Joel Diaz Jr. Continues To Groom His Skills, in Houston

By Peter Lim

Former National PAL champion and amateur standout Joel Diaz Jr. will put his undefeated record of 11-0 (10 KOs) on the line tonight as he takes on Victor Sanchez (4-5-1, 1 KO) in an eight-round super feathreweight bout at the Bayou City Events Center in Houston. Although he cites the left hook as his best punch, Daiz said his right hand will be instrumental against Sanchez, a southpaw.

Sanchez, 20, is a better fighter than his less-than-impressive record suggests. Three of his wins were upsets against fighters with records of 7-0, 3-0 and 11-3. All five of his losses occurred by way of decision. Sanchez, a Houstonian, has the hometown advantage against Diaz.

Diaz, 21, also defeated a 7-0 fighter by the name of Guy Robb in his sixth bout. It was admittedly his toughest fight to date in which he had to rebound from a second-round knockdown to stop Robb in the seventh round.

A boxing aficionado since he was a child, Diaz was most inspired by Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya and Fernando Vargas, all of whom faced each other in their primes in a golden age of welterweights/junior middleweights.

"I just like to watch boxing and pick up styles from anybody and everybody," Diaz said. "People say I resemble Brandon Rios, but I kind of don't want to resemble him too much. Too much brawling. Sometimes you've got to learn how to box."

Hailing from laid-back Southern California, Diaz is clear about what he wants to accomplish in the sweet science but places no unnecessary pressure on himself to get there.

"I want to be a world champion," Diaz said. "I want to take care of my family. I've got a little son and I want him to grow up to have the better things that I didn't have."

"I'm still young, I just turned 21, and I've still got a 10 years ahead of me to think about what I want to do and hopefully things go smooth," he added. "I'm just taking it day by day. Whatever anybody offers me, I'll be willing to take."

The eight-bout card will be staged by Savarese Boxing Promotions.

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