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Casamayor personifies 2006

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It's been a week since Joel Casamayor beat Diego Corrales in their rubber match, and I have no problem admitting that I'm still shocked. Sure, Casamayor is a fine fighter, and always has been.  And sure, maybe Corrales even took Casamayor a little too lightly. And of course, Casamayor came in heavy, failing to make weight.

But really? Chico Corrales lost to the 35-year old Casamayor? Yes, really.

Casamayor proved that he can still fight, and Corrales proved that maybe time and his style has simply caught up to him, making him a very old 29 years of age.

It probably didn't help that Corrales hadn't fought in 364 days, since his loss to Jose Luis Castillo last year. Corrales seemed to be the heavy favorite for this fight, but Casamayor is nobody's chump. With Corrales, you're talking about a guy who's now lost half of his last six fights (two to Casamayor, one to Castillo) after having lost only once in the previous 38 bouts, and that was to Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

Is Corrales washed up already? It's possible. Some fighters age well, and others don't. Guys that fight like Corrales rarely do.

However, outside of failing to make weight, Corrales has nothing to be ashamed of. No one's ever going to say that Diego Corrales didn't fight top-notch talent. Frankly, he didn't have a ton to gain by taking on Casamayor, but people wanted to see it, and he did it. There's some pride to take out of that.

As for Joel Casamayor, here comes another guy that no one was expecting to emerge as one of the hottest fighters in the game at this point. In 2006, we've seen Casamayor and Carlos Baldomir of all people join the ranks of the elite. While the heavyweight division entertains Don King and lumbering stiffs like Valuev (whose fight with Monte Barrett I don't even want to comment on), plus glass jaw champs like Klitschko, the rest of the sport is in a very strange, very interesting state.

Baldomir took down Zab Judah and then made Arturo Gatti look ancient. Casamayor knocked out Antonio Ramirez and Lamont Pearson this year before taking out Corrales. Baldomir's about to fight Mayweather, which I am looking forward to more than any fight so far this year.

De La Hoya dismantled Ricardo Mayorga. Mosley found his groove again by embarrassing Fernando Vargas. The Marquez brothers are back on the scene in full force. Bernard Hopkins lost twice to Jermain Taylor, then shut Antonio Tarver up for good. No one wants to fight Margarito. Winky keeps talking, and Ike Quartey is on the horizon. Vernon Forrest is back. Cory Spinks is back. Two hot young undefeated fighters in Carlos Quintana and Miguel Cotto are going to go head-to-head.

What can you complain about? It's all a little confusing, but I dunno, man, I wouldn't really have it any other way. 2006 has been an unpredictable year, and we're about to wrap it up in a big way.