Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Juan Diaz on The Brandon Rios Beef, Comeback, More

By Chris Robinson

It's been a while since former lightweight champion Juan 'Baby Bull' Diaz has scored a big victory under boxing's spotlight. Having gone 0-2 in his most recent fights, unanimous decision losses to Juan Manuel Marquez last summer and to Paulie Malignaggi in December of 2009, Diaz has flown under the radar with little word on his ring future being said.
 
But when I spotted the 27-year old last month at the 'Action Heroes' event inside of the MGM Grand headlined by Marcos Maidana's war with Erik Morales, Diaz looked to be in solid shape and had great spirits about him. Sure enough, during a recent conversation with the Houston, Texas fighter, he revealed to me that he has been making some moves for a comeback some time this summer.

"I've been working out for the past two or three months," said Diaz. "Just trying to get in shape and now that I feel I have achieved that goal and I am looking at possibly fighting sometime in July. Nothing's for sure yet. We are speaking to a few promoters, looking at different people who have fights coming up."
 
Diaz went 33-0 with 17 knockouts to kick off his career, showing endless energy, stamina and will in rolling over formidable foes such as Jose Miguel Cotto, Julio Diaz, and Acelino Freitas, among others. But he was caught off guard by a motivated Nate Campbell in March 2008 inside of a bullring in Cancun, Mexico, and suffered his first setback.
 
Dating back to that loss, Diaz has gone 2-4 in his last six fights and he admits that he needed to regroup.
 
"Yeah, it's definitely been, I guess you could call it a roller coaster ride," he continued. "With my last two fights, big fights against Marquez and Malignaggi, I've been up and down between winning and losing. I had a year to kind of relax and think about things."
 
Diaz bounced back from the Campbell loss with a solid victory over game Michael Katsidis that saw him out hustle the Australian over twelve fast-paced rounds. It put him back in the picture but danger was just around the corner in the form of a clash with Mexico City's Juan Manuel Marquez, who had recently moved up from the jr. lightweight class.
 
The first Diaz-Marquez clash was an absolute thriller, named 2009's Fight of the Year, as Diaz stormed out of the gates while putting on tremendous pressure and dictating the early pace of the fight. But Marquez, always one to show his brilliance against an aggressive foe, remained patient and worked his way back into the fight, eventually stopping Diaz in chilling fashion in registering a 9th round knockout.
 
To this day, Diaz admits that it was that defeat that has hurt him the most.
 
"I would have to say the hardest loss was to Marquez," he admitted. "Even though the first loss of my career was bad, it wasn't as bad as the Juan Manuel Marquez fight. Because in that fight I put all my heart and soul into that fight, the first fight, and I believed in my heart that I was going to win. I believed it so bad that nobody could tell me 'No' that night but obviously he did and that's what really hurt me. I took it the hardest."
 
When looking at the current boxing landscape, there is one foe who figures to be a perfect foil for Diaz's non-stop attack; WBA lightweight champion Brandon 'Bam Bam' Rios. The two men recently could be found exchanging some heated words with one another via their personal Twitter accounts and the fight seems to make perfect sense if Diaz can get a tune up fight or two under his belt.
 
Giving his take on Rios feud, Diaz cleared the air of their little online spat.
 
"I didn't necessarily call him out. He went on my Twitter and he wrote me a direct message, saying that I wasn't ready for him, especially not now, and that he was on the top of his weight division. So I responded to that message and said that I was back, I was going to teach him a lesson, and I was just letting him borrow my belt right now," Diaz said resoundingly.
 
What's impressive about Diaz is that his work ethic has never been confined to just the sport of boxing, as he has shown himself to have a certain versatility and business savvy about himself over the years. While boxing is still a passion, the modest Diaz is setting up shop in Texas for when his days in the ring come to a close.
 
"Right now my brother and I have a construction company and a transportation business that we are managing right now," Diaz added. "I also got accepted into law school and I'm hoping that maybe I will get deferred for about a year because I want to give this boxing one more year and a half and really try and become champion. I'm focused on those three other aspects of my life, which is construction, transportation, and hopefully law school."
 
