Joseph Diaz Reflects on Velez Win, Talks Strategy Against Proa

By Ryan Burton

2012 United States Olympian Joseph "JoJo" Diaz (20-0) is on the brink of a world title shot. The featherweight is currently ranked #2 by the WBC while Gary Russell the organization's champion.

Diaz returns to the ring Saturday night against Victor Proa (28-1-2) at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, Calif. The fight will be broadcast on HBO Latino.

"It feels great," said Diaz. "I haven't fought in like 3-4 months so it feels great to back in the ring and show everybody who I am. I am very anxious to get back in the ring."

joseph-diaz (3) (720x480)_1

The 23-year-old Diaz last fought in March when he won a dominant decision over former title challenger Jayson Velez. The fight was Diaz's first on HBO and opened up the telecast as the co-feature bout in support of the Andre Ward-Sullivan Barrera headliner.

"Fighting Jayson Velez was a great opportunity for me. I gained a lot of fans and was able to showcase my skills to HBO and all the critics that I could be the next big thing in boxing and that I am a very good fighter and that I am a contender in my weight class."

"It was a good experience for me and I took advantage of it but I looked at the tape and I saw I did very well and I won every round but I felt I could have landed more shots and turned myself a little bit more to really hurt my opponent. When I was landing those shots I felt like I did hurt Velez but I could have landed more effective shots so this camp I have worked on that with my father to be a little more powerful," said Diaz.

Diaz hopes to fight for a world title by the end of the year but he is not looking past the veteran Proa. He hopes to slowly break him down and stop him later on in the fight.

"Victor Proa, I have seen a couple of his fights and he likes to move around and create angles and he is heavy handed. He is a counter puncher. I can't underestimate his power. The game plan is to feel him out, attack the body right away - so he isn't moving as much and then eventually when the opportunity presents itself I can sit down on my shots and land effective blows and hopefully get him out of there," Diaz told

Send questions or comments to [email protected]. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ringsidewriter

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment - View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Arum: Haymon Only Promoter Who Won't Work With Others Zerafa Warns Jeff Horn: I'm No Faded Old Man Like Mundine Amanda Serrano: Things Much Better Now For Female Boxers Nathan Gorman Aims For Spectacular KO on February 23 Photos: Manny Pacquiao Continues To Grind in Las Vegas Amir Khan: Hearn is Pissed Off, But I Control My Own Destiny Jarrell Miller Will No Longer Appear on Jan. 18 DAZN Show Kambosos Details Lessons Learned as Pacquiao Sparring Partner Crawford: I'm Better Than Anyone Amir Khan Has Ever Faced Photos: Andrade, Algieri Visit South Bronx Middle School Photos: Badou Jack, Browne, Warren - Las Vegas Grand Arrivals Photos: Manny Pacquiao, Adrien Broner - Las Vegas Grand Arrivals Arum: Crawford is Best Welterweight Since Sugar Ray Leonard Amir Khan To Return To Trainer Virgil Hunter For Crawford Fight Andrade 'Don’t Wanna Hear' Saunders’ Excuses For Akavov Fight Vergil Ortiz could fight for 140-pound title in 2019, Says Gomez Espinoza: Mayweather 'Up In the Air' About Pacquiao Rematch Plant-Uzcategui PBC on FS1 Card Peaks at 986,000 Viewers Dmitry Bivol Makes Promotional Pact With Eddie Hearn Official Photos: Adrien Broner Putting in Work in Las Vegas Dmitry Bivol-Joe Smith To Land on DAZN on March 9, Site TBD Photos: Terence Crawford, Amir Khan - Face To Face in London Derevyanchenko-Culcay Title Eliminator: DIBella Outbids AGON Joe Smith Jr. Finally Moves On From Artur Beterbiev Plant: It Was Destiny To Win My First Title in the City of Angels Mares: Why Isn't Leo Santa Cruz Fighting Gary Russell Next? Tony Harrison: I'll Beat Jermell Charlo 'Even Easier' in Rematch Terence Crawford-Amir Khan Officially Set for April 20 ESPN PPV Caleb Plant-Jose Uzcategui: Afterthoughts Photos: Ted Cheeseman, Sergio Garcia - Face To Face at Presser Amanda Serrano Won't Stop, May Go For Belt in Eight Division Trainer: Chisora Will Repair, He's Force To Be Reckoned With Hearn: Crawford is Tougher Fight For Khan, I Wanted Khan-Brook Artur Beterbiev Departing DAZN, Heading To ESPN 'Maturity process' done, Team Broner says upset of Pac imminent Amir Khan: I Get Called 'Terrorist' All The Time on Social Media Video: Adrien Broner Media Interview, Breaks Down Pacquiao Video: Pacquiao Discusses Broner Clash, Bob Arum, PBC Move Video: Ellerbe on Mayweather-Pacquiao Meeting, Broner, More Video: Freddie Roach Talks Pacquiao-Broner, Wilder-Fury, More

Latest Active Forum Threads