Jose Luis Castillo Jr. (@JlCastillo_Jr) comes from a proud boxing family. He does what many Mexican boxers do and that is skip the amateurs and learn on the job. He is the son of Jose Luis Castillo who is noted for his amazing fights with Diego “Chico” Corrales and what many fans consider to be Floyd Mayweather’s only career loss (even though Floyd received the victory). Recently, Jr. took time out of his busy schedule to do a little Q and A with us here at Tha Boxing Voice and introduce himself to the boxing world.
Julio Garcia: Hi Jose, how are you doing?
Jose Luis Castillo JR.: Hey good morning, thanks for the interview and having your time to make this. I’m good, I started to train a couple of days ago. I don’t know when my fight is, but you know, to keep in shape.
JG: I know boxing has been a part of your life for a long time, but at what age did you start competing?
JLCJR: Haha yeah since I born I was in this boxing world, but sincerely I started boxing this year on February 23. I didn’t have any amateur fights ’cause my father wouldn’t let us (me and my brother) compete. But at the age of 17 I started to learn, do a lot of sparring (which is kind of the same as amateur). And from the age of 17 to this year I was learning and I will always be learning.
JG: What inspired you to start boxing?
JLCJR: Hahaha maybe to be where my father was, to fight in Las Vegas and to be an inspiration to a lot of people. Before my debut it was a long road with my dad telling me that I was going to fight last year, and he was telling me: “Yeah, train and in 2 months” and those 2 months came and I was like when am I going to fight and he was like: “You got to learn more, so maybe in a month”… And I kept training and from there all my friends and a lot of people were like “Damn! You are a role model to me,” and stuff like that. I was like “Dude I am nothing. It doesn’t make sense to me.” But it really made me feel good that someone was inspired by me. And another thing is that I was always in brawls in the street since I was boy. You know men’s thoughts. They were like, “Hey watch out there goes the boxer.” Those things and to put my father’s name to a higher level were the things that inspired me.
JG: Growing up did you attend any of your father’s fights?
JLCJR: Yeah. We always were there at all of the fights, since I can remember I was ringside watching him.
JG: Which one of your fathers’ fights do you enjoy watching the most?
JLCJR: I enjoyed watching him vs. Mayweather. In the beginning of the fight it was like all the people I could hear were screaming Floyd’s name, but as the fight went on all the people behind us was screaming my dad’s name. I really enjoyed that time.
JG: What kind of a fighter do you describe yourself as?
JLCJR: I don’t know, i only have two fights but in those two fights i feel like the typical mexican brawler, that goes forwardI don’t know, I only have two fights but in those two fights I feel like the typical Mexican brawler, that goes forward giving punches and receiving, but I feel that I could change that style in the upcoming fights to a more active fighter that uses the ring.
BoxRec has you listed as having only one fight…I thought you had at least two fights?
JLCJR: That’s weird. I don’t check BoxRec every day and I thought I wasn’t there. Yes I have 2 fights. My pro debut was a first round KO. The second fight was by MD. That fight I woke up with diarrhea and I wasn’t feeling good, on top of that the style of my opponent didn’t open up a chance for a KO but I hurt him bad like 2-3 times but he just didn’t break down.
JG: Are you living and training out of Empalme?
JLCJR: I’m living in Guaymas, Sonora. It is 5 miles from Empalme, my hometown, and yeah we are moving and hitting the heavy bag and that stuff but when we train for a fight we go to Mexicali to train with Tiburcio Garcia.
JG: Who is promoting you?
JLCJR: Zanfer. Fernando Beltran is my promoter.
JG: Have you only fought in Mexico? If so when is the plan to start fighting in the U.S.?
JLCJR: Yeah i’ve fought 2 times here. my father and I were scheduled for may 2nd to fight in El Paso, Tx. Where he was fighting againstYeah I’ve fought here two times. My father and I were scheduled for a May 2nd fight in El Paso, Texas. Where he was fighting against Camacho Jr. and to add to that night they were going to make me fight that night. But it all went down the drain and I don’t know, maybe I’ll fight there in the next few months. I really don’t know
JG: What is it like to spar with your father? I know you posted on Twitter that you were sparring with him? Does he ease up on you because of your age and the fact that you are his son?
JLCJR: The first time that we started to spar we didn’t that well because of respect and you know “how am I going to punch my dad?” But with the time we lose that fear and have had some really good sparring sessions. Even when we heat up he knows that he can KO me so he just calms down while I keep throwing punches. He just backs up and uses counter punches, teaching me that I should be smarter and not going always fight that way.
JG: You fight at Super Featherweight correct? Is it easy for you to make the weight or do you see yourself moving up in weight anytime soon?
JLCJR: No. I fought my last two fights as a featherweight and in those two fights I made 3 pounds less than the limit with no effort. Maybe I’ll go down to bantamweight or keep fighting at featherweight.
JG: Besides yourself and your father, are there any other boxers in the family?
JLCJ: My GrandDad was National Champ, and my uncle Ricardo Castillo a 2 time challenger for the world title.My grandpa was National Champ and my uncle Ricardo Castillo was a 2 time challenger for the world title.
JG: Do you feel added pressure in the ring based off of your family’s name and the expectations that are usually cast upon descendants of fighters?
JLCJR: No I don’t feel that, I know that the people are going to talk and expect me to be as my father, but I enjoy being myself in the ring. I feel like Pacquiao when he walks into the ring smiling and waving to the fans.
JG: Do you watch a lot of boxing as a fan? If so who are your favorite fighters to watch?
JLCJR: Yeah you know I’ll always be a fan of boxing and I love to sit and watch how Mayweather fights. The intelligence he uses in the ring; how he moves, not letting them hit him, how he uses the ring, all of these make him my favorite boxer. The other fighter I like is Rigondeaux and of course my dad.
JG: Do you have a date, place and opponent for your next fight?
JLCJR: Maybe in Mexico City on July 22nd when Chavez Jr. is fighting but it’s not a done deal.
JG: How many more times this year will you be fighting?
JLCJR: Maybe I will have 6 more fights.
JG: How does your father feel about your decision to box?
JLCJR: My dad isn’t happy with my decision and he wants me badly to go to college and i will.. But maybe the next year i end up my studies. My dad isn’t happy with my decision and he wants me to go to college badly and I will, but maybe next year.
JG: Do you have a final message to boxing fans around the world?
JLCJR: To all the people, boxing fans, I’d appreciate it a lot that you don’t judge me or expect me to be just like my father. I’ll do my best to give some good fights and entertaining shows buy now I’m just beginning my journey and my boxing career and I have a lot to learn. And to tell them to follow my career and my fights. And also follow my career and my fights.