Joseph Diaz Jr. Feels He’s Close to a Title Shot After Cancio Fight

by David P. Greisman

It’s been four years since Joseph Diaz Jr. represented the United States in the 2012 Olympics, and in the time since he’s been developing from a featherweight prospect into a young contender who is still a few months shy of his 24th birthday.

Diaz feels he’s nearing a turning point in his career. He’s facing Andrew Cancio on the pay-per-view undercard of Canelo Alvarez vs. Liam Smith, and if he wins on Sept. 17, he believes he’ll be on the fast track of challenging for a belt at 126.

“If I don’t get injured and everything goes well … hopefully I’ll fight in a title eliminator and then get a world title shot by early next year,” Diaz said on an Aug. 29 media conference call before reminding himself, and those listening, that all of this is still speculative.


“Right now my focus is Andrew Cancio,” he said. “I can’t look forward. I’ve got a great opportunity ahead of me that’s going to bring out the best in me. I’m willing to give the fans what they want to see regardless of who the opponent is. I’m willing to make a statement Sept. 17.”

Given the way the Olympics ended for him — Diaz lost to eventual bronze medalist Lazaro Alvarez in the second round of the bantamweight tournament — this has been a good four years.

“My goal when I was an amateur was to be fighting in the Olympics and represent my country and try to bring back a gold medal. I didn’t bring back a medal, but I got Golden Boy’s eye,” Diaz said. “They started watching me and loved the way I fought. I ended up signing with them. They gave me a good contract and they pushed me. I’m already 21-0 and I’ve only been a professional fighter for four years. They’ve been moving me well. Now they want me to fight on a big stage, and I’m going to take full advantage of it.”

Please consider supporting David’s writing by becoming a patron — visit for more information. Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Boxfan83 on 08-30-2016

[QUOTE=Edward90;16992386]Where can I look up rankings for belts? I don't know who he's on track to fight if his next step is an eliminator. Do any GB fighter have a belt at 126? It's a shame I have to ask…

Comment by Edward90 on 08-30-2016

Where can I look up rankings for belts? I don't know who he's on track to fight if his next step is an eliminator. Do any GB fighter have a belt at 126? It's a shame I have to ask…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (2)
Top Headlines Joseph Diaz Will Return Even Stronger, Says Manager Denis Shafikov vs. Hector Suarez Tops Hollywood Fight Nights Roman Gonzalez Eyes United States Return in September Whyte-Pulev: Surprise Bidder Beats Hearn, Sauerland For Rights Photos: Wilder, Sulaiman, Lewis, Stallone Hit The White House Jeff Horn Involved in Car Accident, No Injuries Suffered Donald Trump Issues Rare Posthumous Pardon To Jack Johnson Jermall Charlo: Me & My Brother Open to Hearing Hearn's Offers UK News: Phil Sutcliffe, Sean McComb Debut, More Christina Hammer Talks Training Camp For Showtime Defense Hearn Confirms July Return for Brook; Date, Opponent & Site TBA Photos: Naoya Inoue, Jamie McDonnell - Ready For War in Japan Robert Easter Adds Cunningham To His Team For Garcia Bout Jose Ramirez's Adviser Explains Why Freddie Roach Was Replaced Arum Ready To Make Deal: Stevenson Must Fight Gvozdyk Next McDonnell: When I Beat Inoue, Everyone in World Will Know Me Hekkie Budler's Trainer Breaks Down The Big Upset in Japan Everton Lopes, Two-Time Olympian, Decides To Retire Is David Haye About To Retire From Boxing? Horn's Trainer: We Can't Afford To Let Crawford Land Big Shots Luis Ortiz Coach Expects Wilder Rematch, Feels Joshua Will Delay Jousce Gonzalez, Aaron McKenna Win Bouts on Charity Card Jamie McDonnell-Naoya Inoue: Stats & Stakes Luis Ortiz Trainer: Dillian Whyte is Nothing Special, He Won't Win Photos: David Lemieux, Karim Achour - Go Face To Face Lomachenko Gives Up WBO 130 Title, Remains at Lightweight Photos: Jerwin Ancajas, Kal Yafai, Jonas Sultan - Open Workouts Broner Blasts Hearn's Three-Fight, $6.75M Offer as 'Slave Deal' Oscar Valdez's Manager Gives Status on Injury, Ring Return Dejan Zlaticanin Back on June 21, Broadway Boxing in Astoria Hearn Provides Update on Joshua vs. Wilder Negotiations Photos: Lucas Matthysse Putting in Work For Pacquiao Fight Photos: Naoya Inoue vs. Jamie McDonnell - Final Presser ESPN, UFC Announce and Outline Huge Multi-Year Deal PBC With 3 Hour Memorial Day Weekend Show David Lemieux Wants To Make a Statement in Achour Fight Ivan Dychko vs. Mike Marrone on June 16 in St. Petersburg Lucas Matthysse: I Expect The Same Manny Pacquiao as Always Antonio Tarver Aims To Prove Worth, Win Heavyweight Title Josh Warrington: Lee Selby Refused To See Me After The Fight

Latest Active Forum Threads