By Keith Idec
WEST ORANGE, N.J. — Talk about an eventful day.
Not only is Jorge Diaz scheduled to take on Luis Rosa in a nationally televised fight tonight, he spent most of the day with his girlfriend, who is in labor with the couple’s first child. As of 4:30 p.m. ET, she had not given birth to their son and Diaz had gone to his hotel room to get some rest before leaving for Codey Arena for tonight’s fight.
Diaz did not consider withdrawing from the eight-round featherweight fight. His trainer, Dwyke Flemmings, doesn’t think the New Brunswick, N.J., native will have difficulty focusing once he gets to the arena to start warming up for the fight.
The 26-year-old Diaz (17-2, 10 KOs), whose son was due Wednesday, has not fought since suffering a fourth-round knockout defeat against Miami’s Yenifel Vicente (25-2-2, 17 KOs) on June 14 at Codey Arena. Like tonight’s fight will be, Diaz’s loss to Vicente was broadcast by ESPN2 as a “Friday Night Fights” co-feature.
Another loss to Rosa (15-0, 7 KOs, 1 NC), of New Haven, Conn., would be a devastating setback for Diaz, a former New Jersey Golden Gloves champion.
“If I don’t win this fight, I’d lose the little bit of interest in me that there is from a promotional standpoint,” Diaz said earlier this week. “I have to win. I’m no longer fighting to be a famous boxer. Unfortunately, before I think that was my perspective. Now I’m fighting so I can provide for my little guy and my lady. She’s a great woman. I just want to be able to provide for them.”
The Diaz-Rosa fight will be one of three televised by ESPN2. Beginning at 9 p.m. ET, the network also is set to air an eight-round welterweight bout between Dusty Hernandez Harrison (19-0, 11 KOs), of Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia’s Tim Witherspoon Jr. (10-3-1, 2 KOs) and a 10-round light heavyweight main event that’ll pit New York’s Elvir Muriqi (40-5, 24 KOs) against Australia’s Blake Caparello (18-0-1, 6 KOs).
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.