By James Slater: Last seen giving his all yet losing for a second time to superb Mexican Juan Manuel Lopez, 27-year-old former unified lightweight king Juan Diaz will return to action on July 29th as a light-welterweight. “The Baby Bull” will face Washington’s David Torres over a scheduled ten-rounds. Houston’s Diaz, 35-4(17) is still young enough to be able to reach the top again, and the former champ says he plans to have two fights this year, before he starts “collecting belts next year.”
Torres, coming off two draws – one with Santos Pakau and, last time out, with Michael Stewart – is tough and capable and he has been stopped just twice. The 33-year-old was TKO’d in the 5th by Julio Diaz back in 2008, and he was stopped in the 7th by Raymundo Beltran last year. Since then, the man known as “El Torrito” has fought those two draws.
At 5’6” Diaz is tall enough to be able to fight effectively as a fully-fledged 140-pounder, and if he can get a couple of decent wins under his belt starting with one over Torres, his exciting style of fighting could add to the talent-rich light-welterweight division. How many more great fights does Diaz have left in him? Having gone back to school recently and vastly improving his education, it was thought by some that Diaz may walk away from boxing. Having been involved in a number of rough fights – the two with “Dinamita,” one with Nate Campbell, as well as battles with Acelino Freitas and Michael Katsidis – Diaz has achieved plenty in his career already. Luckily for his fans, the warrior who turned pro in 2000 is ready to rumble again.
Seeing as he’ll have had a full year out since the points loss to Marquez, Diaz may well be carrying some ring-rust with him against Torres. As such, a distance fight could be on the cards as Diaz gets fully into his groove. Torres, 21-2-2(13) is no huge puncher but he is usually pretty durable. I think Diaz will pound out a fairly comfortable decision in a watchable fight.
On the under-card at The Cosmopolitan in Vegas, another former lightweight ruler makes a return to action. Cuban veteran Joel Casamayor, now aged 39 and also operating as a light-welter these days, will face the much younger Jorge Luis Teron of The Bronx in a scheduled ten-rounder. Southpaw Casamayor, 38-5-1(22) has won once since his points loss to Robert Guerrero; that loss coming on the Marquez-Diaz card last July.
25-year-old Teron, 25-2-1(17) is much taller than Casamayor at 6.0” and he has been stopped just once (by current WBA 135-pound boss Brandon Rios). Winner of his last two by quick stoppage, Teron could well score the upset over the ageing Cuban. This fight will tell us how much “El Cepillo” has left.