a fight hailed as one of the greatest in boxing history, Corrales stopped Castillo in the 10th round of their first brawl in May 2005.

Now that Castillo will be able to box again at the start of 2007, the door is open for a possible spring showdown with British star Ricky Hatton.

Castillo`s suspension in Nevada means he can`t fight anywhere else in the United States. Coulthard said that Castillo won`t try to circumvent the suspension by taking a fight either in his native Mexico or somewhere else.

“He has been approached for a fight in Mexico, but I don`t believe he has any intention to fight until the suspension has expired,” Coulthard said.

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