But for now it's only boxing. And a fighter as willing and exciting as Diaz is always going to be a welcome addition back on the scene when he is ready. Although he hasn't said much in recent months, Diaz admits that he has been keeping a close eye on the sport and that his hunger has been building.
 
"Definitely. Every fight that comes on, I get inspired. Every fight. Friday Night Fights, Showtime fights, HBO fights, I've seen them and they just inspire me to go in there the next day and just hit the gym hard and go all out."

Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. An archive of his work can be found here, and he can be reached at [email protected]
Tags: Brandon Rios image   Juan Diaz image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by JrRod on 05-20-2011

Does anyone know if Diaz is still with Golden Boy or will be fighting under the Golden Boy Banner? Because if that is the case then this fight probably is not going to happen.

Comment by danny711 on 05-20-2011

I like the baby bull but Rios is right. He doesn't want any. Diaz doesn't have the power or style to keep Rios off him. His best bet would be to box.

Comment by Lorily on 05-20-2011

Damn... what is it with fighters and twitter wars in the last year? I think it just makes them seem kindof 'high schoolish'.

Comment by mercadojglb on 05-20-2011

Gatti and Ward all over again :banana:

Comment by JoeDaWg on 05-20-2011

Would be a hell of a fight, hopefully it gets done.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (13)
Top Headlines Video: Julian Williams on Ishe Smith Win, Reacts To Trout, More Photos: Anthony Dirrell Edges Denis Douglin in Tough Bout Video: Austin Trout Talks Canelo-Golovkin, Williams, Hurd, More Video: Trainer Breaks Down Julian Williams Win Over Ishe Smith Bellew: I Can 100% Beat Parker, No Way Can He Deal With Joshua! De La Hoya: I Won't Chase McGregor, The Challenge Was Made! Mike Gavronski Wins WBA Regional Title, Beats Hernandez Oscar Vasquez, Gabriel Flores, Bruno Escalante Win in Reno Bryant Cruz Stops Luna: Micah, Lawson Pick Up Wins Deontay Wilder - From Mild-Mannered To Motormouth Ishe Smith: I Fought My Ass Off, The Judges Saw What They Saw De La Hoya: Canelo vs. Golovkin Rematch Will "Definitely Happen" Julian Williams Wins Tough Decision Over Ishe Smith Julian Williams vs. Ishe Smith - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Lionell Thompson Drops, Shocks Earl Newman With Points Win Tugstsogt Nyambayar Gets Off The Floor, Decisions Dela Torre De La Hoya on McGregor: It Took Mayweather 10, I Only Need 2! Photos: Oscar De La Hoya Foundation Annual Turkey Giveaway Frampton: That Got The Cobwebs Off, Now I Want The Big Guys! Tomasz Adamek Decisions Fred Kassi Over Ten Rounds Carl Frampton Wins Tough Decision Over Horacio Garcia BWAA Announce a Women's Fighter of The Year Award Jerwin Ancajas Batters, Stops Jamie Conlan in Sixth Round Paddy Barnes Breaks Down, Stops Eliecer Quezada Jono Carroll Claims Vacant IBF Regional Belt With TKO Win Alex Dickinson Gets Decision Win on Frampton Card in Belfast Tomasz Adamek vs. Fred Kassi - LIVE Results From Poland Zolani Tete With Brutal Knockout of Gonya in 11 Seconds! Carl Frampton vs. Horacio Garcia - Early Results From Belfast Ishe Smith: I Would Have Fought Julian Williams in Philly Giovani Santillan Picks Up Stoppage Victory in Ontario Tyron Zeuge Sidelined With Illness, Ekpo Rematch Pushed Back Julian Williams Mentally Prepared For 'Road Game' With Smith Joe Gallagher Pleads: No Callum Smith vs. Braehmer in Germany Carl Frampton: I Feel I Can Stop Any Featherweight in The World Sadam Ali: Moving Up, Fighting Legendary Cotto "a Little Scary" Parker: Joshua's Chin is a Weakness; I Can Knock Him Out! Frank Warren: I Spoke To Haymon About Santa Cruz-Frampton 3 Jerwin Ancajas - The Traveling Man is Back on The Road Felix Cash, Ted Cheeseman Added To Taylor-McCaskill Card
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement