by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Undefeated junior lightweight sensation Joel Diaz kept his perfect record in tact following an impressive fifth round stoppage of title contender Emmanuel “The Butcher” Lucero Saturday evening at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, WA.
Lucero was one of the many Mexican challengers stopped by eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao when Pacquiao was the IBF super bantamweight champion.
Pacquiao won by a 3rd round TKO at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles against the then 23 year old undefeated Lucero on July 26, 2003.
Headlining Halquist Productions’ “Battle at the Boat 87,” Diaz started off well taking the first two rounds behind some snappy punches although Lucero appeared to come back in the third with several body shots but was dropped in the dying seconds of the round by a Diaz uppercut.
The 20-year-old continued to dominate Lucero in the fourth round before Diaz charged forward in the fifth round and behind a stiff jab caught Lucero with a right hook that dropped him.
Lucero beat the count but was soon dropped one more time and although he beat the count he was clearly groggy and referee Louis Jackvony decided he had seen enough and called a halt at 1:37 of the fifth.
Diaz improves to 10-0 with 9 knockouts. Lucero, a Scranton, PA native from Mexico City, slips to 23-11-1 with 14 KO’s.
In a post fight interview promoter Brian Halquist said he was extremely impressed with the performance of Diaz adding “Diaz is an excellent young fighter who prides himself on entertaining the crowd. The fans here loved him and we hope to have him fighting on one of our cards again in the near future.”