Advertisement
Advertisement

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. image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment - View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Photos: Oscar Valdez Demolishes Rueda For First World Title Oleksandr Gvozdyk vs. Joe Smith Jr. WBC Eliminator in Play Photos: Crawford Dominates Postol To Unify - HUGE Gallery Postol: I Tried To Make an Exciting Fight, Crawford Was Running Anthony Mundine vs. Danny Green Rematch Inching Closer Photos: Marcos Maidana Resurfaces in The United States Crawford: Yuriorkis Gamboa is Still The Toughest Fight I've Had Terence Crawford: Manny Pacquiao Must Fight Me at 140! Roach Likes The Idea of Pacquiao vs. Crawford, at 140-Pounds Crawford Trainer: We Weren't on Roach's Level? Freddie Who? Crawford: I Hurt Postol With Every Solid Shot That Connected Terence Crawford Drops, Dominates Postol To Unify Titles Crawford vs. Postol LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Oscar Valdez Crushes Rueda in Two, Wins WBO Title Jose Benavidez Decisions Francisco Santana in Bruising Bout Gvozdyk Gets Off The Floor To Stop Karpency in Six Maidana Breaks Down Maysonet In Six Rounds Ryota Murata Demolishes Comanche Boy in One Round Roach Admits Confusion in Golovkin-Ward Comments Fabian Maidana Aims To Emerge From Marcos' Shadow Lenny Zappavigna Stops Ik Yang in Six Rounds Video: Jose Benavidez Pumped For Santana Showdown Salido: They Have To Pay Me A lot For Lomachenko, Vargas! Crawford vs. Postol LIVE Results From Las Vegas Roach: Brook Has NO Shot To Beat Gennady Golovkin Video: David Benavidez Discusses His Future, Return, More Video: Francisco Santana Ready For War With Benavidez Crawford Not Concerned About Postol’s Height, Reach Edge Wilder, Arreola Test Clean For All Banned Substances Eleider Alvarez-Robert Berridge Set For PBC Card Video: Viktor Postol Ready To Put on a Show With Crawford Roach: I Want Pacquiao To Fight at Least Two More Times Video: Oleksandr Gvozdyk on PPV Fight, The Future, More Video: Oscar Valdez Ready For Statement Title Win With Rueda Video: Freddie Roach on Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, More Michael Perez vs. Petr Petrov WBA Eliminator is Ordered Postol: Of Course I Want To Beat Terence Crawford By Knockout Warren: Smith Will Be Treated as World Star After Beating Canelo Crawford's Trainer: Postol is Cashing Out, He Wanted a Check Francisco Santana on Benavidez, leans to Crawford over Postol
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement