28.03.04 – By Keith Terceira – Ebo Elder moves to 18-1 with a ten round clinic over the formerly undefeated Oscar Diaz. Though Elder had not fought but one tune up fight in 2 years it was obvious from the first round that he had rededicated his life to boxing. Taking the bout with Diaz on 3 weeks notice and 8 pounds heavier than he plans to fight in the future, Ebo used speed and angles to keep a slow looking Diaz baffled during most of the bout.
Oscar caught Elder with some powerful shots in the first round but in what would become a trend in the fight, Elder attacked in short bursts of body shots and combinations. When not attacking him would sit back and lure in Diaz, counterpunching with blazing speed.
In the second round Diaz hurt Elder several times with the right but could not catch him squarely enough to end the fight. There seemed to be a problem with distance for Diaz who couldn’t close within range to use his size and height advantage. Rather than let his hands go after finding out he could hurt Elder in the second, Diaz stayed back and paid dearly. Fortunately for Oscar, Elder did not display the one punch power needed to take him out.
From the third round on it was all Elder who at times would apply the pressure and at others choose to counter off of his opponent, both styles were highly effective. That in my opinion was the key to fight, causing Diaz to constantly think of adjusting but not allowing the time for him to do it.
There were several warnings of low blows, a couple that were not low on Elders part and Diaz collected a couple himself for pushing down on the neck of Elder. It was a one sided event from the second on. Attacking, flurries to the body and head, retreating, laying back and countering with a flurry, Attacking with more flurries, that was the whole night basically. When Diaz came in he paid for it, if he laid back and tried to work the outside he paid as well. For some reason he could neither find his range or let his hands go.
Had he not been baffled by the Elder workhorse effect and just opened up he displayed the power to take Elder out. For some reason though he had the reach and height advantage Diaz did not use the jab to set up his power punches. Often he did not punch at all, in two rounds he was two and a half minutes in before he landed a shot at all on Elder who was busy at all times either punching or weaving.
At no point after the second did Diaz regain enough composure to be effective. It was a deer in the headlights look every time Diaz came in because he knew that he would get plastered with shots.
From the third round on it was evident that Elder, who was not supposed to do this well, had won over the Florida fans and the ESPN crew, who at times sounded like they could not believe themselves how Elder was performing.
There did not look to be an effect game plan in place when action started for the Duva team. Perhaps they had hoped to take advantage of ring rust (which did not materialize) or Oscar’s power (which was effectively countered) whatever the case it looks as if Tommy Brooks and Diaz will go back to New Jersey scratching there heads.
Elder who had been a highly toted prospect up to a first round knockout derailed his career got back on track with this win and if he continues to perform in the manner he did last night he should make some noise in the 135 division.
Both Greg and Ebo were adamant about the team not heading north of 135 ever again. At 143 Ebo looked anything but slow but there was a definite size advantage by Diaz and that would continue through out the entire regiment of fighters in that class , so a move to stay at 135 is a good one.
I had Elder winning all but the second and the last round of this ten rounder. In the last round Diaz finally let go of his hands but it was a last ditch attempt that Elder weathered easily, holding on for the win.
Oscar had plenty of skill and power to prevail in this fight but for some reason did not close the distance or work hard enough to take this fight. Perhaps this lose will shake up his camp and we will see the old Oscar in his next event.