David Diaz - Time To See What He Has Left

by James Slater - Former WBC lightweight champion David Diaz, who makes his ring return this coming September 26th, wisely took a long time off after suffering the beating he did at the hands of the great Manny Pacquiao. Losing both his world title and his consciousness in the 9th-round of his brutally one-sided fight with "Pac-Man," the 33-year-old southpaw from Chicago took the kind of hammering that can end a fighter's career.

The beat-down that left the proud warrior face-down on the mat back in June of last year may have taken practically all of the fight out of Diaz, but we won't know, and more importantly, he won't know, until he steps back into the ring.. This will happen against fellow tough guy, Jesus Chavez - a former claimant of versions of the super-featherweight and lightweight titles. The two 135-pound veterans will in all likelihood give us a helluva fight. But who will win?

Diaz, 34-2-1(17), despite the punishment he took from Pacquiao, SHOULD be the fresher fighter. The younger man by three years and also the fighter who has suffered less defeats, Diaz is the favourite to prevail at The UIC Pavilion, Chicago in September. Chavez, 44-5(30) has also had a rough ride of a demanding career, with draining fights with the likes of Floyd Mayweather Junior, Erik Morales, Carlos Hernandez and, more recently, Michael Katsidis having no doubt aged the Mexican. Still, Diaz is the man who is coming off a one-punch KO loss, not Chavez.

Chavez was also beaten in his last outing (against Katsidis, when he was forced to remain on his stool at the end of the 8th-round back in April of this year), but being knocked senseless the way Diaz was can have a debilitating effect on a fighter; especially when the fighter in question is known for his ability to wade through all hell and high water and usually stand firm win or lose. This was Diaz pre-Pacquiao (his 2005, 8th-round TKO loss to Kendall Holt aside), but does this Diaz still exist?

We may not get all the answers in September; as Chavez may not have enough left himself to thoroughly test Diaz and make him have flashbacks to his Pacquiao nightmare. But we will get some idea of how much the Chicago man has retained, mentally and physically. Coming back as he is after almost 15 months out, Diaz will surely be rusty. If, however, he is allowed to ease his way into the bout and if he still has some of the fire he had when he was battling the likes of Morales, Jose Armando Santa Cruz and others, the southpaw will win.

How far his comeback can go will still be in doubt, but Diaz will likely have found out things about himself after he's beaten his fellow warrior Chavez.

Article posted on 05.08.2009

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