By Osman Rodriguez
Undefeated super featherweight prospect, Joel Diaz Jr. (9-0, 8 KOs), steps back in the ring this Saturday at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington against late replacement, Emmanuel Lucero (26-10-1, 16 KOs). BoxingScene caught up with the rising star as he gets ready to leave “The Summit” in Big Bear Ca.
BoxingScene: You’re facing an opponent who has been in the ring with some of the best fighters in boxing. How do you feel about facing such an experienced fighter so early in your career?
Joel Diaz Jr.: I’m one of those fighters who will step in the ring with anybody. Lucero has the experience over me, but I have my youth and will to win on my side. This is a big step up for me, but I feel my talent is on another level than his. Fights like this are only going to get me better as I move up the rankings.
BoxingScene: This will be your first ten round fight, can you elaborate on the extra rounds?
Joel Diaz Jr.: My trainer Able Sanchez has stepped up everything in the gym. We are doing more rounds on the bags, sparring more and running longer. I’ve also been working on my breathing. In ten round fights I have to pace myself to go the extra rounds if need be.
BoxingScene: You’ve been ending all your fights early; does this mean we won’t see that aggressive style that we’re accustomed too?
Joel Diaz Jr.: There will always be times in the fight when I’ll be aggressive, but Able is teaching me how to box more. I have long arms so I’ve been working on my jab and using my reach. But, I will always have the killer instinct to end the fight if I see my opponent hurt. That will never change.
BoxingScene: Does you promoter have any plans to get you back on ShoBox or ESPN if you are to be victorious?
Joel Diaz Jr.: My promoter Boxing360 said if I win this fight, there will be a TV date for me coming up against another top prospect. I’m taking on all comers. I’ll fight anyone!
BoxingScene: What are your predictions for this fight?
Joel Diaz Jr.: That my hand will be raised after the fight. My goal is to end the fight as always.
BoxingScene: Good luck, is there any last words you want to say to the fans?
Joel Diaz Jr.: I’m a hungry young fighter that works hard in the gym every day. I eat sleep and drink boxing for a living. I want to thank my promoter Boxing360 for keeping me busy and all my fans who support me. I’m coming hard every fight!