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Corrales Stops Fuller in Round 3

June 21, 2003|Paul Gutierrez | Times Staff Writer

Diego Corrales spent the early part of his junior lightweight fight against Damian Fuller tasting the leather of his opponents' gloves but walking through the relatively harmless punches Friday night.

Until the third round.

Coming out of a clinch in the corner, the stalking Corrales threw a glancing lead right at Fuller's face that missed but made the southpaw drop his hands just enough for Corrales to land a ferocious left hook to Fuller's jaw.

Fuller went down in a heap. Referee Ray Corona began his count, but before he could get to 10, he waved off the bout, giving a joyful Corrales the victory at 48 seconds of the third round.

"There's so many questions out there but I think I answered them all now," said Corrales, who improved to 37-1 with 31 knockouts in opening the tennis stadium at the Home Depot Center.

It was the fourth fight for Corrales, a former International Boxing Federation junior lightweight champion, since serving more than a year in prison for spousal abuse. He weighed close to 180 pounds when he was released.

And in his last true in-ring test in January 2001, Corrales was soundly beaten by Floyd Mayweather Jr.

But after beating Fuller (21-4) before 3,847 in the main event of ESPN's "Friday Night Fights" series, Corrales, who weighed in at 131 1/2 pounds, thinks he has set himself up to fight at 130 for the foreseeable future, despite struggling mightily to make the weight before his prison sentence.

Plus, he wants the division's elite fighters -- Joel Casamayor, Acelino Freitas, Nate Campbell or Eric Morales when he comes up. Mayweather's name did not come up.

"I'm coming for all of them," Corrales said. "It doesn't matter who it is. I'm coming for what is mine."

In a preliminary, welterweight Ishe Smith scored a second-round KO of Sal Lopez (18-5-2) with a left hook to the body. Smith improved to 12-0 with six KOs.

Junior welterweight Zahami Gracia (5-0), a manager at the San Pedro Home Depot, knocked out his fifth consecutive opponent when he stopped Danny Laborin (0-3) at 1:53 of the fourth round.

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