Joel Diaz Jr. "Whatever My Promoter Brings, I'm Ready"
By Jake Donovan
The taste of prime time television didn’t spoil Joel Diaz Jr. It doesn’t sound like much but it means a lot in this day and age.
Diaz was matched tough on Showtime’s Shobox series earlier this year, facing Guy Robb in a battle of unbeaten super featherweights. The two traded knockdowns early before Diaz prevailed by 7th round knockout to make an immediate name for himself as one to look out for in the immediate future.
A lot of fighters in Diaz’ position would’ve demanded a pay raise and live TV coverage for every fight from here on out. Instead, Diaz decides it’s better to just fight as often as possible, cameras or not.
With that mentality comes a stay busy fight versus Yogli Herrera tonight in Chester, West Virginia. There will not be live television coverage, nor does his bout even serve as the main event.
Tonight’s fight… is just a fight.
“Everything remains the same for me,” says Diaz. “Whatever my promoter Boxing 360 brings to the table, I’m always ready for it.”
Diaz (8-0, 7KO) was originally slated to face Georgi Kevlishvili tonight before the Russian lightweight was forced to withdraw. Herrera took the bout on short notice, but the change in opponents didn’t much have much of an effect on what already took place in the gym.
“We were prepared for Kevlishvili, but then we got the call (two weeks ago) that the opponent changed,” Diaz states. “It’s not a big change. Our training stays the same. We keep working for what he brings in the ring. Colombians are known for their power. He has a lot of experience, but that alone won’t put us down. We’re ready for (tonight).”
Though more experience than most of Diaz’ opponents to date, Herrera is actually a step down in terms of class and talent. What tonight is about is a young fighter staying busy, accepting an opportunity against an opponent brought in on short notice.
For those who expect the same Diaz who threw caution to the wind early on against Robb – well, he’ll throw down if it comes to that. But the plan from here on out is to avoid such wars if intelligent boxing and in-fighting can get the job done.
“That fight was a brawl, as everyone saw it. It’s cool to win a fight like that, but not to always have to fight like that,” Diaz points out. “I want to show everyone that I can box like I said that night. I’d rather take it nice and slow. We’re ready to take on rounds.”
The fight was a risk and Diaz was even questioned why he would take such a dangerous assignment on short notice. It turned out to be the risk his career needed, even at such an early stage.
The lesson learned that evening was the way he was training needed to be tweaked. Top trainer Abel Sanchez pointed out that one mistake in the fight with Robb led to his getting knocked down, but that he otherwise delivered a brilliant performance.
Tonight’s bout offers the chance to show what they gained from that night and what has since been worked on in the gym. Whether the fight ends early or goes the distance, Diaz is guaranteed ring activity, which sadly is becoming a fading trend these days.
Last night’s edition of ESPN2 Friday Night Fights was proof that even the best young fighters are affected by inactivity. Unbeaten light heavyweight contender Ismayl Sillakh suffered a shocking eighth round knockout loss in the main event last night. Even in winning every round to that point, Sillakh still bore the look of a fighter who hadn’t seen the ring in months and it eventually caught up to him.
The mentality that Diaz carries in and out of the ring ensures that the 20-year old Californian will never get caught in that situation.
“I stay at the gym. This is my job. I stay for whatever Boxing 360 has for me. If they want me to fight every month, every six weeks, I’m ready. The gym is like my home. I’m ready to fight. I stay ready. As they tell me, you have to stay ready. They can call you a week later. Personally I want to stay ready for whatever comes my way.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]
Tags: Joel Diaz Jr.
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment/View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Mares: Don't Rule Out Possibility of Cuellar Getting Knocked Out! Deontay Wilder's Handlers Reach Out To Alexander Ustinov Kosei Tanaka Stops Rene Patilano in Six Rounds in Nagoya, Japan Video: Shane Mosley Jr. Reflects on Win, The Future, More Tony Bellew: I'll Face That Bitch David Haye on That Joker Channel! Denis Shafikov, Joel Diaz Jr. To See Action on June 11 in El Monte Tony Bellew Gets Off The Deck, Brutal KO of Makabu For WBC Belt Video: David Avanesyan, Trainer Talk Win Over Shane Mosley Stephen Smith, Sean Dodd, Scott Fitzgerald All Victorious Video: Roberto Duran on Mosley Defeat To Avanesyan David Avanesyan Will Be Ringside To Scout Thurman vs. Porter Callum Smith Stays on Course For Title Shot, Get TKO in Six Ricky Burns Ready For Revenge on Crawford, Broner Showdown Video: Shane Mosley Talks About Loss To David Avanesyan David Price Returns in Style With Quick Knockout Victory Holyfield Believes Anthony Joshua Could Break Marciano's Record Bellew vs. Makabu LIVE Results From Goodison Park Frank Warren Questions Hearn's Position on Joshua vs. Haye James DeGale's Coach Confident: Badou Jack is Tailor-Made For Us Hearn: Eubank is Bigger UK Fight For Golovkin Than Saunders Golovkin's Coach: Only GGG Fight Brings Mayweather 100 Million! Bellew: I'll Fight That Bitch David Haye, He's Degrading Boxing! Photos: Ricky Burns Makes History, Blasts Di Rocco For WBA Belt Bellew vs. Makabu: Sean Dodd Looks To Enter The World Scene Viktor Postol Motivated By Underdog Role Against Crawford Arum: If Mayweather Wants Pacquiao, Let Him Come To Manila Haumono Saw Flaws, Believes He Will Chin Check Joseph Parker Glowacki Hopes To Get Usyk To Poland, Then Wants Lebedev Avanesyan Ends Shane Mosley, Secures Thurman-Porter Shot Vazquez Outpoints Bone, Eyes Future Clash With Adrien Broner Gabe Rosado Not Looking Past Gutierrez To Chavez Jr. Showdown Shane Mosley Jr. Edges Roberto Young With Majority Nod Bermane Stiverne Eager To Step in, Face Deontay Wilder Jonas Sultan Retains His RP Championship With KO in Five Rounds Photos: Verdejo, Diaz Open Workouts Before HUGE Bronx Crowd Roach: Floyd Mayweather Asked Me To Train Conor McGregor Krzysztof Wlodarczyk Beats Down Kai Kurzawa For TKO Win Ricky Burns Becomes Three Division Champion, Stops Di Rocco in 8 Nurse Pounds on Limond For TKO Win, Retains British Title WADA To Meet With AIBA, Shocking Allegations Over Drug Testing
Latest Boxing Video Video: Shane Mosley Jr. Reflects on Win, The Future, More Video: David Avanesyan, Trainer Talk Win Over Shane Mosley Video: Roberto Duran on Mosley Defeat To Avanesyan Video: Shane Mosley Talks About Loss To David Avanesyan Video: Shane Mosley Shows Off His Power and Speed at Workout Video: Shane Mosley vs. David Avanesyan Official Weighin Video: Shane Mosley vs. Cruiserweight Dimar Ortuz - Sparring Video: Joseph Diaz Discusses His Career, The Future, More Video: Sergio Mora Discusses Golovkin, Canelo, Jacobs, More Video: Ruslan Provodnikov Shows His Power on The Heavy Bag
Recent Top Stories
Latest Active Forum Threads