Corrales was born in Columbia, South Carolina to a Colombian father and a Mexican mother. Corrales' early life was filled with violence; he was raised in the Oak Park section of Sacramento, was involved with street gangs at age 13, and witnessed his best friend's death via drive-by shooting. Corrales had a degree in culinary arts. He trained at "Sac Pal" (Sacramento Police Athletic League) Boxing Gym.Amateur career
Corrales compiled an amateur boxing record of 105-12. In 1994, he took second place at the United States Amateur Championships, losing to Frankie Carmona on points in the featherweight final. He was a bronze medalist at featherweight in the1995 Pan American Games. At lightweight, he lost in the 1995 World Championships in Berlin, Germany to Marco Rudolph.Professional career
Corrales was victorious in his pro boxing debut on March 19, 1996. On October 23, 1999, Corrales won the IBF super featherweight title by defeating the previously unbeaten Roberto Garcia via TKO in the seventh round. After defeating Angel Manfredyon September 2, 2000, Corrales' managers vacated his title. Corrales had a record of 33-0 at this point.
On January 20, 2001, Corrales challenged Floyd Mayweather Jr. for the WBC super featherweight title and recorded his first knockdown and first loss. In the bout, Mayweather knocked down Corrales five times (three times in the seventh round and twice in the tenth). After the fifth knockdown, Corrales' corner stopped the fight, despite Corrales' protests.
Shortly after the Mayweather fight, Corrales served 14 months in prison after opting for a plea bargain on charges he faced for abusing his pregnant wife, Maria.
In 2003, Corrales returned to the ring. After easily winning four fights, Corrales fought against Joel Casamayor. After the sixth round, the fight was stopped because of a deep cut inside of Corrales' mouth. On March 6, 2004, there was a rematch for the vacant WBO super featherweight title. Corrales won by close split decision.
On August 7, 2004, Corrales won the WBO lightweight title from Acelino Freitas via TKO in the tenth round. Freitas won the early rounds, but by the later rounds he was visibly tired and began to be caught by Corrales. After rising from his third knockdown, Freitas walked away from the referee and quit.
Corrales vs. Castillo I, II, and III
On May 7, 2005, Corrales defeated José Luis Castillo for the WBC lightweight title via TKO in the tenth round. The fight is almost universally regarded as the best fight of 2005. Both men stood in front of each other, battering each other with hard combinations and power punches throughout the entire fight. Finally, in the tenth round, Castillo knocked Corrales down. Seconds later, Castillo knocked Corrales down again. Once on the ground, Corrales managed to beat the count, and, after a point was taken away for excessive spitting out of the mouthpiece, Corrales connected with a punch that Castillo later called "a perfect right hand." Corrales then trapped Castillo against the ropes and landed numerous punches, causing the referee, Tony Weeks, to stop the fight. After the fight Corrales stated that he dedicated the fight to a late friend killed just 3 months earlier in Iraq, United States Marine LCpl Richard Perez Jr. whom Corrales had done some radio with his father Rich Perez in Las Vegas at the time. Corrales said "There was no way I was going to lose this fight, they would have had to drag me out of this one." As Corrales looked at the elder Perez and said "That was for your boy."
A rematch between Corrales and Castillo occurred on October 8, 2005. On the day before the fight, Castillo weighed-in 3½ lb over the 135 lb (61 kg) lightweight limit. Since Castillo did not make the weight, the fight became a non-title bout. The two fighters continued with the same fighting style that they had used in the first fight, trading inside punches throughout the first three rounds. Early in the fourth round, Castillo knocked down Corrales with a left hook to his chin. Corrales wobbled to his feet at the referee's count of ten, causing the fight to end.
Corrales vs. Castillo III, dubbed "The War to Settle the Score," had been scheduled for February 4, 2006, but it was postponed because of a rib injury that Corrales suffered while training. The fight was rescheduled for June 3, 2006. At the weigh-in, however, Corrales weighed the 135 lb (61 kg) lightweight limit whereas Castillo weighed 139½ lb—causing the fight to be cancelled. Corrales later sued Castillo for punitive damages.After Castillo
Corrales was scheduled to defend his lightweight title in a third bout against Joel Casamayor on October 7, 2006. However, Corrales weighed in 5 pounds over the limit. He was given two hours to shed five pounds, but came back at 139 pounds. Corrales would have been stripped of the title if he had won the bout, but Casamayor defeated him by split decision for the WBC and The Ring lightweight titles.
On April 7, 2007, fighting in the welterweight division, Corrales lost a unanimous decision to Joshua Clottey. Corrales was dropped in rounds 9 and 10 and lost by the scores of 97-90, 98-89 and 100-87.Death
On May 7, 2007, exactly two years to the day after his first fight with Castillo, Corrales was killed in a three-vehicle accident near his Las Vegas home. Corrales was riding a 2007 Suzuki GSXR 1000 motorcycle, traveling northbound on Fort Apache Road in the southwest part of the Las Vegas Valley, Corrales attempted to pass another vehicle at high speed, but Corrales struck the back of the car and was immediately knocked off his bike and hit the ground. An ambulance was called by the witnesses at the scene, Corrales was rushed to a hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival. Las Vegas police spokesman Sgt. Tracy McDonald said: "The accident occurred at approximately 7:30 p.m. PDT." McDonald said there was no outward evidence of drugs or alcohol involved. He could not say how fast the motorcycle was traveling. Corrales blood alcohol content was 0.25 at the time of the crash, approximately 3 times the legal limit for Nevada. The funeral in Las Vegas was ushered by Referee Richard Steele with three main speakers, promoter Gary Shaw, Sportscaster Rich Perez and a representative from the Corrales family