Juan Diaz vs. Julio Diaz – Prediction

11.10.07 - By Matthew Hurley: The Juan Diaz – Julio Diaz lightweight unification bout presents a nice contrast in styles which should make for a very entertaining affair. Because of Juan’s bullish aggression and Julio’s more disciplined boxing approach this match up should come down to whether or not Julio can keep Juan in the center of the ring and bust him up with straight shots down the middle. However Julio has shown in the past, particularly against a prime Jose Luis Castillo, that relentless aggression can break him down. And relentless aggression is what Juan is all about..

For the majority of his career Juan Diaz has used his aggression to both his advantage and his disadvantage. Because he would try and bully his opponent into the ropes his punches were often wide and looping, leaving him vulnerable to a good counter puncher, which Julio Diaz is. Also, because he wouldn’t properly set himself as he lunged forward his punches lacked power and snap. It was more of swarming attack. Those deficiencies often left him looking a bit awkward. But in his last few fights he has tightened up his defense, improved his jab which has allowed him to fire a straighter more powerful right hand. He has also tried to temper that almost overenthusiastic desire to manhandle his opponent. He has become a better fighter and looked in prime condition in his last fight against Acelino Freitas. That unceasing aggression was still there, and it was what eventually made Freitas quit on his stool, but Juan showed marked improvement in his overall game. He is becoming a more complete fighter.

Julio Diaz is much more of a tactician than Juan Diaz. He can also switch from the orthodox stance to a southpaw stance at any moment. Julio’s game depends on keeping his opponent at a distance with his jab and counterpunching off the ropes should he get trapped. There are questions about his chin. He was knocked out in the first round by unheralded Juan Valenzuela and stopped by Castillo. He doesn’t appear comfortable fighting on the inside but when he is allowed to establish his rhythm and keep the action in the center of the ring he becomes a very difficult fighter to get to. This could be where Juan reverts back to an onrushing attack after becoming frustrated and subsequently leaving himself open to Julio’s crisp, straight counterpunches. Julio must keep Juan in the center of the ring and it all begins with establishing his jab.

This should be a very entertaining fight while it lasts and I believe Julio does have the tools to frustrate Juan early but “The Baby Bull” will force Julio to back up with his own jab, which he will double up on and force Julio to fight his fight which means at a brisk pace. One thing that has never been a question in regards to Juan is his stamina – he can grind all night long. This pace and Juan’s deceptively fast hands will force Julio to the ropes by mid-bout and then quickly break him down. The end will come when the referee pulls off a swarming Juan Diaz in the 9th round.

Juan Diaz TKO 9 Julio Diaz

Article posted on 12.10.2007

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