CASTILLO: BOMBS AWAY!

“It’s going to be one of those fights where we’re both going to come to ring center and bombs away and when I hit him right he’s going to go. I’m definitely not going to let it go to the scorecards.”

Former world champion Jose Luis “EL Temible” Castillo (63-11-1, 54 KOs) is already on weight and ready for his appearance in the co-main event of 8 Count Productions and Warriors Boxing’s “CROSSROADS”, boxing event at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago and live on ESPN Friday Night Fights next Friday, July 13.

Castillo will face hometown fan favorite Ivan “EL Marro” Popoca (15-1-1, 10 KOs) in a 10-round welterweight battle that night before the 10-round main event between Glen “Road Warrior” Johnson (51-16-2, 35 KOs) and Chicago’s “The Polish Prince” Andrzej Fonfara (21-2, 12 KOs).

“Training has been great,” said Castillo, through an interpreter. “I’m already on weight. I left the gym at 148 pounds. I’m really strong. Been a long time since I’ve been this close to the weight this far from the fight.”

38-year-old Castillo says despite his long distinguished career and all the championship victories that came with it, he still loves going to war and is optimistic Popoca will oblige him.

“He’s a tough, young game guy from Chicago. He comes forward. It will be a good fight. I won’t have any problem finding him and he won’t have to look for me. I like guys that come forward. That’s how I like to fight. The fans will get a great fight. There’ll be no holding. Just two guys trying to take care of business in ring center.”

Castillo says he knows Popoca’s people are bringing him in to potentially serve as a note-worthy opponent, but he has other plans in mind.

“Fighting on ESPN gives me a great opportunity to show people I still have something left. At 147 pounds, I’m very strong and there are a lot of opportunities out there for me still. I’m still the only guy who ever beat Mayweather. Everybody thought Randall Bailey was done and he won a title recently. Malignaggi just won a title. Either of those guys are a good fight for me after I win this fight.”

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Several local and national prospects are scheduled to appear on the CROSSROADS undercard.

In a six-round welterweight battle, Jaime Herrera, 7-2-0 (4 KOs) of Franklin Park, Illinois, will face Tyrone Chatman (9-1-2, 6 KOs) of St Louis, Missouri; Bassett, Virginia’s Elijah McCall (9-1-1, 8 KOs), son of heavyweight champion Oliver McCall, will appear in a six-round heavyweight scrap against Jason Massie (7-2, 4 KOs), Cleveland, Ohio; popular Chicago super middleweight Paul Littleton (3-0, 3 KOs) will face Ramiro Bueno Jr., (2-2-0, 1 KO) of South Bend, Indiana, in a five-round bout; cruiserweight Junior Wright (3-0, 3 KOs) of Evanston, Illinois, will face Covon Graham (1-2-1, 1 KO) of Detroit in a four-rounder; Chicago super featherweight Juan Bustamante (3-0, 2 KOs) will go against Michah Branch (0-1-0) of Cincinnati, Ohio, in a four-rounder; Miami, Florida’s hard-punching Vilier Quinonez (3-0, 2 KOs) will take on Hesperia, Michigan’s Rogelio Saldana (1-3, 1 KO) in a light heavyweight four-rounder; and in a heavyweight four-rounder Curtis Tate (4-3, 4 KOs) of Oakland, Tennessee will face Calbert Lewis (0-1) of Gary, Indiana.

Advance tickets for “CROSSROADS”, priced at $151, $101, $51 and $31, can be obtained through Ticketmaster (Ticketmaster.com, 1-800-745-3000), the 8 Count Productions Offices, 312-226-5800 or the UIC Pavilion Box Office, 312-413-5740.

The UIC Pavilion is located at 525 S. Harrison, at the corner of Harrison and Racine on the campus of University of Illinois-Chicago.

Doors on the night of the event will open at 7 pm with the first bell at 7:45 pm.