For 17 years Ricky Quiles has toiled in the boxing gym, fought and won all over the United States, waiting for his one opportunity to shine. On Thursday, May 18, Quiles finally gets that long-awaited world title shot when he faces former World Champion Julio Diaz for the interim International Boxing Federation Lightweight Championship on a history-making card.
This is the first time two Tribes--the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation--have joined forces to help present a World Championship boxing card.
The promoters of the card are Warriors Boxing, which promotes Quiles, and Sycuan Ringside Promotions of California, which promotes Diaz.
“I’ve waited my entire career for this moment, and I’m not about to let it slip away,” said Quiles. “Julio Diaz is a great fighter, and you know what happens when a Puerto Rican and a Mexican get together in the ring, but I will win this war.”
"There is nothing better than being a World Champion,” said Diaz. “It's an on-top-of-the-world feeling. I miss that feeling. I had it once and I want it back. Now, I have a better appreciation for what I had and for what I will have again. My loss to a great champion, Jose Luis Castillo, has only increased my hunger and desire to again wear a world title belt. I have nothing but respect for Ricky Quiles; he is a most worthy opponent. But I am on a mission and I will not be denied.”
“I want to thank my promoter, Sycuan Ringside; Warriors Boxing; both the Sycuan and the Seminole tribes; and also the IBF for making this great opportunity happen. I’m well aware it wasn’t a simple or easy job. This is my chance to reach the mountain top again, and I am ready, says Diaz."
Current IBF champion Jesus Chavez currently is sidelined by injury, making it impossible for him to fulfill his mandatory title defense against Quiles, who is the No. 1 Lightweight contender. The winner of May 18 bout will be awarded the interim title and will be elevated to full championship status if Chavez does not face him within a time frame specified by the IBF.
Quiles-Diaz, which headlines an outstanding night of boxing on the “Tribal Pride” fight card presented by Warriors Boxing Promotions and Sycuan Ringside Promotions, will air live on pay-per-view from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla., beginning at
9 p.m. ET /6 p.m. PT.
The world-class undercard will be announced later.
Ricky Quiles (39-6-3, 8 KOs) has been one of the most avoided boxers in the sport during the past few years. A slick boxer who is unafraid to get into the trenches and scrap, the 35-year-old southpaw earned his shot at the title with back-to-back victories over highly regarded Edner Cherry and former World Champion Javier Jauregui, and is eager to join the ranks of other great Puerto Rican champions such as Felix Trinidad, Jose Torres, Wilfred Benitez and Wilfredo Gomez.
Hailing from Coachella, Calif., Julio “Kidd” Diaz (32-3, 24 KOs) comes from a fighting family, and he has made that family proud by fighting his way to the top of the lightweight division. A two-fisted puncher with underrated boxing ability, Diaz held the IBF world title for close to a year during 2004-2005 before a hard-fought loss to Jose Luis Castillo during March of 2005. Diaz since has rebounded with two consecutive first round knockout victories, and on May 18, he is looking to once again wear the IBF belt.
For more information on Warrior’s Boxing, please, visit our website at www.warriorsboxing.com.