By Rick Reeno
Sources with knowledge of the details have advised BoxingScene.com that undefeated lightweight prospect Joel Diaz Jr. (20-0, 16KOs) has hired Chris Byrd as his new head trainer.
Byrd, a former heavyweight champion who beat such fighters as David Tua, Vitali Klitschko, Evander Holyfield and Fres Oquendo, has made the transition to training. Due to his lack of power in the heavyweight ranks, Byrd's victories were often the product of his boxing skill and superior speed.
Diaz was recently being trained by Abel Sanchez. The two parted ways following Diaz's last fight on August 29th at The Forum in Inglewood, California. The bout was showcased as part of the Shane Mosley-Ricardo Mayorga II pay-per-view undercard.
The first bout with Byrd in his corner will take place on January 30th in Montreal, Canada - as part of the Sergey Kovalev-Jean Pascal II undercard. Diaz will compete for the USBA lightweight title.