By Chris Robinson
It was recently revealed by Zanfer Promotions that lineal lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez will be returning to the ring this April against Argentina's Cesar Cuenca. Despite suffering a majority-decision loss this past November to Manny Pacquiao in their trilogy bout, Marquez’ stock is still extremely high because of how well he fought on that night, with several people favoring him after twelve rounds of action.
Former lightweight champion and Chicago, Illinois native David Diaz was rumored as a possible comeback foe for Marquez but at the moment the 35-year old’s heart doesn’t seem to be fully in the sport.
Having gone just 2-3 in his last five bouts, Diaz wonders whether his career will push forward at this point.
“Right now I’m actually on a break,” Diaz told me during our conversation on Tuesday night. “I’m concentrating on a lot of things that are happening right now in my life. Definitely taking a step back and analyzing everything, whether to retire or continue, whether it’s just coaching or whatever. I’m just relaxing right now and soaking it all in.”
Diaz is less than six months removed from a crushing knockout loss at the hands of outspoken 'Hammerin'' Hank Lundy. Diaz fought with spirit, even stunning and dropping Lundy in the fourth round of their fight, but saw the tricky Philadelphian turn the tide of the bout and end things after catching him and leveling him with a clean left hand.
For Diaz, the loss put things into perspective.
“Very disappointing,” Diaz said of falling short. “You can’t take nothing away from Hank Lundy. He weathered the storm and came out on top. I shook his hand after the fight, gave him a hug and wish him nothing but the best. It made me sit back, relax, and take everything in. I’m not as young as I used to be and it’s getting a little harder to get up and do the things the young boys are doing.”
Diaz had been rumored to be facing off with Marquez last year in a July tune-up before his third meeting with Pacquiao but the two sides were unable to find a happy medium at the negotiating table in terms of revenue. Diaz says he was approached by Team Marquez recently and that, once again, the compensation offered wasn’t worth his risk.
Hearing the tone in his voice, the proud former champ seems a bit somber when facing the reality that his career may be over yet is trying to stay upbeat as possible. If he is to call it a day, Diaz claims he will walk away with his head high.
“Listen, as I look back and reflect on my whole career, my whole goal in boxing was just to make it to the Olympics; I wasn’t even thinking about turning pro. I became a world champion and I fought great fighters. I got a victory over one of the greatest fighters that Mexico has produced in Erik Morales. I’ve had a great fight with Jose Armando Santa Cruz when I won the interim title and I had a great fight with Manny Pacquiao," said Diaz.
“To look back at my career, and that I wasn’t a boxer, I’m just a fighter, I did ok," Diaz claimed. "I’m not the slickest guy out there. My career was never about being slick, my career was to go out there and fight. And fight I did. I got some good wins and I got some bad losses. That’s what it is. It’s the nature of the sport. You win some and you lose some.”
Before our conversation closed, Diaz pointed out that he has been spending a lot of time hosting a new show online, titled ‘Outside the ring with David Diaz’, that airs every Thursday between 2-3 Central Time. Anyone looking for more information can visit Diaz’s official website www.Diazsportsinc.com
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