By Ryan Burton
BoxingScene was on hand for an intense sparring session between undefeated lightweight contender Mercito Gesta and undefeated super featherweight prospect Joel Diaz (11-0) at The Summit Gym in Big Bear, Calif. Gesta is preparing for his title shot against IBF champion Miguel Vazquez that takes place on December 8th on the Manny Pacquiao versus Juan Manuel Marquez pay-per-view undercard.
Diaz is considered one of the sport's elite prospects. He burst onto the national scene with his epic battle against Guy Robb that took place this past January. He is looking to return to the ring in December but he doesn't have anything finalized at the moment.
Diaz appreciated the battle that Gesta gave him in their sparring session.
"It is a blessing to work with Gesta, man. I got to work with another southpaw up here at The Summit. He's the only one other than Ponce De Leon (I got to work with). He's a great fighter," Diaz said.
Diaz's trainer Abel Sanchez said that while his pupil isn't too keen on fighting southpaws he was grateful for the work Gesta provided. Sanchez knows that big fights against southpaws could be in Diaz's future. Diaz agreed with his trainer and admitted that he needs more work versus southpaws.
"I learned that I need to work outside more. Coach Abel kept telling me to work outside. Fighting southpaws really ain't my thing but we are mastering them. It was good work for me and good work for him," Diaz told Boxingscene.
I asked Diaz for his opinion on the Vazquez-Gesta showdown and he thinks that the Filipino has a very good chance of taking Vazquez's title.
"The way he is training man I wouldn't doubt that he stops him. He's a tough, quick southpaw. He's a very good fighter," Diaz stated.
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