Panamanian assassin Ammeth Diaz says he will emulate fellow countryman and all-time great Roberto Duran and go on to win a World title if he beats Brit Martin Gethin. Diaz takes on British Lightweight Champion, Gethin, at Walsall Town Hall on Friday 31st May in an IBF World Lightweight Title Eliminator with the winner getting a shot at reigning champion Miguel Vazquez.
The fight will be televised live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546).
“Hands of Stone” Duran, arguably the greatest lightweight boxer of all time, was famed for his ferocity in the ring, endless stamina and relentless punching style. He beat Scotland’s Ken Buchanan to win the WBA World Lightweight title in 1972, making 11 title defences – all bar one by knockout – before unifying the WBC title in 1978 against Esteban De Jesus.
His battles against rivals Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns in the 1980s are legendary and after retiring in 2001 with a record of 103 wins from 119 fights and 70 KO’s, five world titles in four weight divisions, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007.
Diaz, 29, who also hails from Panama City, has racked up 22 KO’s out of his 31 wins, and believes he’ll beat Gethin in his hometown to get a second world title shot against Vazquez who beat him on points in January last year.
“Duran is like a god in Panama. Everybody loves him. He is not only the greatest fighter to come out of Panama, but he is one of the greatest fighters in history,” said Diaz. “He was a hero of mine when I was growing up as he was to any young fighter in Panama, everybody wanted to be like Duran because he was so exciting and aggressive,”
“Duran beat a great British fighter in Ken Buchanan that started his reign at lightweight and I will beat Gethin to get a rematch against Vazquez who I will beat this time to finally win the world title,”
“This is a crucial fight for me and I’m not coming to England to lose. I will win by knockout.”
Tickets, priced at £40 and £75 Ringside, are available from Walsall Town Hall Box Office on 0845 111 2900. Doors will open at 6pm and boxing will commence at 6.30pm.
Gethin versus Diaz, promoted by Frank Warren in association with NEWOB Promotions, will be televised live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546). Join atwww.boxnation.com.