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Boxer Diego Corrales killed in motorcycle accident aged 29

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Former two-weight world champion Diego Corrales died in a motorcycle accident on the outskirts of Las Vegas on Monday night.





The 29-year-old was one of the most exciting and popular boxers of his generation, famed for his all-action, brave and even, at times, reckless style.


He died exactly two years to the day since his finest moment in boxing, when he climbed back up off the canvas to stop Jose Luis Castillo in 2005 to claim the WBC lightweight title.


Corrales, who lived in Las Vegas, was killed in a two-vehicle crash, according to Las Vegas police.


He won world titles at super-featherweight and lightweight in a glittering career that saw him fight some of the best fighters around such as Floyd Mayweather and Joel Casamayor, as well as Castillo.


However he was remarkably tall for a lightweight, standing at six feet, and struggled to make his weight towards the end of his career, which ended with three straight defeats.


His career record was 40-5 with 33 knockouts.


His promoter Gary Shaw said of Carroales: "I am proud to have promoted one of the true warriors of the game. My heart goes out to his wife and kids. Boxing has lost one of the most exciting fighters in the ring."



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Jun. 02, 2006




Whether in a ring or swimming with sharks, boxer lives life to its fullest



He considers the question briefly, staring intently at the floor.


"No," Diego Corrales says solemnly, "I'm not crazy. And no, I don't have a death wish."



And while stepping into a ring and trading punches with the likes of Joel Casamayor twice, Jose Luis Castillo twice, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Acelino Freitas might qualify to some as crazy and having a death wish, at least that's Corrales' job.


But this other stuff -- jumping out of planes from 14,000 feet, bungee jumping from 400 feet, snowboarding on treacherous terrain and scuba diving amid a school of sharks -- is a little more on the thrill side than most humans can handle in one lifetime.


Corrales, who will meet Castillo for the third time for the lightweight title Saturday at the Thomas & Mack Center, gets a kick out of the astonishment on a visitor's face as he details his exploits.


"Man, you look like you're going to get sick, and you didn't do it," Corrales said of his sky dive.


The Las Vegan proceeded to talk about delivering his newborn daughter, Daylia, this year. He pulled the baby from wife Michelle's womb, then cut the umbilical cord. When Corrales told him that he wanted to do it, the doctor was skeptical until Corrales mentioned that he has no problems with blood.


Michelle Corrales quickly volunteers pictures that document the event, though her offer is quickly and politely, albeit with a queasy stomach, declined.


Diego Corrales, who says he likes nothing better than zooming through the desert on his new oversize Suzuki GSXR 1000 motorcycle, shrugs his shoulders at why he would risk his lucrative career with such high-risk extracurricular activities.


"I'm only young once and, unless someone hasn't told me something yet, I only get to live once," said Corrales, 28. "If I couldn't do this stuff now, stuff I always wanted to do, I would never get a chance to do it."


Shortly after his thrill-producing win over Castillo on May 7, 2005, a bout that ranks among the greatest in boxing history, Corrales and his wife set off for vacation in Australia.


And Michelle Corrales, who recently had learned she was pregnant, said she had no problem with any of his plans.


"He was so excited, he couldn't stop talking about it," she said. "You know how he is, he's like a big 12-year-old. But he's able to do what he wants. If I could do something for my husband that I know would bring so much joy into his heart, why would I try to get in the way?


"I knew he wanted to do these things so badly. I love him, and I wanted to see him happy."


Corrales said doing the daring stunts "makes me feel alive and I love how I feel."


But he conceded at least momentary panic when he was scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef and came upon a school of 12 Whitetip Reef sharks.


The sharks can grow to be 9 feet long, though they're normally smaller, and aren't usually dangerous to humans unless provoked.


But Corrales hadn't had time to research their behavior at the time he swam up to them.


"They were big enough to get my attention," Corrales said. "How I came across them was, I was enjoying the reef so much. It is so gorgeous. And I'm looking around and just thinking, 'Damn, Dude, you're the luckiest guy around to be here doing this and looking at all this.' And I wasn't paying attention and I started drifting down, drifting down, drifting down.


"I looked down and I was nothing but maybe 10 feet away. And honestly, that got me. They're predators, and I was in their world. I was lunch if they had any interest."


He conceded the heart rate increased a bit, but Corrales said the experience won't dissuade him from another wild adventure.


"I live for this kind of stuff," he said. "I'm blessed to be able to do all the things like this that I could only dream of doing."

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