Juan Diaz And Julio Diaz Set To Unify Title

By Matthew Hurley: On Saturday, October 13th two men named Diaz will get into the ring to unify the lightweight title. Juan Diaz 32-16-0, the WBO and WBA champion will square off against IBF champion Julio Diaz 34-25-3 at the Sears Centre in Illinois. The bout will be broadcast on HBO’s Boxing After Dark. The other lightweight champion is the one most regard as the best of the bunch WBC champion Joel Casamayor who fights Jose Armando Santa Cruz at Madison Square Garden on November 10th..

The double Diaz bout features an interesting clash in styles. With Juan, nicknamed the “Baby Bull”, you have a constant pressure fighter. Juan uses relentless pressure to break down his opponents on the ropes compensating for his lack of one punch power. He is a volume puncher who never stops throwing but sometimes gets wild in his enthusiasm. So far it hasn’t cost him. His last fight against former champion Aceliano Freitas, however, was a bit telling in that it exposed two weaknesses that Julio Diaz will try to exploit.

One is that he does have problem catching up to slick boxers. A good stick and move man can frustrate the young fighter but so far he has managed to eventually cut off the ring and finally get to his man. But that window of opportunity is there for a good boxer. Freitas provided a proper blueprint for about five rounds but Aceliano had turned into a skittish boxer by the end of his career, one who folded when things got too rough. He fell apart against Juan in the seventh and didn’t answer the bell for the eighth.

The other weakness would be his propensity to get wild when he traps his opponent on the ropes. Juan tends to throw wide, looping punches when he has his man cornered and a precision fighter, one who punches straight down the middle and with some authority, could definitely take advantage of that. Julio is that kind of fighter. But does he have the power to get the “Baby Bull’s” attention and the strength to keep the younger fighter off of him?

Julio Diaz represents a complete contrast in fighting style. He likes to dictate the tempo and establish his jab early and box. He’s also adept at switching from the orthodox stance to southpaw, and he does this from round to round. The main concern for Julio is one that Freitas experienced; he doesn’t like pressure and tends to break down as he did against a prime Jose Luis Castillo. Castillo, at the time a far superior fighter than where Juan Diaz is now, chased Julio around the ring, breaking him down with left hooks before finally stopping him in the tenth round. Julio has also been stopped in the first round by unheralded Juan Valenzuela, so his chin is a bit suspect. But it’s that constant pressure that he has to concern himself with because Juan doesn’t fight any other way.

Julio maintains that he will box and Juan has insisted that he will jump on his man right from the opening bell. All unification matches are good for boxing and style match ups make them even better. This fight, as long as it lasts, should be a good one.

Article posted on 08.10.2007

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